I am just returning from a romantic Paris getaway with my husband. I find that now that we have a little one, getaways of any kind…even just a dinner date… can be few and far between. But I think that time is essential to stay connected to each other and provide the one-on-one, adult time needed to recharge our batteries so we can face the hectic day to day.
This time around, we were very fortunate… my husband had to be in Paris for work, and I was able to join him for a few days. But typically our “getaways” a.k.a. date nights are much closer to home, and that makes them a lot more unlikely to happen. Like many parents out there, lack of time, a babysitter and energy are often to blame. Here are a couple ways we’ve tackled the Date Night Dilemma:
PRE-BOOK THE BABYSITTER
One of the major roadblocks to date night can be securing a babysitter. As we all know, the earlier you can book your babysitter the more likely you are to secure them. So try picking one day a month, such as the first Friday night of the month, and booking your babysitter or nanny as far out as possible. This will hopefully make both of you happy, your date night is secured, and your babysitter knows her/ his schedule well ahead of time too.
PLAN WITH PASSION
Another roadblock is lack of planning. After spending a week of organizing everyone’s schedule and keeping your house running, you both can run out of inspiring ideas or time to plan. We often allow ourselves the least amount of time to plan something fun just for us.
To help put a little inspiration back in date night without too much demand on your time, I suggest picking a type of outing the 2 of you are most passionate about. Do you love restaurants, movies, concerts, hiking, or watching sports? Whatever it is you love and love doing together, make a commitment to share in that once a month. Then when you have 5-10 minutes to think about it, look up the soon to be released movies or the bands that are coming to town over the next month or two. Pick the next bike trail you want to conquer together or the next restaurant you’re dieing to try. Then make the plans… buy the tickets, make the reservations. That last step will make it harder to cancel your date night (see next bullet point)… plus get both of you excited about the big night!
The final and most common roadblock in my house is lack of energy. Let’s face it, after a week of work, kids, meals, appointments, errands, and more, it’s hard to want to do much more than crawl into bed. Besides picking one day a month (so it’s already built into your schedule) and buying tickets/making reservations (so you are even more committed), you may just need to force yourself out the door. I promise you’ll be glad you did. Even on my most tired dates, I come home feeling refreshed from the one-on-one time with my husband.
DOWNTIME & DINNER FOR (JUST) 2
And finally, if you positively can’t get out of the house – no babysitter, tight budget or limited time – just consider an in-house dinner date. Feed the kids first – and if you’re starving, join them for a snack. Then once the little ones are in bed, set the table with some candles, put on some music and break out the wine. Either warm up your dinner from earlier or splurge and order takeout. This simple act really helps my husband and I feel connected, especially during the week, when it can feel like you are being pulled in 20 different directions. It’s nice to take time away from kids, cellphones, televisions, etc to just talk and enjoy each others company.
These are not absolute solutions. I’ll admit that sometimes the Date Night Dilemma still gets the better of my husband and me. But these tips have definitely helped:)
I’m sure many of you have your own creative solutions to this dilemma. I’d love to hear about them, so please feel free to share!