Date nights seem simple enough, but the truth is for married folks with kids, sometimes it's tough to get out of the house and enjoy a good old-fashioned date!
My husband and I are either pretty good about them or we fall off the routine for weeks at a time, but date nights are beyond critical. Couples need time alone to enjoy each other, to reconnect and talk about something other than what's for dinner or what child needs to see the doctor because of their most recent bout with diarrhea (been there, done that).
Now I realize that logistically arranging date nights can be tough for some couples, so check out some of the tips below, and get out there you two (not you three, or you four... you get my drift)!
Find a sitter! Grandparents, extended family or willing friends will do! Now if that's not doable for you, for a small fee some established kid-gyms/activity zones offer a Friday or Saturday night drop-off where parents can leave their kids in a fun, safe and supervised play area (i.e Adventureplex). Due note: there may be age restrictions for these. Another great idea is to work with another couple to swap kids on alternate weekends. One weekend you might take in their little one for a few hours and the next week they take in yours. It's a win-win for all. Also, sometimes teachers are willing to watch kids for parents during the weekend for extra cash. Ask around and book your teacher/nanny for your next date night.
What to do? There's your typical date night like catching a movie and dinner. But how about bowling together, shopping together, getting a couples massage, fishing, bar-hopping, dancing, hiking, board games at the local coffee shop, this list can go on! My advice is to act as if you wanted to impress your spouse just like you did when you were first dating. Now I'm sure that took a little more than hot dogs at Costco. Though every now and then a Costco food court date works for me!
Get creative! The husband and I are attempting the following plan for this upcoming year: 2 dates per month minimum, we alternate who arranges the date meal, and the only rule is that it has to be a new restaurant each time. Something as simple as that mixes things up and allows us to put adequate effort into the date so that we don't end up aimlessly wondering the mall food court (been there, done that too).
Another way to get creative is to subscribe for those group deal sites like Living Social and Groupon. I swear my husband was one of the first people on earth to use Groupon and boy was I impressed. We were trying new restaurants all the time and taking part in fun activities like go-cart racing or catching the latest theater show!
The final and most important step: keep date night a priority! Even if it boils down to putting the kids to bed early once a week, cuddling alone on the couch and watching your favorite movie on television. Moral of this story, make the time to spend time alone. Trust me, everyone will be happier for it!
With that said, where do you like to take your spouse on dates? Come on, comment, we're super interested in what YOU have to say here at HerMamas.com!