The Perfect Day- Before and After Kids


beach-382488_960_720About a year ago, I came across this article in the New York Times about a woman who asked a blind date 36 questions that supposedly would lead them to fall in love.  She was recreating a psychologist’s experiment from over 20 years ago, and it seemed like a fun activity to try with my husband.  Let me clarify.  Fun for me, not for him, but he humored me.   

The first set of questions were innocent and really just ice breakers, so we ended up asking them to our friends while on a double date.  One of the items on the list was “Describe your perfect day.”  The difference between their answer and ours was the difference between life before kids and life after kids!  

To set the scene, we had just finished dinner at Le Soleil on Clement Street and walked across the street to grab a nightcap.  My husband and I had a 2 month old and an 18 month old at home.  Nights out were rare.  We were tired, and still adjusting to our new family dynamic.  Our friends were expecting their first baby in about a month.  They were in that sweet spot of exciting anticipation and utter freedom.  

The Perfect Day descriptions went something like this:

Them – Wake up, go to the beach (They used to live in San Diego.), maybe get a massage, have a nice dinner.

Us –

  1. Our children sleep through the night.  
  2. Both kids sleep late in the morning.
  3. We wake up on our own, feeling well rested.
  4. We go out as a family for a nice breakfast.
  5. The children are perfectly behaved at this breakfast.
  6. We do something fun together.
  7. The children do not cry or whine all day.
  8. They take good naps.
  9. We each have a little time to ourselves.
  10. We have a nice family dinner.
  11. Our toddler actually eats this meal and does not make a mess.
  12. The baby doesn’t spit up all day.
  13. Both kids go to bed early, without issue.
  14. We enjoy one (or two) bottles of good wine.
  15. We still have enough energy to watch a movie.
  16. Our children sleep through the night.

We were way more specific in our description because having kids means having a lot less control over how your day unfolds.  Having kids is not always fun.  You appreciate your free time away from your kids, but you still want to be with them, even though you might only achieve two or three of the above goals in a day!

When you have kids, nothing is perfect, but I take it as a good sign that my husband and I agree that our “perfect” day includes time together as a family and as a couple.  As for the 36 questions, I don’t think we ever finished answering the full list.  We don’t need to finish.  Having kids is a daily test, and I’m giving us an “A.”


  1. This is hilarious! That pretty much sums up our “perfect day” as well! Not sure it will ever actually happen, but I know we have come close once or twice 🙂

    • Glad we’re not the only ones with this wish list for a perfect day. We’ve probably only made it to 70%, but it’s getting easier as the kids get older!


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