A couple of weeks ago, after the rush of getting the boys in bed, getting myself date-night ready, and making sure my house was babysitter-presentable, I was almost ready to throw in the towel before we even got out on our date. But after dinner and a movie (literally our first movie at the theaters in two years!), I felt completely unwound and more connected with Ryan. And when we got home, I kissed my sleeping boys with much more appreciation than normal.
That said, four years into it, I am still trying to figure out how to date my husband now that we are parents. We have tried it ALL. How many of these ideas have you tried?
1. Evening dates with a paid babysitter.
2. Daytime dates with a paid babysitter. About a week after Valentine’s, Ryan took an afternoon off and we went out to an early dinner in Palo Alto. The restaurant was practically empty because it was so early, and I got a little daytime break from my sweethearts! Update! Daytime dates have totally become our thing.
3. Babysitter sharing. If you and a friend only have a few children combined, try sharing a babysitter! You’ll pay less in babysitting and have great friends to share an evening with. Plus, my youngest child is less likely to mind me leaving if he has a little buddy to distract him. :)
4. Evening swaps. Leave your children at home with your husband and go to your friend’s place to watch her kids while they go out; couples switch the following weekend. I have tucked my friend’s kids into bed and then just spent the rest of the night curled up on my girlfriend’s couch with a good book! Not such a bad deal!
4. Daytime, weekend swaps with friends. These feel more like a playdates for your kids but actually allow the parents to take turns getting away!
6. Overnight swaps! BEST IDEA EVER! Several months ago Ryan and I watched a friend’s kids overnight. We had five little ones sleeping in one room! Then we used hotel points to book a night in a fancy hotel in San Francisco while our kids slept at their friends’ place. (Is sleeping in not extravagantly luxurious when you’re not used to it??)
7. One couple hosts the kids of two or three other couples. The couples can either go out together or separately. Some friends and I once did this monthly, taking turns doing the babysitting. Our kids were little and included a couple of babies, so we kept the outings to about the length of dinner—but it was still nice to just BE out alone with my husband, even if only for an hour and a half! (You know that feeling when you get in your car and realize there is no one in the backseat?? Strange!)
Family Date Nights!
8. Our version of family date night is going to Chili’s and ordering the bottomless chips and salsa. My boys get busy (and messy!) going to town with the chips and salsa, and Ryan and I actually get in some adult conversation! Plus, Trenton loves it when we say, “Let’s go on a date!” He feels so special.
9. Our standard is watching an episode of Up All Night (that show is funny!) or White Collar on Hulu.
10. Although we haven’t done it nearly as much as we should, we have in the past snuck out to sit under a blanket on the reclining pool chairs. (Our condo happens to be right next to the pool.) But it doesn’t matter if you have access to a pool. I’d be willing to bet that even just sitting outside in your yard or on your balcony/patio will spur conversations you wouldn’t normally have on your living room couch.
I hope you found an idea or two in here that you hadn’t tried before! With a list this long, we have no excuse not to keep dating!