When my kids were younger, my husband and I would plan to do date nights at home, after they went to bed. While going out without the children is amazing, it wasn’t always possible, so we did what we could to still have that time together.
Yes, it did take some planning but having at home dates was worth it.
Maybe you don’t have the budget for a babysitter or maybe you just don’t have anyone you can ask to help watch your kids. Whatever the reason, here is how you can have a date night when you have to stay in.
Put the kids to be early
The first thing you need to do in order to have a date night at home is to put your kids to bed early. Feed them their own dinner, and tuck them in. Now, if your kids are a little older, and your home is big enough, you might be able to do a bit of a date night in the other part of your house but that is up to you. Making sure the kids are taken care of is the first step.
Make a nice dinner
After the kids are in bed, it is time for your dinner. Make a nice one, something you don’t normally have. Don’t want to cook? Order in from your favorite restaurant. There are a lot of options these days. If you two like to cook, you could even plan to make dinner together.
Eat by candlelight
If you want to turn up the romance in the room, eat by candlelight. This can be another way to make you feel like you are not at home and in fact somewhere else. Even if you are eating at the same table you normally serve your children breakfast at.
Spend some time talking
Make sure you spend some time talking. No phones. Turn the tv off. Pretend you are out on a fancy date and this is your time to connect as a couple. Talk about your week and grow in your relationship.
Communication is so important and that is the best part about having a regular date night. Being able to connect and check-in with one another is important for your marriage. But sometimes, you really have to be purposeful in getting that time together.
Play a game or watch a movie
After you eat, you can put on a movie or play a game together. You can even work on a hobby together. Anything to spend some quality time together. If your norm is to turn on a television show while playing Candy Crush, maybe not do that on date night, creating a more connecting atmosphere.
Be creative in what you decide to do. Mix things up a bit. One night play games, the next, have a movie marathon. You could do a puzzle together, or plan a trip. The main thing is that you are your spouse are spending quality time together and that it feels different than a normal night at home.
Make sure you continue to have these date nights at home. They can be a good way to connect as a couple even when you have small children. As military families, we don’t always live near family and we can’t always find a good babysitter. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t spend that well needed time with our spouse.
With a little planning, you and your spouse can make in-home date nights a regular thing.