I was afraid our lives would change and I wasn’t sure it would be for the better.
Fast forward 17 months and I am so glad we took the leap.
You might be asking….well, did life change?
I will say yes, it has changed. But, life is still pretty easy. We are thanking the angels above because Madeleine is such an easy baby. Don’t let me fool you though; life with a baby means change.
Our life as a couple has changed in many ways. For example, we can’t just pick up and go to a movie at the last minute. If we’re craving happy hour on a Friday night, we now have happy hour at home.
If we want to go out as a couple, we need to schedule a time with one of our two favorite nannies. We love them to death, but we aren’t in the business of planning so much right now, which sometimes puts a wrench into our plans.
Instead of trying to get back to our old life as just a married couple (no children) we embraced it. We stopped looking at what we couldn’t do, but saw what we could do. It changed our whole perspective on reconnecting as a couple and having fun again.
So, I asked myself “why not have a date night in?” Bingo! The lights turned on in my head and a smile warmed my face. It gave me back something I had been missing since having a baby, something to look forward to after a long week. It also jazzed up our routine as parents, even though we couldn’t get out for a date night.
Friday Night Means Date Night “In”
We’ve declared every Friday night “Date Night”. What this means is that we get to enjoy a cocktail, reconnect, and just decompress from the week as a married couple, no children allowed.
So, as 5:00 rolls around on a Friday, I become a giddy little school girl. I rush home in anticipation of our date night. I feed Madeleine, play with her and then almost run up the stairs to her room to put her down for bed. Let the date begin.
HOW WE INCORPORATE DATE NIGHT BY STAYING AT HOME
Not every date night in needs a cocktail. We all know having a hangover with kids is brutal.
But, there’s no harm in one or two, right?
The planning starts at the beginning of the week. We talk about what we are going to drink and eat for the evening. It may be a crisp cider beer for both or we may pick a new beer for the hubby and a wine spritzer for me. If you want to bring the feel of happy hour home, stop at your local pub and pick up wings or dip and reheat when you’re ready.
Starting the weekend off and knowing that we have this fun happy hour on Friday helps us get through the week. It’s like a bonus for us, even though we have a seventeen month old. We can still have fun!
Having Children Doesn’t Make You Lose Your Imagination
Your date night in can be whatever your imagination creates. There is no set date standard. The only requirement is that you have fun!
Look for other ways to stay in, save money and reconnect with your favorite person. Use your imagination and make it fun.
Naked Twister anyone?
Okay, maybe not so naughty, but it would be fun, right?
Maybe you’ve been dying to go to your favorite restaurant, but can’t find a sitter. Plan your favorite meal together. Prep at the beginning of the week by shopping at the beginning of the week for your fancy dinner in. When Friday arrives and after the kiddos are in bed, open that bottle of wine and start cooking.
Create the dining experience.
Set the table with your fancy wedding china and light a few candles for ambiance. You’ll almost forget that you are not at your favorite fancy restaurant. Sure, you’ll have dishes to clean up, but imagine the cost savings!
Use this experience to reconnect and work together as a team. Maybe it’s a new recipe you are dying to try or just your favorite steak dinner. Put the love into your hard work and you will reap the benefits as a couple.
At the Movies – at Home
Who said you had to be at the movie theater for popcorn and a good flick? Not only can you have all that, but maybe you can fit in a smooch here and then while Netflix is on pause. Nobody will yell at you or tell you to get a room because you are in your own home. No rules here!
Movie night at home can be created in three easy steps: 1) decide on your Netflix movie; 2) pick up movie theater popcorn on the way home (from your local movie theater) and 3) set the lighting.
Once the kids are in bed, find your seat next to your sweetie, pop on your Netflix movie and start munching. What’s better than getting cozy under your favorite blanket, already in your pjs and comfortable in your own home?
The only problem you may encounter is trying not to fall asleep!
Make It a Double Date
The more the merrier, right?
When planning your nights in, remember that a date night in doesn’t have to be just the two of you. It’s never easy to get together with friends who don’t have kids. But don’t let that stop you. Invite your friends over for dinner and game night. Feed the kids before your friends arrive and enjoy a wonderful double date night in.
To make it feel like you went out, send your friends home with a little “to go” bags with some of the leftovers and desert. Then, snuggle in once your company is gone and enjoy a romantic night cap with your sweetie.
Feeding Your Soul
These are just some of the ideas to get your started. Please remember, date nights in don’t replace going out on the town, but they definitely help.
Your reasoning for staying in might be that your time is restricted or your family is trying to save money? The reason to connect doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that you make this time to feed each other’s soul. It’s vital to the heart in any relationship. Invest in your partnership and build on the foundation.
Live life as if you just met, reconnect and cheers to an evening in while your kids are safe in their beds.
So, what are you waiting for? Get started planning your first date night in.
Let me know how you spent your date night in. What works for you and how do you implement it in your daily life?