How to spice up your relationship and rekindle the romance when you have kids.
When was the last time you spent some quality alone time with your significant other? Remember those long and lazy date nights you had before you became parents? We could easily spend all day planning our outfits & primping for the evening. The two of you would enjoy banal conversation over a leisurely meal and plenty of wine; maybe you would even get dessert. Afterward, you would come home to a quiet, empty house and enjoy some unrushed intimacy.
Of course, this is also how most of us ended up as parents in the first place. Still, I am a big believer in the importance of dating your spouse. Making time for each other to reset and reconnect is vital to a successful marriage. Unfortunately, for many, babysitters are expensive or hard to come by. This often puts a damper on how many date nights a couple can have if they have children. Once you have little ones so many aspects of your life change and how you approach your relationship is no different.
After a long day of chasing your kiddos, running errands, and working chances are you’re too tired to even think of date night ideas. Luckily, I’ve composed a list of some of my favorite sitter free date nights. Tuck your kids into bed a little early, doll yourself up, and make with the romance!
(You may want to make sure your bedroom is distraction-free, so when the party moves there nothing chills that passion!)
Themed Date Night
Choose a theme and center everything you do around that. For example, if you choose an Italian theme, you could eat pasta and gelato, then watch a movie like The Godfather or Under The Tuscan Sun. Some other fun theme ideas: Mexican, French, Christmas, Kid’s theme, 1990’s (or any decade), etc., etc.
Board Game Date Night
Turn up the heat with a little friendly competition over your favorite board games. You can spice up your G-rated game favorites by adding a rule saying that the loser has to strip. For something more risque check out these X-rated couples games.
Luxury Spa Date Night
Light some candles, dim the lights and give each other massages. Don’t forget to pick up some massage oil or lotion and maybe even a little wine.
Memory Lane Date Night
Pick up a journal or photo book and break out your old photos and ephemera. Put it all together and scrapbook your love story, adding personal anecdotes and memories throughout. It will be a great way to walk down memory lane and rekindle the flame that brought you together.
Wine Tasting Date Night
Grab some wines that are outside your usual comfort zone for this date. Pick up some chocolate, charcuterie, and cheese to make the perfect pairings. Maybe you’ll even find a new favorite type of wine to add to your rotation.
Snow Fight Date Night
This one obviously depends on where you are and the local weather. If there is snow on the ground (February around here almost guarantees it) head out into your yard and unleash your inner children. Build a snowman, have a snowball fight, make snow angels, and construct a snow fort or igloo. There is something special about playing in the snow by moonlight, and it will be far more romantic than you anticipate. After you finish playing warm up inside by cuddling under a big blanket while sharing warm up some cocoa
Indoor Picnic Date
Gather up all of your favorite picnic staples, put together a romantic playlist, and light some candles. Lay blankets and pillows out on your living room floor and start feeding each other those delightful little foods. Take the time to truly reconnect by having a meaningful conversation. Get super personal with this New York Times quiz The 36 Questions That Lead To Love. You may be surprised what you learn about each other.
“Chopped” Challenge Date
If you aren’t familiar with this Food Network hit, I suggest checking it out (mostly because I’m addicted to cooking shows). This will bring cooking together to an entirely new level. Decide what course you want to prepare, then provide your each other with 3 ingredients you must use. From there you set a time limit and each of you must prepare a dish. This is a fun and friendly competition and you will have fun “judging” each other’s dishes based on presentation and taste over some laughs and cocktails.
Some date night tips:
In can be difficult to get out of your head when setting date nights at home. This is, after all, the place where we cook, clean, parent, and sometimes work. To create the perfect romantic setting make sure you plan ahead.
- Make sure no household chores are nagging you in the back of your mind. If you really wanted to have the laundry done and folded or the floors freshly mopped, get it done ahead of time. Since you’re staying home it is so easy to dampen your date night by pressing pause for these menial tasks. Keep yourself fully engaged in your partner by planning accordingly.
- Unplug and disconnect during your planned time together. TIME Magazine published this article last year and it has completely changed my approach when it comes to my relationship. Maintaining a romantic connection requires living in the moment, not being half present while idly prowling Facebook. Turn your phones, tablets, and computers off. When you are finished with your evening together the digital world will still be there!
- If the kiddos wake up be sure to send them right back to their own beds. Do not throw in the towel because of a late night wake up. I know this can be hard, fellow mommas but it is important. Our marriages our the single most important relationship we have in life. We make many sacrifices for our children but we should not be sacrificing our spouse. Dating your spouse and prioritizing time them will show your children the type of relationship they should strive for. Explain to your little ones that mommy and daddy need some special time together because you love each other and send their nosy butts back to bed.
- Truly enjoy each other. Put aside all of the annoying things your spouse may have done this week. This is not the time to discuss your issues or argue over why he left his clothes on the floor for the nine thousandth time. This is a time to remember the best parts of your marriage and celebrate them.
What are some of your favorite at home date nights & ways to rekindle the romance when you have kids? Tell me about them in the comments!