MAKING DATE NIGHT DOABLE



 

Despite what the title might seem to insinuate, Date Night over the 7 years of our marriage has come to signify so much more than romance. Maybe we’re just not great multi-taskers but it really does take some serious one on one time for these two crazies to connect. Without a regular date, our communication gets wonky, our romantic connection wanes (sorry for the visual in-laws) and even our general day to day function is stunted. In the wee baby days of our daughter’s life, date nights were crucial for lovey-dovey feelings. But they were also crucial for organizing who in the world was going to tackle the Kilimanjaro of dishes and who would wade into the dark abyss of the laundry pile.

Here’s a pic to prove how much we needed a date…this was after we’d rallied HARD to look like we weren’t exhausted. Oh, it’s so precious. Mommying is hard.

  

 

Yes Lauren, I’d love to go on dates but I have oatmeal in my hair, 30 minutes of reading to facilitate, and I just switched the dog food for Cheerios and fed kibbles to the toddler so now I have to check the poison control website…I’ll get back to you in 18 years when I, FOR THE LOVE, HAVE TIME.

I hear ya’, I feel ya’, and tada!

Here’s our tips for making Date Night Doable:

 

  1. Schedule It. Spontaneity is the Kryptonite of Date Night with a baby. When we’re firing on all cylinders, Craig and I have to plan date nights sometimes a month in advance because otherwise it just won’t happen. Start with once a month for a few hours then see how you can work more into your schedule. We’ve had to be very creative…Ex: date night after bedtime (the sitter has literally arrived at 9pm). We also sync our phone calendars so no one forgets.

  2. Kill the Screens. If spontaneity can be the Kryptonite of Date Night, constantly glancing at the phone is the Kryptonite of connection. Plain and simple. Date night, unless you’re FaceTiming your date from different states, should be a screen-free time. Psychologists, marriage therapists, my mom all agree that phones should be off during dinner time and Date Night. Ok mom, will do.

  1. Break the Babysitter Barrier. Let’s just be real, leaving the baby with a babysitter is mega hard. In this moment, channel the reason you’re doing this. You’re leaving the baby with a sitter for a few HOURS so you and your partner can be stronger, more connected, and happier for the next few DAYS. It’s worth the trade off.

    • Our extended family has also started a Date Night Co-Op. Once a month-ish we rotate hosting a cousin’s sleepover which guarantees a Date Night for the other couples. Super fun and super free.

    • Can’t get away? Check out Date Night In or Faith Night In. We are in LOVE with these adorable once-a-month delivered-to-your-door boxes filled with themes, treats, activities, conversation starters and even crafts. Or try a nap-time drive date!

  2. Take It Down A Notch. Fancy dates are gobs of pressure on whoever is planning it. They’re also gobs of money. For your first few dates post baby, lower your expectations to dinner…or even just dessert and something small like a nice walk along the river. Check out my Mommy Makeup post for 2 minute Date Night Makeup!

    • A plug for those who have a partner NOT excited about a date: First of all, it’s okay. Meet them where they are. If you want a date but they’re overwhelmed by finding a sitter or a free hour, pick a specific chunk of time, put down the phones, watch their favorite team/show, eat some food and call it a date night in the books. Baby steps! With time, the idea will feel more doable.
  3. Put the Date In Dating. While it’s tempting to talk about the kiddo the whole time or, uh, sleep, it can be extra fulfilling to really focus on the date concept. Remember when you were dating and you asked them questions? When you looked in their eyes for longer than a millisecond? When you smiled and flirted and touched their arm just to feel a little electricity? Even if it takes monumental emotional energy to attempt any of those things, try for a hot minute.

  4. Go Local. Chili’s is awesome but the QC has some adorbs local Date Night spots we’ve come to love! Here’s some of our favs:

    • Soi 2 (Try the Lion City Noodles!)

    • Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse (our go-to restaurant for the atmosphere and the $12.50 Fettucine Alfredo)

    • For Illinois residents, check out a pass from the Library and hit up the Figge for an economical and artsy date

    • Trivia Night at the Putnam Musuem

    • Smooth Groove Show. This band is a local fav of ours because while we may not be great at it, dancing to the classics is one of our first loves

    • Some other ideas that aren’t local but we love nonetheless: A Barnes and Noble coffee and reading date, Theme Dates (our most recent featured Greek food followed by breaking $2 plates then watching My Big Fat Greek Wedding)

Some very wise souls once told us, “Whatever you’re struggling with in your marriage, do MORE of it.” That little nugget of genius has proved to be true in every facet. If dates have been hard, talk with your partner and find a doable plan to tackle them.

Spoiler alert: it probably won’t work. You will have to revisit this idea over and over to find what works for you but please, for the sake of the dog who’s getting fat from Cheerios, keep trying. Invest in you and yours. It will change your life.

 

I’d love to hear from you mommas too!

What are YOUR tips for making date night doable?

What are some of your favorite local date ideas?

 

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One Response to MAKING DATE NIGHT DOABLE

  1. Meghan Cooley
    Meghan Cooley April 11, 2018 at 10:32 am #

    Your face! lol Love that you went anyway. Great advice!

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