Planning Date Nights Without Hiring A Babysitter
Can anyone else testify to how freaking hard it is planning date nights without hiring a babysitter? We all know that keeping date nights for your relationship is important. Because not only is communication essential to a good marriage, it is always good to get away from the little heathens screaming your name. And I am personally a fan of getting to chew all of my food before having to answer endless questions about issues I have no freaking clue why they ask me about. (Ex. 9 year old wanted to know who stitches the American flag being unfurled across the football field during Monday Night Football. When no one knew the answer, he asked “so how old are you again mom?” Y’all- I just can’t even with that one.)
In another few months, the hubs and I will have been married for 13 years. We will both tell you some days it feels like an eternity and others, we are on the fastest roller coaster ever made. We have always been good about getting out of town together. After 7 years of parenting, we have done a pretty decent job at packing a bag and getting away for a weekend or even just for the night.
Our last little weekend adventure was to our favorite city, New Orleans seems like forever ago. With two kids both playing competitive soccer, the outlook for getting out of town together without kids anytime soon is highly unlikely.
So a few weeks ago, we discussed how to spend more time together and incorporating date nights back into our relationship. Since neither of the kids are old enough to be left home alone and leaving them together is just not helpful to their sibling relationship, here are four ways we pulled off planning date nights without hiring a babysitter. And to be honesty, the introvert in me, hates getting dressed up to go out to dinner just to spend some time with my favorite dude.
It sounds really unromantic to put date nights on a calendar but it works. Knowing what day you are going to spend more time together also creates some fun. We picked a random weeknight and put it on our family desk calendar and the hubs and Is smart phone calendars.
2.) Eat Dinner Separately (And Hide Your Desserts)
September is National honey month. In conjunction with the National Honey Board and entertaining expert, Camille Styles, they sent me a fantastic date night starter kit. With recipes, wine glasses, lights, paper straws and a wonderful “love you more” wooden sign.
We try to eat dinner as a family a lot. But for date nights, it was just not going to work to eat dinner together.
I prepped dinner as normal, made the kids their own plates and hide the hubs & I’s dessert in the back of the fridge. I made a honey orange crush spritzer drink recipe, which includes a squeeze of honey and put them in the fridge before.
Instead of making cupcakes, I bought some earlier that day. Because seriously, who has time to bake something extra. I know what I do well and when someone else does it better. The cupcake place around the corner from us definitely does it better.
Then I set up a cute table in our front living room with cupcakes, our dinner and drinks.
3.) Bargain With Your Kids
Luckily our kids are old enough to understand and comprehend schedules. We made them a deal that if they helped with dinner cleanup after soccer practice and watched a movie upstairs, they could have a dessert in their rooms.
They agreed to let us skip bedtime routines and we would let them stay up thirty minutes later than normal. This was a big win with the 9year old because he would rather do ANYTHING else than go to bed on time during the school week.
4.) Take Note On What Worked & Plan It Again
This was such a golden moment and while next time, I would not tell our kids what was going on beforehand, everything else worked like a charm. Planning date nights without hiring a babysitter does take some planning, but it was definitely worth it.
Don’t have time for a full dinner? Buy some cupcakes, make a cocktail (or mocktail if that is your thing), grab some blue cheese and top it with delicious honey. Add some crackers and pretzels and pop in a movie or Netflix series with your boo. Sometimes having relationship goals means just going with what works for you.
Date night never means fancy or standing in line at a restaurant. Often, it is just scheduling time to connect and toast sweet moments that culminate into a beautiful life together.
You can learn more about national honey month and how honey can sweeten some of your life’s golden moments, go here and check it out.