When the word got out that we were going to have a child we got a lot of advice from experienced parents. Surprisingly the most common piece of advice we heard was not about caring for your child, but caring for yourself. We were told to make sure you made some time for yourself away from your kids. This means each parent having some time away from the house alone and it also means having some quiet time with your spouse. Built into our schedule, every week, is a night where Lisa and I have a nice quiet dinner alone, by ourselves, with no kids.
Before you conjure up some image of a couple sitting at a small candlelit table in a little bistro sipping wine and giggling while the kids are at home with a sitter, you must remember we are just simple frugal folk. Our dinner away from the kids is an easy prepared finger food meal in the basement watching a TV show with the baby monitor turned down low.
Before you mock, let us explain why these evenings are so special to us. Remember, we like to enjoy the simple things in life, so for us this trip down a flight of stairs and down the hall might as well be half way around the world (or at least at the local cafe). We watch one or two TV shows a week, that is all, no more; so for us watching our favourite show is a big deal, an escape if you will. As well, you can make some pretty good quick finger food meals. How about a Greek Salad with hummus and pita? How about an Italian antipasto plate with freshly made bread and an assortment of marinated veggies, olives, and Caprese salad? We cannot forget our date favourite, Sushi Donburi? We make these up at the same time as the kid’s dinner (usually a variation of ours), put the kids to bed, rush downstairs and have our evening away. Sometimes we even light a candle and open a bottle of wine. We really spoil ourselves but it is worth it.