Your kids are little and needy and sometimes it's just easier to stay in than attempt to be a regular human being and go out for a date. But dating your spouse is super important because you love each other and you need to remind yourselves that you are some damn attractive motherfathers and enjoy each other's company and remember that you actually like each other. If you aren't dating, it is so easy to fall into a rut of being roommates who share duties of raising the tiny humans who steal all of your sleep and eat all of your blueberries.
We try to do at least one date night a week. I recognize that with two babies under two (or having any kids) it is sometimes hard to get out and feel like human beings, but it's super important so here are some of the things I have found work for us.
We go out for happy hours.
Nate works downtown Minneapolis where all the sexy single people live their glamorous lives and drink fancy craft beer. So sometimes for date night, I get a sitter (and by sitter I mean grandma or auntie because we are so lucky to have family in town), and then I drive downtown and meet Nate at his office and we grab an early dinner. This is great for several reasons:
- Happy Hour Prices can be cheaper
- We beat the dinner rush at the fancy, trendy hot spots and can usually get a table or spot at the bar (which is our preference).
- We are home early (but not too early where we have to manage the bedtime routine) and then we can "go to bed" (you know what I mean?) before we are too tired to "go to bed."
We go out for "late" dinners.
By "late" I mean "late for us" dinners. I recognize that all the fancy beautiful people are routinely eating dinner at 8:00, but because I am a senior citizen at heart, I like to eat as early as humanly possible. Why is this late dinner good for us? Both of our kids go to bed at 7:00, so we can do the whole bedtime routine, and have a sitter come AFTER they go to bed and have a date without the kids even knowing we are gone.
This is great for uncles or friends who love your kids and want to help, but don't feel comfortable with all the logistics of the bedtime routine. You put the kids down, they come over, eat your food and watch your tv. We've had sitters (grandparents) who have even had friends over while we were on a date. Great! We got to go on a date and were a minimal burden on our family.
We have date nights at home.
This is something we will do either to save money or if we can't find someone available to watch our kids that week, but I wouldn't recommend it as something to do every single week, because I think it's important to get out and be real adults and separate yourselves from all the things at home.
Having date night at home means no watching TV, and usually involves a couple cocktails. Then we just sit and talk. Sometimes we will sit there and realize it's been a while since we've talked and aren't unsure what to talk about. Recently, we googled "questions to ask your spouse" and just went through a list of questions. It seemed super stupid at first, but by the end, we giggled and were amazed at how much we actually learned about each other.
We hung some cafe lights on our deck this summer and it's super awesome and romantic. On the 4th of July, we sat on our deck and watched while several people in our neighborhood set off some amazing (and possibly illegal?) fireworks. It was total perfection.
We do day dates.
This is super fun! Nate will take a day off work and one of the grandparents will take our kids and we can spend a day just being together doing things. Sometimes one of the best ways to maintain your friendship is to do fun things together. The couples who play together stay together...or is it pray together? Whatever, for the sake of my point, it is definitely play together.
Recently we went to lunch on a patio at a great restaurant in Minneapolis then hit up a brewery and played shuffleboard, because we could. Having day dates allows for fewer time constraints and they can either be well planned out or just left as a day of spontaneity. By the end of the day, Nate and I usually look at each other and say, "thanks for being my best friend."