Prior to Ava being born, Ty and I were avid “daters”. We would make it a habit to go on a date at least once or twice a week to get our minds off work and everyday stress. Stress at that time was nothing compared to now but still stressful nonetheless.
I worked like crazy, traveling often for client meetings and Ty was always in the office.
When I got pregnant, we also promised ourselves that we wouldn’t shun our regular date nights even with a child.
Well, once Ava was born, our intentions flew right out the window.
As time went on, life just got a little extra hectic.
I spent a lot of my time with Ava and I loved it that way. Ty got promoted (twice in 2 years!) and that drastically increased his need to be in the office. We did miss each other and our promise of frequent date nights were virtually non-existent. If we did go on a date, it would be once every 2 months or more. And that usually happened unplanned.
Before I talk more about this, I want to take the time to thank my mother who has always been the gracious and caring baby-sitter for Ava. She loves her to bits and never hesitates to take her off our hands for a day or even a weekend. She’s taken days off work just to care for Ava when I was off at a conference or was swamped with work (with my old business). She even took off a week and half when Ty and I were in Paris.
She’s amazing. And I’m so grateful for her.
Okay, so that’s one of the most important things of scheduling in much needed date nights – proper babysitting in place! It’s important that you trust and know very well who that babysitter will be for your child to give you the peace of mind so that you’re not obsessing over this during the entire date.
Date night is so important for a marriage. You need regular time alone with your husband to be a couple. You can’t be good parents if you aren’t a couple first. So here are a few tips my husband and I have learned:
- Plan your date night at least 1 week in advance
- Try to have a date at least once a month
- If you can’t be gone all night then just go to dinner for 1-2 hours. That way if you need to get back to nurse you will have time to do that. Also, babysitters aren’t as expensive if they only work for 2 hours.
- If going out is too expensive then stay home. Ask a neighbor or a friend to watch your child at their home for a couple of hours. You can have a candlelit dinner and some um… dessert.
- No neighbor or friend? Put your children to bed, grab a monitor and eat outside or maybe in your bedroom. Have a picnic on the floor. Just go some place private so you can reconnect.
- There are a lot of people that have offered to keep Ava for us. If there are people that have offered to keep your baby and the only reason you don’t contact them is because you don’t want to impose… get over it and call! You will be a great blessing to them! And you can get a night out with your husband.
- Can’t afford dinner and a babysitter? Eat dinner at home and have the sitter come over while the two of you go to the park for a walk. Or eat dessert at a really nice restaurant.
What about ideas for when you just can’t get out?
- Love in the Hot Tub – If you have hot tub give it a whirl, nothing more romantic, than hot water, wine and cuddling under the stars.
- Romantic Bath for Two – If you don’t have a hot tub, some bubbles candles and music will do just fine.
- Massage Night – Take turns giving each other a massage, clothing optional.
- Breakfast in Bed – One of my favourite things in the world, there is no great surprise than the man you love with coffee and breakfast first thing Saturday morning; a flower cut from the garden is a great touch.
- Read To Each Other – A great way to connect, take turns reading each chapter.
- Movie Marathon for 2 – Whether it’s Die Hard, Rocky or Father of the Bride spend a day in your PJs with the phones off taking in your favourite movie saga all in a row.
- Sushi Night – Not sure exactly why, but there’s something so romantic about Sushi, I love when we grab takeout and enjoy it in the comfort of our own home.
- Puzzle Night – It great to collaborate on something like a puzzle together.
- Create An Indoor Picnic – Whether it’s champagne and strawberries or a PB&J always a fun idea.
- Write Your Love Story – It’s so warm to look back on how you came together
- Splurge on Delicious Cheeses and Add Fruit, Crackers, and Wine – This is the makings of a perfect evening,
- Play Video Games Together – It’s good to enjoy something light and fun together.
- Watch a Sports Game and Eat Stadium Food Like Nachos and Hot Dogs – Make it an event, enjoy together.
- Go to bed early together – Need I say more?
Here is the thing… date nights are not going to fall into your lap. You have to make them a priority. You have to budget for them, plan for them and prepare yourself for them. It is work. But it is also more than worth it. Don’t stop dating each other just because you now have a child. Having a baby is all the more reason to focus on your marriage. Your child needs to see parents that love each other, are crazy about each other and love spending time together. Make date night a priority in your marriage! You won’t be disappointed.