How To Still Go On Date Night When You Become Parents.
I’m no love expert, I can only give advice based on my own experiences. I’ve been with Ben going on 15 years this year and we still go on date nights regularly, even now as parents. It’s so important to put you as a couple first and going on date nights is a great way to prioritise this. Before kids, we were able to be spontaneous, do what we liked, whenever we liked. Hell, if we wanted to go to the movies 5 minutes before it started, we could jump in the car and make it happen.
It was just the two of us before. We were able to soak each other in and we definitely took this alone time for granted. Then kids came into the picture and spontaneity went out the window. Alone time became something so precious, that we crave ALL. THE. TIME.
We made it our goal this year to do more experiences together as a couple. Fun things that we could hold hands at, laugh together at, make memories together without the kids for a change.
On date nights we have REAL uninterrupted conversations, without little fingers poking up our noses or babies crying for bum changes!
We realised that one day, our kids will grow up and leave the nest, leaving Ben and I do be on our own again. Will we remember how to just be US? Will we remember how to enjoy our own company together as a couple? I didn’t want this to be our reality! We made it our mission to put each other first so we could tap into each other as individuals during quality time. So that we will know how to still be an amazing couple when our kids up and leave us in years to come.
So how do we make it happen now we are parents?
Get a baby sitter. This is usually the biggest setback that couples struggle with. Not having family close by means date nights don’t happen, BUT there are still other avenues you can use. You just need to allow yourself to make it happen.
1.FAMILY. Ask grandparents, aunties, family members you trust to be your regular point of call for sitters. If grandparents live near by they will usually jump at the opportunity to spend more quality time with their little loves. Some of us feel guilty asking family to baby site if you’re organising regular dates. But if you speak to them and be upfront about what you’re organising throughout the year, this will feel like a weight being lifted off you.
2.BABY SITTERS. There are a lot of online baby sitting services available online. Don’t be put off by not knowing who they are. Ask for their credentials, speak to them on the phone, FaceTime them or meet them in person before you commit to booking them in. But don’t be afraid to use these online services. Some of us don’t have family as a baby sitter option, so these online services are an amazing resource to use. They are also great to use if you’re feel spontaneous.
3.FRIENDS CLUB. All parents will be in the same boat as you with organising sitters. Don’t feel like you’re alone here! Your mates will probably be wanting to go on date nights too, so team up with them and schedule in nights to look after each others kids. Look after your besties kids one week end, and they can have yours the next. That way you’re supporting each other with a free sitter service and encouraging couples date nights.
But how do we keep things fun?
1. Self care is key. You won’t be able to enjoy your couples alone time, if you don’t personally feel 100% fabulous. Wear those sexy undies under your outfit & surprise them when you get into the car. Wear that lippy you save for special occasions. Shave your legs if you feel you never get time to. Wear those shoes you save for a rainy day. Spice things up by treating yourself to some self care and make yourself feel good. But hey, if you feel sexiest when you have hairy legs, then roll with that too!
2. Don’t make it a structured date. You can still keep things spontaneous by booking events or experiences on different days during the month. If you do choose to lock in the same day each week as your date night, then try to change things up with what you do each time.
3. Have a date night jar with new ideas to choose from. Write down all your ideal date nights into a book or write them on popsicle sticks and store them into a jar. When it’s time to decide what to do on date night, randomly select something new from the book or pull out a new popsicle stick. You can’t say no, just roll with it and get excited for what’s ahead.
But what should we do on date night?
- Buy experiences as gifts for birthdays, valentines days, anniversary’s so that you have something to look forward to do as a couple. Date nights as gifts means you don’t have to spend as much money throughput the year if you’re pre buying them as gifts.
- Get familiar with websites that tell you whats coming up in the year. Examples for Perth; Experienceperth, Tikettek, eventfinda, weekendnotes, theurbanlist, eventbrite, comedylounge, holeymoley.
- Lots of ideas. Go to comedy lounges, go to the movies, go to dinner, go bowling, do indoor golf, go have a picnic at the beach, go to night markets in your local area, go see a band or a play. Go to an escape room, go for coffee and sit and people watch. Do something different each time you go out to expand your date night experiences.
- Date nights at home. Get a blanket and set up an indoor picnic infant of a movie when the kids are in bed. Set up candles and music and give each other body massages. Get take away and play a fun board game. These at home date nights will be more realistic for a lot of families as you can be spontaneous and don’t require pre planning or booking a sitter. You can do these more regularly too. BUT Physically going out is a whole different type of date night, uninterupted connection.
How to feel less overwhelmed about leaving the kids?
- Get organised that day and make sure your usual routine is still in place for your sitter.
- Lay out pjs, make dinner and have it ready to go, fill bottles and have favourite Teddys and books near by.
- Don’t be afraid to write out your routine for your sitter to follow. It will make their job easier and will help you feel less stressed about leaving.
- Have your sitter do fun activities, crafts, play dress ups and keep them entertained. Let them stay up and watch movies with popcorn. A special treat that they only do when the sitter is over.
- Call your sitter or text for hourly updates. Don’t feel ashamed asking for regular updates.
- Slap on some lippy and you’re favourite pair of jeans. Make yourself feel nice and encourage yourself to make the leap.
- Don’t feel guilty about leaving!!! Know your kids WILL BE FINE. They might be sad seeing you leave, but this doesn’t last long. They will actually benefit from you having a night off to recharge. They will absolutely survive a few hours without you there.
Ok, so your task now is to book a night out. I’d love to hear if you make this happen and how it changes or helps you as a couple and improves you as happier parents.