When my husband and I were first married, we “dated” each other all of the time. Whether we rented movies, cooked a nice dinner, or went to a concert, we definitely enjoyed our time together.
Now, with children, it is so difficult! Our days begin when our children wake us up, and our attention is focused on them for the majority of the time that they are awake. Once they go to bed, my husband and I are lucky if we can spend five minutes alone together on the couch watching our favorite show before somebody passes out from complete exhaustion. And while we absolutely love our lives and love our children, we realized that we were really missing out on some quality time with just the two of us.
When our second son came along, we decided to use the resources that we had around us to institute a weekly date night. And by resources, I mean my in-laws. My mother-in-law and father-in-law are extremely selfless and absolutely love being around our children. They were always offering to watch the kids for the day or asking when the kids could spend the night, so my husband and I thought that this would be a great opportunity for us to start having time to invest in just the two of us. This is how our weekly date nights began.
You may be like us, desperate for time together. But the idea of figuring out how to make this a regular habit can seem so daunting. So, how can you make date nights happen?
1. Get the family to help. Chances are, you do have someone in your family who wants to spend time with your children and would love an opportunity to watch your kids. Do you have a sister who is always asking why you don’t bring the kids over to play? Does your mom “stop by” for visits frequently during the week? All you have to do is ask…if they say no, no harm done.
2. Swap date nights with friends. Maybe for you, family is not an option. Do you have friends with young children? Why not offer to have them bring their kids by for a playdate while they go have a hot date? If they love that idea (which, who wouldn’t?), maybe they would be willing to do a swap (e.g. “This week I’ll take your kids, next week you can have mine!).
3. Just leave when your kids aren’t looking. Kidding.
4. Have a date night “in”. Put the kids to bed a little early, and have a date in your own house. Cook a fancy meal. Play a game together. Watch your wedding video and talk about that day. Whatever you do, be intentional with your time so it doesn’t feel like just another night of the week. (Here are some more creative ideas!)
5. Fork out the cash for a sitter. I put this one last because I understand that this can be so expensive. Babysitters these days are not cheap. If we had to pay for a sitter, we certainly would not have a date night once a week. Some people can swing that kind of an expense; we cannot. But, it is obviously a great option if that is your only option.
I believe that date nights are vital to marriages, especially for those with young children. Whether you can date your husband once a week or once a month, try to make them a priority. For us, they have made such a big difference. Over the past year and a half of date nights, my husband and I have been able to reconnect on a different level.
Do you and your spouse have a regular date night? If so, how do you make it happen?
Read more posts about dating in our Around BR “Date Nights” section, right here.