One of the greatest gifts you can give to your children is intentionally spending time with your spouse. It connects you, gets you on the same page, and gives you time to remember why you love each other and decided to do this whole family thing together in the first place. Not to mention, it gives your children a sense of security to see Mommy and Daddy model a love for one another.
Confession: my husband and I have never been good at intentionally dating one another. Sure, we enjoy quality time in each other’s company, but actually planning out a date? We aren’t so good at that. Before marriage, we utilized the casual hangout with quality time to save money. Once married, we’d go out spur of the moment together or with other couples, but we never officially carved out date nights. I mean, every night was date night before kids, right?
And Then There Were Five
Once our children were added to the mix, all hopes of a spontaneous dinner out disappeared completely. During the newborn months with triplets, my husband and I communicated mostly through the Baby Connect app and text messages. We were on completely opposite schedules between sleep (or lack thereof), his job, feeding babies, changing diapers, and my pumping. It was pretty impossible to make time for date nights or much quality time. I missed feeling connected with my husband and being able to talk without interruption. On the rare occasion that we did go out, it was a logistical nightmare. Nothing sets the mood for date night like your wife pumping in the car.
We quickly realized that leaving the house for dates was too difficult for us at that point, and it was easier to have quality time at home after the kids went to sleep for the night. While there are lots of subscriptions you can order to help you plan at-home dates for you and your spouse, I decided to tap into my creative skills and make our own Date Night Box. The rules are pretty simple:
Take turns planning the date.
You choose the date and theme of the date night. It can be as simple or elaborate as you want. Be sure to put it on the family calendar so your spouse knows to be prepared!
Set out the box the morning of your date night to announce your plans for the evening.
Don’t overcomplicate this part. It can be as simple as popcorn and movie candy because you’re having movie night. One date, I planned a game night with Ticket to Ride, so I printed an old train ticket to put in the box. It’s now one of our favorite games to play together!
Enjoy your date night.
Dating your spouse doesn’t have to be complicated or a big event. It’s just a matter of having uninterrupted quality time together, however it works best for you.
Make Dating Your Spouse a Priority
At-home date nights are great for when you’re trying to save money or struggling to carve out time to spend together. Now that our trio is getting older, we do our best to get out of the house for date night when we can. Having a change of scenery and experiencing something away from the house together is always a bonding experience we enjoy.
Struggling to find childcare options? A lot of churches, gyms, and day cares offer childcare for date nights. You can also try swapping childcare with friends and repay the favor when they need a night out. Wyndy, the Birmingham babysitter app, is another great option. You know the old adage, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” If you and your spouse make dating one another a priority, you’ll figure out how to make it happen!