I can count on one hand the number of times my husband and I have had a date night sans children in the past three years. In the midst of sleep training, diapers, and meltdowns, it's too easy for the weeks and months to go by without some alone time as a couple. But like any relationship, tim
e and communication are vital for growth and renewal. Here is some inspiration for securing regular date nights:
Make a schedule and stick to it. While I realize how unromantic it seems, we'd likely never have a date night if it wasn't on the calendar. Scheduling date nights ensures we have child care and allows us to make reservations, pre-order show tickets, or any other prep necessary to make the most of our night. Blocking those nights off also gives us something to look forward to and ensures that this time together does not take a back seat when life gets busy.
Make a trade with another couple. For some families, the cost of child care prohibits regular date nights. Offer to take turns babysitting for another couple so that each of you can enjoy a night out together every other month. Not only will you save money, you'll develop and deepen a friendship with another family.
Make it a night in. If finding child care is simply too difficult or expensive, commit to regular date nights while the kids are sleeping. Regularly pencil in a date to spend time with your spouse. Whether it's playing board games, watching a movie, cooking a special dinner, or simply engaging in a long conversation, these moments to reconnect will do wonders for your relationship.
Make it memorable. And by memorable, I don't mean expensive. This is your opportunity to reconnect as a couple, so decide together how you will spend your time away from your kids. Some of our best date nights didn't involve lavish dinners or swanky hotels but rather conversations into the early m
orning or snuggling with hot chocolate and a movie at home. Take a long walk, explore a new museum, work on a project together...the possibilities are endless.
Make your spouse the priority. I'm guilty of stealing every moment I'm away from my kids to catch up on housework, errands and life. Be sure to preserve this time of togetherness by committing to focus this time on your spouse. Before your scheduled time away, talk about how you'll deal with distractions that threaten to get in the way of your time together.
Date nights are like fuel for your relationship. Regular time together will improve your relationship with each other and your relationship with your children. This commitment to each other also sets an example for your children as they begin to learn about relationships.
By guest blogger, Caryn Baily, Rockinmama