Mr. and Mrs. Hurdle, here. We were attempting to have a “date night in” tonight, but then we called an audible and decided the most loving thing we could do for each other was to put a movie on for the kids and let one parent get an early start on some beauty rest… lame but it’s reality at the moment.
We really want to be consistent and intentional about dating each other, but we struggle on the follow-through. Especially now that we have the kids home for the summer and tend to naturally default to a good ole fashioned family night vs sitters and sleepless nights.
With that said, I love learning from others who do make it work! I hope you enjoy hearing from Bri, a friend whose marriage I’ve admired for years and who is one of my most treasured friends. Enjoy!
How To Make A Date Night Happen…without hiring a sitter!
I am thankful for friends who spur you on in your marriage, Amen? Kitty and I have had many discussions about how to stay connected with our husbands during this critical season of raising little ones. I love when she texts me every so often and asks, “What are you doing today to move toward your husband?” It’s so helpful and so refreshing to keep that kind of discussion going.
After almost ten years of marriage, and two kids, ages 7 and 5, we have found that it is shockingly easy to drift apart for certain seasons. Babysitters are so expensive. Family commitments are becoming more frequent. And husband’s stress at work keeps increasing. But not surprisingly, we find that if we prioritize face to face time with each other, all those other things feel ten times more manageable.
So I am excited to share with you today the single most beneficial way that my husband, Mike, and I have managed to stay connected this past year. It’s a simple thing really…. we have a standing commitment to at-home date nights every Friday night. But we do it a little differently than you might think. We actually take our kids out to dinner with us first! Yep. You read that right. We go out to a restaurant and bring the kids along with us for an early(ish) dinner together.
Why, might you ask, would we include our kids for a portion of date night? The reason is pretty strategic (and somewhat selfish to be honest)… First of all, it gets them all loved and filled up with that critical quality time they desire. And because of this, they are very easy to get to bed later. And secondly, not having to cook and clean up a meal for the entire family makes ME so much more relaxed and able to focus on Mike the rest of the night.
I try to look nice for this dinner by the way. Nothing over the top, but I like to wear something cute and fix my makeup before we go so I feel pretty for my man. And of course, it’s always nice for your kids to hear their father tell their mother that she looks beautiful. We choose a restaurant that Mike and I actually want to go to (ehem, not Friendly’s or Red Robin). And we have a no devices rule when we’re out together. No phones, tablets or games at the table. This has been beneficial for so many reasons. The kids learn how to behave in a restaurant. They learn to read menus and place their own orders with the waitress. And guess what… we talk the whole time!
After dinner, we head home and we put the kids to bed right away. Then Mike and I put on our pajamas (or something more exciting than that, wink wink), grab some snacks and after-dinner drinks, and go to our basement where the nice big flat screen tv is located. I know watching a movie together isn’t super exciting for some people, but Mike and I hardly ever watch tv together so it feels like a treat to us. We are working our way through the 2015 Academy Award nominated films right now. This alone time in the comfort of our own home has been so fantastic. We’re just not in a season where going out on the town all night is very appealing. It’s more the simple joys that fill me up…. no cooking, pajamas, a couch, and my husband. That spells ‘luxury’ to me!
Date Night = Great Night
I encourage you to think out of the box when it comes to connecting with your spouse. We know our kids won’t be coming with us to Friday night dinners forever. So it’s an easy modification to include them for this season. Regardless of how connection happens in your marriage, it’s a rhythm of intentionally moving toward each other on a weekly basis that feels so good.
I would love to “meet you” over at my personal blog, Woven, where I like to photojournal our little life in words and photos. Please come say hello!
Could they be any cuter? I hope this post encourages you to make the most important things happen. Even if it’s creating a standing coffee date with a friend, there’s great delight in making what matters most happen! Happy dating, yall!