Autism and marriage Day 2 - Date Night!

*This post is part of my Autism Awareness Month series. If you would like read more like this, Click Here.

I was originally going to call this post "you're on the same team" but I decided to call an audible (I don't really know if that sports metaphor applies) and talk about something more timely - like Date Night. No, not the movie with Steve Carell and Tina Fey but the actual event that any normal couple would get to enjoy with the simple arrangement of a babysitter. Simply put, it's impossible to get a date night when you have four kids and one of them is on the autism spectrum.

We have a small handful of people that Noah is comfortable enough to have around when my wife and I are not and these people do not live close by. Besides the usual planning involved when any parents want to go out, we have to also have the added stress of making we've done a clear enough job of communicating Noah's peculiarities and routines. Of course there are also those wonderful moments when  Noah's autism kicks into high gear and refuses to allow his daddy to leave the house without him. . .

If and when we get a night out, I'm constantly thinking back to how things are going back home like a mom leaving her baby with a sitter for the first time. We've also had a situation where one of our sitters was certain that if she was just more stern and used more firm discipline, Noah would just "behave." Needless to say (but I'm saying it anyways), that person is our last resort sitter - if at all.

Creativity is key when wanting to preserve that alone time and datey feeling for the evening. A few months ago planned an at home date night by buying a couple fondue pots, some amazing cheeses, beer, chocolates, amaretto, and the rest of the accouterments for some great fondue. The attire was dress casual and we watched a movie while making and dinning on some good food together. It wasn't ideal since, well, we're at home still and "on the clock" as parents, but it's that sort of thing that helps keep the two of you going. I guess the point is, you have to do what you are able and make the effort. If you let yourself use your child's autism as an excuse to not even try, you'll  likely start harboring resentment over everything and taking it out on everybody around you. I'm just assuming.

Have you ever tried anything creative when it comes to getting some time away? Do you have a child with autism that has made going out with your spouse difficult? Share in the comments! Also, if you feel like sharing these posts on Facebook, Twitter, or wherever, that would be cool.

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1 comment:

elizabethchannel said...

I have to admit that many times the "at-home" date is much more relaxing because I am not waiting for the potential phone call. We have been blessed lately by moving closer to family and they do a great job taking care of all of our children. For 11 years, however, we had to find sitters and finally found one who was wonderful and understanding. It is tough to find someone like that. Best of luck to you, and thanks for blogging about these topics!