The 5th Date: Getting Outside with your Spouse.

Joe and I have outdoor recreational hobbies that often don’t work very well with kids; hobbies we’re not really interested in giving up. Yes, it is easy, important, and wonderful to share your hobbies with your kids. But let’s be honest. Biking down a dirt road with a double-wide trailer is just not the same as flying down a single track, especially with your better half eating your dust.

Usually, if Joe and I want to do something that’s not exactly child friendly we 1) figure out a way to water it down and take them, or 2) forget that and just take turns (and by “not exactly child friendly” I don’t mean heading to an adult venue in downtown Reno).

For example: I’ll find a cool new trail, speed hike it, come home, map it out for Joe, he’ll run the trail, we’ll reconvene, share our thoughts on favorite scenic outposts, talk about other possible trails, estimate our distances, compare times, and swap more stories. All over smoothies and Google Earth, of course. It’s almost like… a post adventure mini date?

We’ve just sort of gotten use to this way of life. I married my favorite adventure buddy, but don’t get the chance to adventure with him much anymore (sans kids anyway). We don’t live close to family, don’t know anyone of “babysitting” age and Isacc’s afraid of people (just like Ari was when he was younger). I just can’t leave my kids screaming. (I know, I know! I hear they calm down, but I just can’t do it.)

Thankfully, Isaac is growing out of this stage. So last week we left our kids with a friend. A friend Isaac loves! I was nervous, but he did great! We officially went on our 5th date. Well, our 5th date since the birth of our first child nearly 5 years ago.

We hit up a mountain bike trail near town. After mile one Joe said to me:

“Do you mind if I pass you on the uphill? It’s hard for me to go this slow.”

I laughed. We definitely would have had more conversation in front of Google Earth, where we were both going the same speed. Maybe next time we’ll try a different sport. Or maybe a trail that’s not quite as steep… Humm

How do the rest of you do it? Do you manage to still get out on your favorite pre-child adventures with your significant other?  Most importantly, I need ideas for our next date…

Full Disclosure: Joe mountain bikes on a singe speed, i.e., he can’t throw it into a lower gear and slowly climb hills. He has to keep pedaling. Hard. However, in true political fashion I like to omit this key fact from the story.

22 Comments so far

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  1. Sounds like a fun date! I totally hear you about how hard it is to get out without kids. One idea for your next date, is whatever it is, do it soon and schedule it. We often find it’s easier to swap babysitting with another family!

    • Bring the Kids – You’re right, I think getting over my phobia of scheduling things would definitely help. Pretty sure that’s the only way it will actually happen. Thanks!

  2. Sorry I don’t have any date ideas to share…we are still working on that aspect of parenting (1 date just the two of us so far, and one double date with my bro and sis in law…) For almost all of our pre-child activities, we are able to manage with Cragbaby in tow, but you are right, mountain biking doesn’t really work. Anxious to read other folks ideas as well!

    • Erica- Ya, it seems like just recently, with 2 kids competing for attention, that “alone” time has become more necessary! Climbing has become more and more “family friendly” but it sure would be nice to get in some multi pitch climbs every now and then… ;)

  3. I can’t comment… I mean, except that I am commenting. My dates are never complicated by kids, only by the fact that I like movie theaters more than Dennis =). I can say that I think Joe is hilarious, and that I would try some other outdoor activity for the two of you. Fishing is always fun… A nice kidless walk, perhaps?

    • Liv – hummm fishing. I like it!

      You need a post about getting out with your significant other when his soul is owned by the Forest Service…

  4. Lacey

    Boy, Oh boy, what I wouldn’t give for a date w/ chad. :) Think i’ll take some advice from ‘bring the kids’ and plan one.

    • Lacey – If you drop your kids off at my house I’ll watch them!

  5. Brian

    5 dates in as many years isn’t enough!! We do have the benefit of living near family and often trade sleep overs with my sister, that way we can get away for the whole night. Our last sleep over date was spent in Maybird Gulch, in Little Cottonwood. Backpacking with Claudia was the perfect date! We have also traded babysitting with a neighbor who has kids the same age, which we often used to get in multi pitch climbs or fast speed hikes in LCC. Just because you have kids doesn’t mean you can neglect the relationship that got them here in the first place, and dates are a major part of keeping the flame alive.

    Congrats on date number 5….hope you’re plotting how number 6 will happen.

    • Brian – I know! It’s pathetic. But we finally have someone to trade with, so that will help. I envy all who live near family. Sigh…

  6. We’re right there with you, unfortunately. I’ll be watching to see if anyone has The Answer that’ll work for us, short of moving closer to family (which I would love but it’s still at least 3 years away).

    • Mamabee- Why didn’t we take better advantage of each other? Well, we did, but whenever we kid swapped we worked! What’s up with that!?!

  7. I had to laugh when I saw your husband rides a singlespeed. I joke that ss are the most unsocial mechanism yet. I hate riding with ppl on ss here in the mountains! They either have to be way up front or off the back. Find a trail that is flat or maybe try hiking or trail running next date. Good luck!

    • Jen – I know! Joe bikes so much that he falls into the “way up front” category. I could adjust much easier if he were slow! I had a feeling you would understand…

  8. We call the google earth sitdown “e-hiking”. As in, “hey let’s do a little e-hiking while we eat pizza”.

    • Dan – I like it! You just coined a new phrase for our household.

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    I'm Lindsey. I'm an environmental educator, my husband's a biologist. The outdoors is infused into everything we do; which explains why I'm better at mud pies than home decorating. More About Me

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