This past weekend my husband and I rented a hotel room 20 minutes away from our house. It may be dumb but it also may just be my new favorite thing to do. It was a night we could be tourists in our own city and completely get away from high-chair dinners out, no fighting over the remote control (I typically lose) and sleep in (somewhat) until time for church.
I think sometimes it’s all too easy to forget to work on your marriage when you have a toddler (or baby or teenager). Their needs trump your own and pretty soon you are settled into a nice but mundane routine. Ours looks like this:
7:15 group kiss (my son actually enjoys pushing our heads together for a three-way kiss in what is by far my favorite part of the day) and out the door.
7:30 drop kid off at daycare, commute 30 mins to work and stay there till 5.
5:30-7:30 consists of cooking dinner, fighting to let our son watch no more than 1 TV show, playing, reading books, picking up the same things over and over again (Ground hog day anyone?) and getting him to bed on time.
The rest of the evening is usually spent watching TV and doing all the chores of the house. It’s this part of the evening that I think couples probably seem to be on autopilot and not totally engage with one another. Sure at dinner we say the obligatory “how was your day?” And I do believe my husband is giving me his fullest attention. But sometimes it’s hard to cram in the frustrations of day-to-day things or mini celebrations at work while I’m cleaning spaghetti noodles off my son’s fingers or praying he will eat his vegetables. I forget to tell my husband about an upcoming social event and he forgets to tell me such and such broke. We are talking but not totally connecting.
Hence the need for the night out. We were going to sleep Thurs night when he said, “why don’t we just stay downtown Saturday night?” We had received an invitation to join our sister and brother-in-law for her birthday party at a new wine bar downtown. Not ones to drink and drive, we knew we might need to take a cab home, and that can be expensive when you live 20 minutes away. We realized the hotel would be more expensive but what a cathartic evening it would provide.
Saturday afternoon we drove separate cars (I was at a baby shower) to the hotel like we were involved in some clandestine affair. We checked in and shared a beer while watching TV. Just to sit for a few hours with nothing to do was a retreat. But we showered and called a pedi-cab to bicycle us up the few blocks to the restaurant. Not so much because we didn’t want to walk, but we liked the romantic idea of a pedi-cab while seeing the shops of Greenville.
A few minutes later a Blue Cab pulled up. Yes a real-life cab. We felt extremely embarrassed to be taking a cab less than a mile but decided we would laugh about it later. $4 later in fact, we went to one of Greenville’s best downtown restaurants, amid all the new hotspots.
When it was time for the new wine-bar, their ultra-exclusive persona was a little too much for me. But we shared a few drinks on some swanky couches and sadly could not join our friends because they did not have seats yet and we did. Either way, it gave us an hour or two to really talk. There were no conversations about what time the last diaper change was or how long our son napped. We were able to talk about us as individuals and a married couple. We shared silly laughs and I remembered how lucky I was to be married to someone I was friends with first. We actually enjoy hanging out.
As we left the wine bar thinking we’d go find some live music we made a pit stop to the room. We started watching TV and about 20 minutes later I looked and my husband was asleep. Yes, sadly, we were both asleep before midnight on our big night out, but it was definitely worth every penny. I highly recommend getting away in your own hometown and being tourists for a day. Or just a few hours 🙂