Hey friends! Let’s talk about date night. I remember the days of early dating when my husband and I had met and maybe you do too. The butterflies. The decision of finding that perfect outfit from your closet. Trying out that new restaurant or movie you’ve had your eye on. Listing to your favorite band play. Spending time together and learning all the tiny details you never knew about the object of your affection.
Once we moved in together, “date night” wasn’t a thing. We didn’t plan anything. Let’s get real, date night was everyday. It was watching TV together after a long day of work, trying out new restaurants in our neighborhood on a week night, catching a movie last minute, cooking dinner together. When we got married, all of this continued without a second thought. Date night wasn’t a thing, it was just a way of life.
Flash forward to July 2016 and the birth of our baby girl. Our nights out came to a screeching halt. They weren’t spent “watching TV together” instead they were spent trying to get a wild baby to sleep, there was no more catching a movie last minute and trying out any new restaurants were decided upon by what was baby friendly and near our house. On a good night, everyone was in bed and asleep by 9pm. Oh, yeah. That includes the weekend.
Any baby free date required a lot of planning and that made going out really stressful. Actually, I think I can count all of our baby free dates that first year on one hand. Yep. I just did. As parents, it’s hard to spend uninterrupted one on one time together. What I didn’t realize before our daughter arrived is that there’s a learning curve between balancing your role as a parent with your role as a partner. When we moved into our new home, we decided we missed having quality time together and worked out a plan to get back out there.
So, if you’re struggling with making time for date night, here are 3 steps to making date night a success. I’m going to help you identify your date night hangups so can start dating your partner again and make spending time together a priority!
Realize your barriers
Mine was finding a reliable babysitter that wasn’t family, that I could trust watching my daughter. I learned that word of mouth is everything. Ask friends you know with little kids who they’ve used. Test out the new babysitter by having them watch your little one(s) while you work in the yard or around the house. We found a couple of babysitters that we love using this method and it’s made going out much easier!
Identify your best dates
Start there! Maybe concerts were your “thing” or testing out the latest brewery or restaurant. Try to pick out something fun where you can reconnect. Try to skip the standard movie unless you plan on grabbing dinner afterwards to chat about the film!
Create a back up plan
Kids get sick and plans fall through, so keep a bottle of wine in the fridge and have a few ideas on hand for “date night at home”. Things we’ve done and loved include building a new lego set, playing board games or breaking out our SNES and having 1990’s video game night. The possibilities are endless.
Happy date night!