Because it was marriage week last week, I was reminded about the importance of couples spending quality time together, so I thought I’d better practice what I preach and have a date with my husband.

Have you ever seen the movie Date Night?  Last time my husband and I had a date night, we went to see that movie… For those who haven’t seen it, it’s about a married couple who go out for a dinner date, only to find themselves caught up with the mafia in a fight for their lives and of course in the end it brings them closer together and saves their marriage.  Well this week I thought I was actually in the movie.

Like most couples with young kids, we don’t get to have date nights too often.  Put it this way, we were given gold class movie tickets for Christmas and we’re still waiting to use them.  Also about six months ago, our family gave us some money to go out and have a nice dinner together.  That was a few weeks before I got the job here, so we thought we’d have a special dinner to celebrate the new job and I’m afraid the money is still sitting in a little envelope on top of the fridge!

So for this date, we had planned to go out to Gold Class to see Inception.  I was really excited about it.  But of course when I got home Birdy was really sick, coughing, sneezing, temperature, the works.  Turns out she had the flu and she was miserable.  So going to a movie just wasn’t going to happen.  After we finally got her to sleep we decided just to duck out to a local restaurant for a quick bite.  After all, when you’ve got a grandparent willing to babysit, you don’t want to waste the opportunity.  So here’s how the night went:

Froze to death looking for restaurant – argued about which restaurant to go to – made up – ate dinner – rushed home – arrived home just minutes after Birdy vomited – spent the rest of the night looking after sick kid who hardly slept.  That was date night.  So no mafia hitmen but not exactly the romantic, relaxing evening I’d been looking forward to all week.

But at least we made the effort to do something.  In The Marriage Course they have this great suggestion for spending quality time together.  It goes something like this.

10 minutes each day.

Marriage time or date night for 2 or 3 hours each week.

2 weekends away each year.

And one good holiday together per year.

Even if you can’t quite live up to it, it’s a good goal to aim for.  I have no trouble with the ten minutes each day and the holiday part – it’s just the weekly date night that’s a little challenging with young children… especially sick, coughing, sneezing and vomiting ones.  But you get that.

How do you make sure you get quality times with your husband or wife?  Do you have a date night or marriage time?  Or a daily routine for catching up?  How did you manage when your kids were young?    Have you ever had a disastrous date night?