As parents, we know how hard it is to take time out for ourselves. We work every day, get kids off to school, take them to their after-school activities, make sure they are fed, get a good night’s sleep, and start all over again the next day. By the time the weekends come, we are exhausted and prefer to see the back of our eyelids in getting extra sleep in or letting our vehicles and legs rest. But it is quite important to not forget about our personal lives. Engaging with our partners in some capacity on a daily basis and taking a couple of special hours every week to focus on each other. Getting back to why we got together in the first place. So once we get that babysitter locked in, what next? What do we do – that won’t get us in trouble? (hence baby #4) Lol.
Mike and I, recently celebrating 11 years of marriage and 18 years of partnership, have attempted for several years to get a schedule going where we force ourselves to lock in date nights. There have been lots of times where we run into excuses like “oh I’m tired, oh you’re tired too?” or the kids were sick earlier in the week and I don’t want them to go over anybody’s house this week or better yet, our house is a mess so we need to use this time to clean up and not invite anybody over to babysit. I think this year has probably been our most successful year yet. What we did at the beginning of the year is agreed to have a scheduled date night at least once a month. With that, we looked at the first 6 months of the year, picked out a selected date on the calendar for each month that would be our designated day. Discussed this plan with our babysitters (previously our parents) as they would rotate months. I looked up concerts, comedy shows, trivia nights, and other events for each month to see what would be fun to do and locked it in. From that point, we would proceed with purchasing tickets or making reservations. Doing that, kind of forces you to take advantage of that date night and not make up excuses because the money is already spent. Some months were travel months which made it even better to be able to do something fun out of town. If we only had someone to watch the kids for a few hours versus a weekend, we would do something small like go bowling, go to the movies, or just out to a nice restaurant for dinner. We would also try to have a fun game night with other couples that ended up being a night full of laughs. Even if we had the kids with us, they all would be occupied playing together or watching movies. One other idea to consider is, date night doesn’t have to be at night at all. There have been times to where we would take a random day off and while the kids were at school, we would have an entire day together with it starting out with going somewhere for breakfast or the gym to shoot hoops together, going to play a round of tennis, grabbing some lunch, going to see an early movie, and making a pit stop at the outlet to do some kid-free shopping that always ends in a tasty pretzel from Auntie Anne’s or Wetzels, yum!
The hardest part now in moving to a new town with no nearby relatives is finding that quiet, alone time to enjoy each other’s company. So in going back to the initial question, what is your ideal date night? Do you have a schedule? What are some other ideas?