Stilettos. Eyeliner. Breast pads. Oh, how date-night essentials change when you’ve got a baby.
Last week Dave and I went on a date for the first time since Olivia was born. We figured it was high time we got gussied up for a romantic night on the town. Plus, Grandma and Grandpa offered to babysit.
Like all things in my life, my date-night primping routine isn’t the same since becoming a mom. What used to be an indulgent ritual of applying makeup, listening to Robyn (and taking dance breaks, of course) and sipping a glass of wine has now become a harried process full of interruptions to feed, soothe, change and entertain my four-month-old daughter. I started getting ready for our date around noon and, by the time we left the house around 6:00, I had managed to put on a (non-nursing) bra, straighten my hair and slap on some lipstick. It might not seem like much, but compared to my go-to uniform of a messy ponytail and sweatpants, I looked downright glamorous.
Here are a few tips for any new moms planning to venture out on a date night soon:
1. Make sure you have time to apply eyeliner to both eyelids before you draw your first line.
2. Mask the chemically scent of diaper cream and baby wipes that has seeped into your pores with a light spritz of perfume.
3. If you’ll be out for more than a couple hours, stuff your bra with breast pads to avoid the embarrassing effects of leaky boobs.
4. Triple-check your hair for spit-up before leaving the house.
5. Pack a purse. Sure, your diaper bag makes for a cute purse during the day, but nothing ruins a killer date-night outfit like a travel change pad and a week’s worth of Pampers.
6. After months of pregnancy and breastfeeding, your alcohol tolerance has likely plummeted, so, as tempting as it may be, you might want to pass on that second glass of wine.
Luckily, the one thing that hasn’t changed about date night with a baby is that it’s still a perfect way to connect with your partner without distractions from whatever’s on the TV, or the nagging chime of the dryer indicating there’s more laundry to fold. And the really awesome part of date night as parents is that when it’s over, you can tiptoe into the nursery together and gaze at your little babe asleep in her crib, feeling grateful that you had some time away, but also so very happy to be home.