I think we can all agree that once we become parents, making “adult time” a priority is so important, but so, so challenging. It’s important that we continue to maintain and work on the relationship we had with our spouse before we were parents. But having a regular date night outside of the house isn’t always possible. Time, finances, and childcare can all be obstacles to our romantic nights out that we once enjoyed without much thought. Sometimes the last thing I want to do at the end of a long day is leave the house and my child even if it is for a night out with my husband. Maybe I’m just really frugal, but nothing about dropping $50+ on a babysitter and another small fortune on a night out sounds romantic. Don’t get me wrong, we do still enjoy a nice night out on occasion, but a date night doesn’t have to mean leaving the house or busting the budget. Here are a few ways to enjoy a date night at home after the kids are in bed.
Romantic Dinner for Two. Just because you can’t get out to your favorite romantic restaurant doesn’t mean you have to miss out on a nice meal. Splurge on a nice dinner at home. Wait for your little ones to head to bed and set the mood: Nice meal, some wine, lights low. Get dressed up … or not… Over the years we’ve found we prefer this to a night out anyway. No crowds. No babysitter costs. Just the two of you focused on each other.
Movie Night. This might be an obvious choice, but if we don’t actually plan a movie night we’ll spend hours looking for (arguing over) a movie to watch and end up falling asleep before we can agree on something. Making a “date” to watch a specific movie ahead of time gives us something to look forward to and expect. Be intentional about your time.
Game Night. There’s just something about an old-fashioned board game. Sounds cheesy, I know, but playing board games makes us focus on what we’re doing (not our phones or a television). It’s simple, but personal. I find that we have the best conversions and laughs over a game of Scrabble.
Recreate Old Memories. Do something that reminds you of when you and your spouse started dating. My husband and I met in college so I dig deep and try to recreate some of our earlier dates. A simple evening of beer and darts on our patio reminds me of the pool hall we frequented all those years ago. A mini-marathon of Friends episodes or a (rare but televised) USF football game reminds us of when we first met. Get back to the basics and remind yourselves of when you first fell in love.
Unplug. This goes without saying, but take some time to unplug. Turn off all the electronics. Focus on one another. In our hectic, tech-infused lives, it’s amazing what just an hour of personal conversation can do for the soul. Put the kids in bed. Turn everything off. And talk. Just be present with each other.
Date nights don’t have to be fancy or expensive. Set time aside for your spouse and reconnect…from the comforts of your home.