Early into into parenting my wife and I learned an important fact: While we have the right stay out as late as we want to, our kids don’t give a shit how late we stayed up and will wake up at their normal time the next morning.
We learned that painful lesson only once. After that, we decided that it wasn’t worth it, at least until our kids were old enough to head downstairs, get some cereal, and plug themselves into some PBS until Mommy and Daddy were ready to face the world again. Our kids are now 6, 4, and 3, and we’re still waiting. It’s okay, though. My wife and I learned to adapt.
Perhaps the best adaptation to our new life was something we call “The Date Matinee.” It’s sort of like date night, only it occurs significantly earlier in the day. We’d have a babysitter come over at 2 or 3 in the afternoon. then we’d head out to the local mall/movie theater. After parking the car, we’d hit happy hour at one of the restaurants for dinner and drinks. We didn’t have to worry about driving since we’d be walking to the movie theater to watch the early showing of the movie. When all was said and done, we’d head back home and relieve the sitter at 7pm. Per our instructions, the sitter would have the kids fed, bathed, and teeth brushed by this time. We could then slip into our jammies and read books to the kids to finish the night time ritual.
Who could argue with it – my wife and I got some time out alone, we got to put our kids to bed AND as an added bonus, we saved money on all the happy hour and early bird specials. Perfect for a young family like ours!