Last Sunday two of my (kidless) girlfriends commented on how hubs and I are still “real people” even though we have a small human, specifically that we still have couple time. I told them, as I am now telling you, that it is a must.
I remember when my son was a newborn and was crying inconsolably one night. To this day, I don’t know why (probably just because he was a newborn and that’s what they do). But what I do know is that at 11p, I put him in his crib, went into my bedroom and curled up next to my husband in the fetal position. It was mommy’s turn to cry. I had tried everything, nothing had worked and now I needed to be consoled for a minute before I could attempt to console my baby again.
That, I told my girlfriends, is why couple time is a must. Because if our marriage wasn’t solid, I don’t know what I would have done during those very challenging newborn days. (I’m not really sure how that particular night ended but if I had to guess, I’d say it was with my son and I sleeping together in his the glider since that’s what we did nightly for about a month.)
Forget keeping your love life spicy (another blog for another day, ladies), you have to keep it sturdy and date night is a tried and true strategy. Here are eight tips to help bring back date night after baby.
Tips for Date Night Out
- Beg, borrow or steal to get a babysitter. Or pay or bribe. Your coworkers’ teenagers, neighbor’s kids or nearby family or friends who owe you one are all viable options.
- Overnight reservations. We make our son reservations at the Turner B&B, aka Nana’s house. It’s a great date night strategy because we spend most of the day with him, take him over right at dinner time and he’s in bed two hours later. It’s minimal babysitting effort for maximum adult time.
- Arrange a trade. I’ll admit we haven’t tried this one yet but a girlfriend and I have started scheming on it. You let my kid play at your house for a few hours tonight, I’ll have your kid over for a few hours next weekend. Date nights all around!
- Late night excursions. OK when I say “late night” I mean like 7:30p. We’ll ask our babysitter to come over when baby boy is fed, bathed and in PJs. Then their job is only 30 minutes of playtime and putting him to bed. This is great for weeknights because we only miss 15-30 minutes of awake time with him. And it is especially good for keeping the free help coming back.
- Morning, noon and night. Don’t limit date night to night-time. If your kiddo is in school, pencil in a lunch date with your sweetie. Even if it is just a short outing, the alone time will do you good.
Tips for Date Night In
- Make it a date. If hubs and I don’t feel like we’re seeing much of each other, we make a point to request time with the other one after our toddler tornado is in bed. You can fold the laundry tomorrow.
- Host double date night. “Hey! Y’all want to get together tonight…yeah, we’ll make margaritas and guacamole…come over at 7:30.” This is our classic move. We want to hang out with another couple but can’t (or don’t want to) get a sitter. So suddenly we’re hosting a fiesta. Invest in some fun stemware and turn baby bedtime into grown-up funtime.
- TV dinners. I can’t say I’m most proud of this one but I don’t think my kid’s brain is rotting. About once a week, we feed our son first and then let him watch cartoons while we sit at the table alone and have a civilized meal and conversation. He’s thrilled because he gets cartoons midweek and we’re rejuvenated from having dinner conversation beyond “please eat your peas.”
:: What are your strategies to #bringbackdatenight after baby? ::