{Coffee Dates} Family Date Night

This series "coffee dates" is documenting intentional time of knowing our kids. 

Date nights are a big, important part of our marriage. There is something magical about heading out to dinner in a new dress and tiptoeing back in after your babies are tucked in bed. A good date night is like a big ol' exhale after a long, exhausting week. With three small kids, it's hard to squeeze in a romantic night on the town. Grandparents live far and babysitters get expensive.  

Family date nights have become a really fun part of our family life. Mama throws on a dress and some lipstick and we all head out to dinner. We go in ready to enjoy our kids, not just manage them and feed them. We never pick a place that's too fancy (but always a place with good food!) and we always have a long conversation about manners. We bring Legos and books. We play at least ten rounds of I Spy and we usually spill at least one drink. We try to laugh a lot and always leave an extra generous tip to the patient server who drew the short straw for our table.

Even after an exhausting week of parenting, a family date night resets the tone in our relationship with our kids. We take the time to enjoy them. We take time to listen and laugh. Our kids know how important date night is for mama and daddy and when they get to tag along, it's like letting them in on a secret. The secret they don't know about is the bottle of wine and takeout dessert that mama and daddy get to share after they are tucked in bed.