With 4 kids (a toddler, preschooler, 4th grader & 6th grader), 36 animals (13 chickens, 11 ducks, 6 goats, 2 budgies, 2 tortoises, a hamster and a dog) and a house to care for, I occasionally feel like I might lose my shit! My saving grace (aside from drinking my daily adaptogens for stress relief) is date nights with my husband.
He has a crazy work schedule and is on-call for a week at a time, every other week. That leaves 2 weekends each month that we can make plans, and lemme tell ya…. we do! Well, sorta!
I date my husband twice a month!Step 1 to being able to date my husband was finding a trustworthy, reliable babysitter. Luckily for us, my bff’s sister is amazing with our kids. She can handle all of their craziness, she interacts with them and gives them her undivided attention, and they adore her. She gives us the confidence to go out and truly escape parenthood for a bit without having to worry in the back of our minds “I wonder how the kids are doing.” We like to stay out late most date nights (age ain’t nothin’ but a number!), so she usually sleeps over and leaves in the morning. She even cares for the kids for the entire weekend, on occasion, to allow our date night to be a date weekend (staycation, trip to Vegas, etc). I mean, it doesn’t get better than that when it comes to a babysitter. We seriously hit the jackpot with her.
Step 2 to dating my husband is figuring out what to do. Dinner is always a part of the plan. Is there really anything better in life than eating a meal without your kids devouring your food instead of their own, interrupting every conversation with “MOM, MOM, MOM, LOOK WHAT I CAN DO!” or making fart noises each time the waitress walks by (please tell me I’m not alone in this)? Date Night Dinner is OUR TIME to unwind, relax and splurge on a good steak & shrimp meal (you know – the kind of dinner that’s too expensive for the whole family so you reserve it for just the 2 of you). Our dinner dates have also led us to trying new foods… we never knew we loved sushi until we started experimenting on our date nights!Now what we do after dinner varies. Sometimes we feel like sitting in a corner at our local hole-in-the-wall bar and people-watching, other times we feel a little more adventurous.
Can we just talk about people-watching for a sec? Do not underestimate the free entertainment this provides. Have you ever role-played while people watching? Our fav thing to do is pick a couple from the crowd, trying to guess their story, and creating our own conversation based on what we think they are saying. TRY IT!!! It can provide hours of humorous fun!
Speaking of people-watching, I love it when I notice people watching us. Sometimes I notice that one girl who’s the 5th wheel with her friends and their significant others who’s got that I-long-for-a-love-like-that look (my husband and I are pretty cute together… not in a lovey-dovey-can’t-keep-our-hands-off-eachother-way, but just in that we laugh a lot and obviously have fun together). However (I’m a squirrel), funny story…. we were sitting at our local bar one night and a girl walks up to us and says to me “You look like you’re on the most awkward first date ever!” She was shocked when I started cracking up and told her “Nope, this is just what being so comfortable with a person that words aren’t necessary looks like.” She was a little tipsy and needed clarification so I explained that when you’ve spent 15 years together (we are celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary this October), you don’t always need words to know what the other person is thinking or feeling. Sometimes communicating without words can be just as fun! She then told us, “I want to love someone so much that I’m happy just being in their presence like the two of you are.” She then pulled out the ring she is planning on proposing to her girlfriend with and gave us a sneak peek while her gf was distracted by a drunk dude attempting to hit on her.
Back to date nights…. here’s some other out-of-the-house/away-from-the-kids things we enjoy, just in case you want some ideas for your own date nights….
Date nights don’t have to be extravagant. The point is to just spend intentional time together to relax and connect. For my husband and I, date nights are critical. Not just for our marriage, but our sanity. As a stay home mom, I spend a majority of my time with little people. So by the time date night rolls around, I’m usually in desperate need of some good ol’ adult conversations. And an evening away from the house and kids with my hottie husband is a great reason for me to really shower (like, actually shampoo and condition my hair as opposed to the dry-shampoo-will-have-to-do-today), shave my legs because I have reason to, and put on some makeup. It feels nice to want to look great(er) for him on date nights! For him working long on-call weeks, he’s usually ready to let loose on date nights and I find that he’s more energetic and excited to go out and make the night ours!
Each time we go out on dates, regardless of what that date looks like, I’m reminded of all the reasons I fell in love with him in the first place. We boost the quality of our friendship during these times. Our date nights result in our love feeling renewed and fresh. It ignites desire. We feel more connected and appreciated.
Date nights are a huge priority for us, and probably the reason our marriage has survived all these years. If you aren’t dating your spouse, you need to!
What’s your fav date night idea??
With love – JD