Friday, May 29, 2015

Consistent Date Nights

My husband and I have not always been great about having a consistent date night. It can be really hard depending on what season of life you are in. However, I am starting to see more and more just how important it is to be consistent with it, no matter what season or place in life you are at! 
"Consistent" is going to look different for everyone. Maybe you have a standing date with your babysitter every Wednesday night. Possibly you do every other week or a few times a month, or maybe the last Friday of the month is your night. Pick what feels comfortable to you and schedule it in! For us, it is every other Thursday. My in-laws take the girls and we have date night. Sometimes we go out to dinner or to a movie, other times we just go on a long walk and get uninterrupted talk time which everyone with toddlers knows is priceless (!), and sometimes we do stuff around the house together, like yard work or hanging doors--you know, fun stuff like that ;) It's not always glamorous, but for us, it's the time spent together that is important. 
When we had babies, we didn't get out for dates nearly as frequently. I was nursing, pregnant, or both for about 3 1/2 years straight and it just felt like too much work to get out for a date when I had to work around a baby who wouldn't take a bottle for anything, extreme pregnancy nausea, and all of that. Looking back now, I wish we would have made the time for each other. The baby would have been fine without nursing for the 3 hours that we were gone. The fresh air might have made me feel a little better, or at least I could have indulged some dessert cravings. It would have been really good for us in that crazy season of life, and in the future, we definitely plan to make it a priority as we add more little ones and keep our standing twice monthly date nights. 
While family dates or dates in the home after the kids go to bed can be really great, and they are amazing options, I do really think it is important to get some time together without the kids to nurture your marriage. The most important earthly relationship you have! Some practical ways to do this would be: 
  • decide how often you want to set a consistent date night. Maybe you want to shoot for once a month and if you get some bonus, unplanned dates in there, then great! 
  • find someone who can babysit consistently. You can definitely do it with multiple people, but if you are hesitant about leaving the kids, having one person who knows them and their routine well helps a lot! 
  • put it on the calendar and don't break the "appointment". Even if you are tired. Even if you had a rough week. Even if your sitter cancels (find someone else!). Hopefully the date will refresh both of you, and it doesn't have to take a long time. Go out for an hour and a half and then come back refreshed and ready for the week ahead! 
Do you get a consistent date night with your spouse? Why or why not? 
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