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It was 11 p.m. at night and the weekend trip was still a month and a half away, but I was already envisioning myself walking down the picturesque streets, caramel macchiato in hand, strolling along at a leisurely pace when it hit me . . . 

Guilt.

The feeling caused by a harmless little commenta harmless little question ratherbut it was enough to snap me out of my reverie. “Wouldn’t you miss the kids?”

“Of course, I would,” I said it out loud, annunciating each word as I contemplated if I would actually miss my kids or not. They’ll be fine! Think of it like a weekend, plus a day.

I smiled at the cleverness of my response and drifted back into my fantasy. But my husband still wasn’t convinced. I don’t know. I think I’m going to miss them.

Sigh.

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Conversations like these between my husband and I happen more often than I care to admit. As the stay-at-home parent in our house, I am with our kids 18 hours each day, 24 hours if it’s a weekend.

So, when the opportunity for my husband and me to have a day away from the kids comes up, I’m the first to jump on it.

And if I do the math and figure out that I can extend that one day into a full weekend away, then I’m also the first to jump on that.

My husband is a bit more hesitant. While he loves date nights, he’s more hesitant to leave the kids overnight for more than a day. “I’m going to miss them too much,” he often laments.

Although I don’t see the big deal in our kids being away from us for a weekend (or a weekend, plus a day), I’m starting to better understand my husband’s perspective, especially because it’s in stark contrast to mine. He doesn’t get much time with our kids. He’s at home when the kids are in school, and he works when the kids are home from school. He sees them in the morning before they leave to catch the bus, and then on weekends. To make up for this shortfall, the majority of our weekends are spent doing things together as a family.

But . . . 

As much as I love my kids and love our weekends together and the memories we are creating together as a family, there comes a time when my internal clock starts ticking with impatience, and I recognize I need a break.

No, not a break away from everyone, just from everyone except my husband.

I don’t need a trip to the spa to get pampered or a night out with the girls. What this mama and wife needs more than anything is a night, a weekend (or a weekend, plus a day) with her husband. To remember what it is like when it was just the two of us. To date him. To be curious about him and get to know him all over again without the distractions of anyone else around and without the stresses of everyday life and responsibilities.

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Because while I can (and do) do these things after the kids have gone to bed every night while we are slouched on the couch or cuddling in bed after a tiring day, it’s exciting to me to actually leave our house and enjoy each other’s company elsewhere. Perhaps at a restaurant over a delectable meal with a glass of wine or at a quaint cafe while sipping a caramel macchiato while he enjoys his gelato. Or, perhaps it is donning our motorcycle gear and cruising around on a summer night until our aging gluteus muscles can no longer tolerate sitting on a sports bike for that long.

Whatever it may be, it’s him and mejust like how it was in the very beginning and how it will be many years later after our kids have grown up and left the house, just the two of us again (at which point I don’t want to be staring at a stranger sitting across the couch from me).

So, dear husband, let’s go on a date, shall we?

Wendy C

Wendy C has been married over a decade to her husband. They have three children together. She has been published on Scary Mommy and The Globe & Mail First Person.  In her spare time, she creates custom cakes and cupcakes at Wendy’s Cake Shoppe.

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