Before kids, date night was easy, but after kids life got busy! How do you make time for date night? Here are some easy ideas, to make date night happen!
How to Make Date Night Happen After Kids
Since getting married 5 years ago our family has changed a lot! We have renovated a house, blended a family, moved 1800 miles away from family to Texas, and had two more babies. Our marriage has been through a lot of change! With this change, date night has not always been at the forefront of our minds!
Even though I know how important date night is, it is often so hard to fit it in! Between finding a babysitter since we have no family around and squeezing it in between everyone’s busy schedule it is hard! For so many years I made excuses as to why we didn’t need date night, but with 5 kids we need it now more than ever!
Why Do You Need Date Night
The fact of the matter is for a relationship to grow it needs to be nourished! You can’t nourish a marriage if you don’t spend time with one another.
On a typical week, my husband is pretty much gone until 6:30 at night every night. At that point, the chaos begins (or has already) with football, baseball, music, and church activities. Most weeks there is not a single night where we are all home together. That’s the sad truth! I am sure you’re family is a lot like mine right?
For so long my husband and I would say that we were all too busy to go on a date. You know what happened when we did this? We started to grow apart. We became like roommates, helping each other raise the kids. By the time we both got home, we were so exhausted that one of us (uh hmmm, my husband) would fall asleep in the middle of my sentence. This would cause even more stress in our relationship because I felt like he didn’t care. We decided that something had to be done to strengthen our marriage relationship, but we were sooo busy!
We started putting our marriage first! Which means weekly or bi-weekly date night!
- Allows you to talk without being interrupted
- Helps you reconnect and remember why you love one another
- Allows you to communicate with an actual adult (if you are a stay at home mom you know what I mean)
- Strengthen Bonds with One Another
- Allows you to have fun
- Helps you Reminisce about dating your spouse
- Date night is cheaper than therapy and certainly cheaper than divorce
When To Go on A Date?
No one can tell you how often or when to go on a date. You and your spouse have to determine this together. Some couples are lucky to go once a week, some every other week. Others can only go once a month due to the expense and time. The most important thing is to set the time to go! Sit down with your spouse and mark on the calendar when you are going to go! Don’t let anything trump that!
Every Monday we sit down as a family and schedule out the week as to who has what. At that point, we look at the days/ nights that we don’t have something and one of those becomes date night. If we don’t have an available night, then we make sure the next week we go. We do this because we see a difference in our marriage when we don’t have date night!
So How Do You Actually Have Date Night?
Fit it In When You Can
When we think of date night we think of a night on the town, but this is hard to do. Think about going on a breakfast date on a Saturday morning before kids’ activities and yard work. Perhaps it is a walk around the neighborhood with the dog while the kids play with the neighbor kids. Maybe it’s a late night ice cream run while your oldest (who is responsible) watches the little kids after you have tucked them in. Maybe it is going in the backward after the kids go to bed and talking as you look at the stars. The other day I needed some groceries, so our date consisted of a trip to the store on a Saturday afternoon. Anytime you can go on a date, go!
Schedule Your Date
Like I mentioned earlier, every Monday we plan our date night. If we did not do this it WOULD NOT HAPPEN! Things will come up and you will get busy. So, write it down and schedule it! This also gives you time to plan it, plan what to do with the kids, and get excited about it!
Don’t Overcomplicate Things
I think when we think date night we want to think of some elaborate event! You know, get all dressed up, a fancy dinner, and a movie, but it doesn’t have to be! It can be a quick bite to eat, maybe driving thru a favorite fast food restaurant for a milkshake, or a walk. Don’t stress out over what to do for date night! Do something that fits into your budget, your time, and that you both enjoy!
Make it Fun for You
Make sure you plan something that you both enjoy. To be honest, most date nights for us consist of going out to eat, because we love to eat! If you are looking for ideas check out our post on date ideas to help you plan!
Make It Fun For the Kids
My kids love date night? Why? Well, it means they get their choice of chicken nuggets, frozen pizza, or box dinners. Things they don’t get to eat while I am home. They also get to pick a movie to watch if they want. So when we mention date night we don’t hear, “Why don’t we get to go?” In fact, we hear, “What time are you leaving?”
What to Do With the Kids
For those who don’t have older kids, it can be a struggle to figure out what to do with the kids. If this is your struggle there are options available!
- Plan some dates that allow you to not get a babysitter. (A night outside after they are in bed)
- Babysit swap with Friends you know. One week you watch their kids, the next week they watch yours). The bonus with this is that your kids have friends to play with!
- Look for organizations and schools in your area that does “Parents Night Out” opportunities.
- Find a high schooler (who is recommended by people you trust) to come over and play with the kids while you are on a date.
Date night is important. Not only for your marriage but your family! Your kids need to see you dating so they know your marriage matters also! Don’t get stuck in the non-dating rut like we did! Pick a day and schedule a date for you and your spouse to reconnect!
Michele is a Family Life Educator. She is a mom to 5 kids and loves helping others strengthen their families! When she is not blogging she is spending time with her family and running around drinking Diet Coke trying to get everything done!