Date nights overrated? Chicago mom says yes.

If there is one thing that I have learned in seven years of marriage, it is that sometimes an over-the-top date night is overrated.

Don’t judge, but isn’t watching “The West Wing” or “Arrested Development” on Netflix in my favorite hoodie and my husband bringing home $1 chocolate milkshakes from Milkshake Monday at The Creamery just as good as getting gussied up and heading out for a night on the town? Let’s face it, Jason Bateman and chocolate is a great combo in any situation.

Don’t get me wrong, Brian and I still head out for date nights. We go to concerts, restaurants and movies. However, for the most part, Brian and I are homebodies by nature. In fact, we have dropped the kids off at the grandparents only to come back home so that we could do a project together, eat lunch and talk.

I’m sure there are couples gasping in horror at the thought of us wasting a babysitter so that we could build a raised vegetable garden. However, that was the day Brian taught me how to use a power saw, and is one of our favorite memories. Every time we look out at our vegetable garden we both think of the day we spent building.

The point of a date doesn’t have to be to go over the top, nor should it be a chance to dip into the kids’ college funds. The point of a date is to spend time together sans children (sans Spanx) doing things we both like to do and create some kind of a memory. It is a time for some reconnection and a time to not talk about logistics, leaky roofs, soccer schedules, doctors’ appointments or plans for the week. This may be a time to not talk at all and just be present to each other.

Let’s not put so much pressure on ourselves. Date nights are wonderful, but they don’t have to break the bank and you don’t even have to leave the house. Who knows? You might even learn to use some awesome power tools.

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