Before having kids, going to the movies for a matinee in the afternoon was often common place for me and my guy. We would play hookie on a regular basis and have weekly dates. Just the two of us, gazing into each other’s eyes while we sipped champagne and floated away on gondola rides through Central Park…wait, we never did that! Life before little ones always seems so much more glamorous in my memories. But in all honestly, we did spend a lot of alone time together and we were really great at dating each other.
Fast forward to life with two children and it’s not so glamorous anymore. Dating is different. Dating requires a lot more effort and planning. Dating is no longer a spontaneous act. By the time we decide where we want to go, hire a babysitter or enlist Grandma, get dressed, make a list on how to feed and put the kids in bed, I want to call it a night and jump in the bed myself! So here are a few ways to find the time to reconnect and shall I say, date again.
Home dates can be really great! They work best when the kids are asleep. We love having movie nights, popping popcorn and ordering sushi in. Make it super special and light candles or add champagne to enhance the mood. Next up on my list is to really kick it up a notch, hire a chef to come by and cook a meal while we relax!
Who says you have to date at night? Schedule a lunch date at a cool, new, trendy spot or one of your favorite go to places. If you can, hire a baby-sitter for a couple of hours or take them over a friend’s house, who has kids, and doesn’t mind watching both while you play hookie. Just remember to repay the favor! If you must bring the little one along, time it during their afternoon nap and maybe they will sleep in the stroller. This is a good option if you have older kids at school and only have to juggle the tiny ones.
So maybe you don’t have anyone to watch the kiddos and a baby-sitter is not an option. Don’t despair instead have a family date! We do these all the time! We choose a place we have been eager to try out (restaurant, museum, festival, etc) and take the whole fam bam along. The trick is to go early, I mean really early. For dinner, I’m talking be the first table seated or at the museum when it opens. It sounds ridiculous but this way you avoid crowds, impatient single people (who don’t like children) and help to avoid evening or mid-day meltdowns.
I love group dates. It’s kind of like chicken and waffles, you get the savory and the sweet in one dish. Knock out two birds at once. The same with group dates. If you have friends with children similar ages, then you can socialize with your friends and the kids get to hang out too! My toddler loves when we get together with other parent/friends. It’s definitely a win win. Choose a house to gather and cook, talk, maybe a few cocktails (or mocktails) and have some adult conversation while the kids entertain each other. Parks and beaches are also a great option for this type of date (set up a picnic, bring blankets, food and soak in the fresh air).
Whatever you do, just remember this whole thing started with the two of you. As hard as it may be, taking the time to reconnect is essential in any relationship. So have fun with it!