You spend the week behind the desk, behind the wheel and behind on your bills. You and your wife have a well-established weekday working relationship that involves more negotiations than a hostage situation (didn't you clear the dinner table just last month?), and lately your idea of a romantic night involves leftover pizza and a peck on the cheek.
So, when you and your woman can actually book a babysitter, spare some change and head out for a night on the town, you may feel a lot of pressure to perform. Worried you're going to choke? AskMen.com offers some advice that may prove very useful for Dads on date night.
1. Make reservations. This should be obvious, but it's a detail that men often let slide. Don't allow your big plans for a romantic meal at the latest hot spot to devolve into a fast food run – plan ahead. You know she gets snippy when she's hungry.
2. Hit the gym at lunch. Breaking a sweat serves two purposes: it allows you to pump up before the big event and will also serve to boost your confidence, the website suggests. And you know that confidence is as imperative to a successful date night as alcohol and a clean shirt.
3. Give your wheels a once over. Even if you share a car, taking the time to clean out the kids' crumpled math homework from three months ago while plucking out the errant french fry and two week's worth of coffee cups will be appreciated. Pay close attention to the backseat – if you play your cards right the extra leg room will come in handy later.
4. Take a break. Your scramble from the office, swing by the school to pick up the brood then have to brief the sitter on any peanut allergies, television restrictions and your "don't ask don't tell" policy regarding bedtime. The website suggests that just a few minutes of de-stressing before you head out the door can help you unwind and mentally prepare for a relaxing night.
5. Treat the house like your bachelor pad. No, we're not advising that you finally spring for that retro pinball machine (yet). Back in the day, you would never have headed out for a swanky date night without first prepping your place for some "unexpected" visitors, correct? Before heading out for the night, pull a few smooth moves on the sly. Fresh sheets on the bed, wine in the cabinet and earplugs for the kids should all be in order (if you don't blow it).
Great date nights with your wife may be few and far between, but here's the payoff: you can tell bad jokes, pick an awful restaurant and get sauce on your tie and she's still gonna spend the night at your place.