Before we had our son, friends with kids would tell my husband and I that a night out was a rarity or non-existent. I thought they were just exaggerating. But now I understand the challenges associated with having a night out.
Since having my son twelve months ago my husband and I have still made our time an priority. It's very important to make time for each other. We do this not just for ourselves but for our family.
When it comes to date night, it can be somewhat difficult to keep a standing date. Especially for a first-time parent like myself. A little more planning and consideration must be taken. The days of going out to dinner or catching a movie on a whim have expired or at least been postponed for a little while. The two main reasons are trouble finding a sitter and baby-induced fatigue.
I'm all for having a baby sitter for a couple hours. But sometimes you need more than a couple hours for dinner and a movie. Even though I trust my sitters, I feel guilty for asking anyone outside of immediate family (who just so happen to live 13 hours away in Florida or an hour on the other side of town) to babysit. It's hard to enjoy yourself with this anxiety.
Like every growing baby our son’s activity level is increasing every day. We have a list of friends and family members that we trust but our comfort level changes with each development milestone. For example, he now stays awake for long periods of time. This makes us less comfortable with older family members watching him. We’re not sure if they can keep up with a sometimes cranky and very active tot.
And then, I be tired. My day begins about 5 or 6 am, 7 am if I'm lucky. And that boy is up running the house and occasionally crashing for a thirty minute- or maybe an hour nap. But I'm on baby duty for twelve hours straight. In between diaper changes, preparing meals for both of us, cleaning, blogging, emailing, conference calls and simply maintaining my sexy I'm exhausted by 4 pm. And 4 pm is a stretch. It's more like 2 pm.
Standing dates at home have become a great go to alternative. Yes, it can be challenging with baby-induced fatigue. But if you want to make it work you can. A night in may seem boring or lackluster but it doesn’t have to be. Take some of those some elements you like about dining out and bring them to your front door. My husband and I love to try new foods. So we make a day out of it by taking a trip to our local farmer’s market. Learning about what our local farmers have to offer encourages us to eat better. Once we get our finds home we can experiment with different recipes.
If it's good conversation, challenge yourself by putting away the devices for at least a hour to chat with the person sitting in front of you. What has worked for me is having a standing date centered around Scandal. We know on Thursdays that’s our time. We make sure the baby is down for the night. We may even grab a bottle wine. Nothing like a good episode of Scandal to spark conversation.
How do you make date night—at home or on the town—work now that you have kids?