Dating the daddy of your children can be a challenge. Between finding a sitter you can trust, feeling comfortable leaving your babies, and affording to pay for the service, it can be mind-boggling and anything but relaxing. If you don’t live near family, it can be extremely tough. If you have many children, it can be difficult. Even if everything falls into place, sometimes it just feels hard to justify the cost of a dinner out. But this is no reason to stop dating the stud you call husband.
You can, and should, be able to enjoy a fabulous date right there chez vous. It’ll just take a bit of planning. (Though, really, probably no more work than arranging a sitter!)
Prepare Your Kiddos
I believe the best course of action here is simply to wear those little darlings out. Get outside, if you can, and run them ragged. Climb, jump, explore, and get tons of fresh air. Nap a tad early, if possible, and don’t feel one bit guilty about making bedtime come a bit sooner than usual. Feed your kids an early dinner and, really, make it easy on yourself and make sure it’s something they like and will eat without fuss. I only have young children, so my advice mainly applies to that group. If you have older kids, you may want to consider arranging sleep-overs (if that’s an option) or setting them up somewhere with a movie.
Set the Stage
Know this: you do not need to scrub your home from top to bottom. Just neaten it up. Light a candle or two. Wear something pretty. Turn on some music. Put clean sheets on the bed. (Yep, I said it.) Pour a glass of wine if that’s something you both enjoy. Make it special. The smell of Pine-Sol isn’t as likely to delight your man as the smell of YOU… and maybe some bacon-wrapped scallops.
Serve Something Special
You do not have to break the bank to make a special date night meal. If the budget doesn’t allow for steak, seafood, or other indulgences, just get creative. What are your husband’s favorite snacks? Why not make up a coffee table buffet of them? What was your first date meal together? Is it something you can recreate? Is there a food you tend to typically avoid because it’s overly processed or just not very healthy? If it’s something your man loves, now would be a great time to prepare it. I know for a fact that I could grab a couple jumbo Slurpees from 7-11, spread a blanket on the floor, and have a happy five dollar picnic with my guy.
Do Something He Enjoys
Here’s the thing… I’d be happy to spend the evening with my man sitting across a candlelit table, sipping champagne, and talking for hours. And he would likely indulge me. But, really? If I want him to have a “rockin’ at-home date”, I’ll make sure we do something he truly enjoys too. This might be watching a comedy together. Or playing a silly video game. Or a card game. He is a guy and he’s going to want to do something… and he’ll definitely prefer if that “something” doesn’t result in my falling asleep on the couch. (Not that I’ve ever done that before, *ahem*.)
Finally, I recommend that you start looking forward to your date well before it begins. Put it on the calendar. Talk about it. Send each other little notes throughout the day. (Or texts… do you all text with your hubbies? I’ve never sent a text in my life, so I know nothing about this…) A quick email that reads, “The kids seem awfully sleepy… I’m betting they’ll sleep like rocks” is perfectly clean and harmless, but will have a fun “side-meaning” for your man. There’s no reason you can’t have that fluttery feeling of anticipation you enjoyed in your younger days just because you’re married with kids! And, hey, you don’t even have to play hard to get anymore.
Date your husbands, my friends! Don’t let lack of childcare or funds keep you from sharing those special times. Put it on your calendar right now. Neither of you will regret it.
Don’t forget to hop around and glean from the wisdom of my partners in this series: