Mom and Dad Date Nights Aren’t Just Fun—They’re Necessary
Quality time with your special someone does the whole family good
If you’re a parent of little ones, date nights at the local pub or hottest new restaurant might not be part of your regular routine anymore, but every once in a while they should be! Actually— they need to be. Making sure that your child is happy, healthy and safe is of course always your top priority, but parents also need to carve out some space for quality time with each other!
For so many understandable reasons date nights can be a challenge for parents, but I’m telling you, ladies: it’s so super important. It’s time you and your partner deserve and it helps you remember that you’re not just a mama—you’re a person with her own interests!
The truth is that one-on-one time with the person you love is a key part of your family bond, and your connection is something the kiddos will pick-up on—so finding a caregiver who you feel comfortable letting love in from will make it so much easier to prioritize date night.
It takes time to find and hire the perfect nanny for your family, so don’t be afraid to ask friends, family or neighbors for the kids when you need it!
Still not convinced? Here’s my handy guide to mom and dad date nights:
Why even have date nights?
Hello, being a parent is stressful! Date nights are a great way to unwind and reconnect with your partner while also remembering life before the little ones. Life often revolves around the kiddos and finding ways to relax is important to avoid mommy burnout.
“Mommy burnout is the emotional and physical exhaustion that you feel from the chronic stress of parenting,” according to psychologist Sheryl Ziegler. By spending time with your partner alone, you can reset, refresh and come home ready to be the best parent you can be!
One super common reason moms decide to put date nights on the back burner is because of separation anxiety. If this is you—don’t worry! It’s totally normal to worry about your child while you’re apart, especially while they’re still young. However, worrying restricts you from life away from baby, like date nights, workout classes or self-care, and you’re still allowed to do those things!
I find the best way to deal with separation anxiety is by taking baby steps, yourself. Start with a solo trip to the grocery store, then treat yourself to a mani-pedi or an hour-long yoga class. Soon enough, you’ll find that you’ve worked your way up to being comfortable with a full date night. This will help build your confidence in the caregiver and in yourself, and will get your child used to you leaving the house without them—a win-win!
But the biggest reason to have date nights? They help strengthen your relationship! Parents are the ultimate team. The more aligned and connected you are, the more your family with be. According to Eve Hogan, author of The EROS Equation, “Every moment devoted to creating love will create a more harmonious household.” That is so true!
How to have more date nights
Life gets so busy and complicated that finding time for a date night can be difficult, but there are a few ways you can get some private time with the person you love.
First and foremost, leaning on your village to help your family is a great way to get out for a date night. Your village is filled with people who care about you and your child: relatives, friends, neighbors—let love in and utilize their help!
Hiring a babysitter is another perfect way to get some last-minute alone time with your special someone. There are all types of childcare styles you can choose from that will suit your family while you’re away. Of course, it can be completely nerve-wracking to leave your child with a babysitter for the first time, but you can do it, mama! Letting a babysitter into your family is a way of giving your child more love and a form of self-care for you. Plus, you’re setting a great example for little one to take care of one’s self.
Child swaps are another great form of childcare, and they can actually help bring you closer to parents in your neighborhood (and maybe new double date partners!). Not to mention it’s free! Child swap date nights involve you watching another couple’s child when they go out, and vice versa. This works especially well if your children get along and are close in age. You get to spend time with the person you love and your child gets to develop a deeper relationship with their friend! Make sure to set-up boundaries and expectations before you start a child swap, like the duration and frequency of dates, bed and meal times and discipline rules.
If date nights are hard to schedule (or stay awake for!), go on dates at times that work for you! In fact, it may even be easier for you to find childcare during the day than at night. Daytime dates may be more convenient for you and your partner, and hey, those matinee and lunch menu prices don’t hurt, either!
Date Night Ideas
Dine at the new hot spot. Make a reservation at a new or popular restaurant in your area and see what the hype is all about! An early dinner is a great way to beat the crowd if the restaurant doesn’t take reservations. Top-off the delicious meal with dessert, adult beverage or stop somewhere for a sweet treat afterward!
Hit the gym. It might not sound glamorous, but working out with your partner is actually such a fun date! If you’re struggling to make time for the gym or just feel like you need to burn off steam from the week, setting a date will help you make exercise a priority. Plus, most fitness studios offer first classes for free, so you can use the date to try a new activity together.
Volunteer. While a relaxing date night that focuses on you as a couple is nice, one way to switch it up is by volunteering together. Donating your time to a cause you both believe is such a rewarding way bond with your partner! There are many websites that list volunteer opportunities, so it’s easy to find a nonprofit in your area that you can regularly volunteer for.
Take a class. Taking a class with your partner is a fun way to learn something new that you can both do together. There are so many classes that a couple can do together: cooking, painting, music––the possibilities are endless! Check out your local community center or parks department to see what classes are available. Some are even free!
Remake a favorite date. Take a trip down memory lane and go on a date from earlier in your relationship. It doesn’t have to be exactly the same, but this is a fun way to revisit old hobbies or date-spots. Go mini golfing, check out a drive-in move or split a milkshake. Even if you only talk about past date nights over dinner, reminiscing over all the wonderful time you’ve spent together is a perfect way to reconnect.
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