In this article, we will look at how to plan a date night when you have young kids.
Having a family will be among the best things you and your spouse will experience together. But that doesn’t mean that you won’t long for some alone time with each other.
You won’t be able to go out on the spur of the moment as you once could. However, there’s nothing to stop you from having a date night at home.
But few things can kill the mood like having a toddler rush in to tell you about a nightmare. Or to ask for a glass of water for the tenth time since their bedtime.
Such interruptions have an uncanny knack of occurring after making a concerted effort to arrange a date night at home. At least that’s the case at my house. The good news is that it is possible to have time alone together when you have young children.
Following are a few tips to help you plan a date night at home, or out on the town. Try them, and you will be able to carve out some time with your significant other, without having to wait until your children are in college.
How to Plan a Date Night Tips
1. Let the kids have a night in front of the television
No babysitter? No worries! This first tip will still allow you to plan a date night with your spouse.
If you tend to restrict how much time your kids watch TV, it becomes a treat rather than the norm. Designate a night once a month or so when they can lounge around in their PJ’s and watch a couple of movies. Throw in some pizza and other snacks usually saved for rare occasions. We do this, and if your kids are anything like mine, you will rarely hear a peep out of them. It will allow you to be alone together, but close enough to be on hand if your children need you.
You won’t have complete privacy. However, your kids will be happy and entertained, and you will be able to share a romantic dinner, catch up on the day’s events, or do whatever else you feel like doing.
You won’t be able to leave a baby or a toddler alone in front of the screen. So your alone time will be when they are asleep. Try putting them to bed a bit earlier. If you encourage your toddler to be extra active earlier in the day, they will be tired and less likely to protest. You can also adjust the clock forward an hour or more so that they think it’s their usual bedtime.
Tell them that they can call you if they need to, but if they don’t and they stay in bed, you will take them somewhere special the following day. Let them pick the venue, and it’s unlikely that you will see them until breakfast time.
2. Take turns babysitting with other parents
Planning a date night is even easier if you have friends or parents with children around the same age as yours. Chances are, they, too, would appreciate spending some time alone with their partner. If so, suggest that you look after their kids one night, and they look after yours on another night. This could be once a week, once a month, or whenever it suits your schedules.
This setup will allow your kids to hang out with their friends and give the adults a much-needed break. Get out the scented candles, put on some relaxing music, and order in take-out with the money you’ve saved by not having to pay for a babysitter. Or go out and see a movie, enjoy a nice romantic dinner, or attend a concert with your partner.
3. Hire a Babysitter
If you don’t have anyone to look after your kids, even if your budget is tight it’s worth putting a bit of money aside to hire a babysitter now and then. To keep costs as low as possible, ask someone you know and trust, such as a friend, or a neighbor’s older son or daughter to watch your children for a few hours.
Knowing the person will also help you to feel more relaxed about leaving your kids. You will enjoy your evening more, and not spend the entire night worrying.
Having your date during the day instead of at night can be more cost-effective if you want to get out of the house. Have a latte at your local coffee house, visit an art gallery, the beach, or stroll in the park. The time you spend alone together is more important than what you do.
How to Plan a Date Night Summary
As you can see, planning a date night when you have young kids isn’t that difficult.
It may be hard to remember at times, but you’re more than merely your children’s parents. You’re one half of a partnership that requires work and emotional commitment to be strong and for you to stay close.
It’s not always easy to find the time and energy, but it’s essential to make an effort to connect with and spend time alone with your partner. It will be good for you both, and also good for your kids who will get to see and learn about what it takes to be in a loving relationship.
Give one or all three of the above tips a try so that you can get some much-needed alone time with your spouse.