I’m going on a date with my husband tonight! We don’t get too many of those anymore, so I am really looking forward to it. After talking with a lot of my friends, I have come to the conclusion that for most couples, date night doesn’t just get put on the back burner after a new baby arrives, sometimes it gets taken off the stove altogether. I can count on one hand the number of dates we have gone on in the last year and a half. If you discount all the weddings and group things we have gone to, tonight might be our first real date. (We are going out for dinner and a movie.)
The obstacles to date night are pretty clear: lack of funds (after buying all those diapers and baby supplies), finding a babysitter (who can you trust with your precious bundle?), and a lack of energy (who can even stay up past eight anymore?. Then there is the challenge of truly taking off your “mom hat” for a few hours and reconnecting with your spouse. When is the last time you had a conversation that didn’t involve your children? Being a parent can consume you, and it should to some extent, but it’s also important to remember who you used to be together so you can rekindle that flame.
If you want to revive date night in your house, you need to do a few things. First, you must schedule ahead of time and stick to it. Pick a day on the calendar to have your date night and don’t budge. I won’t tell you to stick to an extended schedule, such as every Friday night, because that just isn’t practical for a young family. Second, you must take the time to find a baby sitter that you like and trust. You won’t be able to enjoy your date if you are worried about what is going on at home. Finally, throughout the week keep a mental list of things you want to talk about once you’re alone, that way you’ll have something other than diapers and discipline to talk about on your date.