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Tips to Succeeding at Date Night when Your Married with Kids

Our Story:  
Our son just turned a year old and he is the cutest, sweetest, smartest little boy in the entire universe! I'm not a proud, biased mommy at all, am I? My husband and I love our little man so much that we can't stand to be away from him, ever. Even when I'm exhausted, on the verge of a mental break down and completely aware of the fact that I need a "Night Out" with daddy, I still get sad at the thought of not being with my little guy.
    It has been a little while now since my husband and I have had a date night. We are so bad about setting up a time to just do it and go out. I know we need to get better about set times for just us. Not expensive dinner dates, just us time.
Road Blocks to Date Night:
Complexity:
   I think one of the big road blocks to date night is complexity.To often we think to have an official date it has to be complex. We are married with children, date night does not have to be planned for a week with surprises around every corner, expensive dinner, movie, and a limo. Let it be simple. One of our favorite things to do is drive. Trips in the car are where we have had some of our deepest conversations. It is not always the destination that is important. It is how we spent the journey getting there. Pick up McDonald's dollar menu and go eat at a picnic table in the park or by the lake. Date night can be cheap and simple. The important thing is that it is without question, "Date Night."
List to Do:
    Put aside that large unfinished list of things to do: the broken toilet, the dishes, the laundry, mowing the lawn. It is not as important as your marriage. You may say, "My marriage is fine" or "My marriage is great" but that is all well and good for now. These date nights are not only for the present happiness of your marriage, but building blocks for a long relationship for the rest of your lives. 
    Think about yourself 5 years ago, 15 years ago. Are you the same person you were when you were 18, 25, 30? No, of course not. Neither is your spouse. Like you, he or she is growing, learning, maturing and changing. It is essential to the future of your relationship that you continue getting to know your spouse in the same sweet manner you did when you first started dating. Remember how exciting it was to find out little tidbits about that person you were dating? Pulling back layers till you knew the person on the inside? YOU STILL NEED TO DO THAT! There is no cruise control in marriage. Teach your kids to honor marriage and set aside time to really get to know your spouse.
Business Meeting:
   Don't make your date a business meeting. As soon as you get in the car and realize you have a minute with your spouse, don't bring up the bills, the unfinished repairs on the house and the kids trouble at school. Try if you can to make this time light hearted, fun and enjoyable. This is your bonding time. Try not to bring up controversial subjects or things you might end up disagreeing or fighting about. If the night ends up in an argument or tears, It was not a successful date night! You should both come home with a smile on your face and a heart 5 tons lighter. Go do lazer tag, the zoo, miniature golf or the county fair! Be young and in love during your date. Protect this time with your spouse. Cherish it. It is the building blocks for your marriage and your children's future marriages. They will learn how to have a wonderful christian marriage from your example. Show them well.
Helping Other Young Couples:
    Empty nesters, if you wanted to help change a marriage for the better for some young couple, offer to babysit for them! So, many young couples in the church family have little babies and no immediate family close enough to babysit for them. They end up overwhelmed. It is hard enough to leave your little baby in the first place, but to leave them with a stranger is most horrifying. How sweet it would be for the church family to take up where grandparents would usually be!
   Young couples, find other young couples that need babysitters just like you! Chances are they are just as young and broke as you are! Offer to babysit their children for their date night and they in return instead of payment can babysit your children for your date night! It is a win win!
On Your Date:
   Talk, laugh and reminisce. Bring up fond memories of the past, of when you were dating, your wedding, your babies. Remind yourselves why you fell in love. Women most often consider a good date one that they connect on a deep level through talking. Men most often consider a good date one that they make a memory through doing an activity with the one they love. So, if you can incorporate both of these into your date. Get to know each other by talking and having simplistic fun!
Thanks to Focus
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Thank you to the radio station 106.9 The Light for their talk show that listed off these ideas for helping out married couples date night. It so touched me that I wanted to share it with everyone else.

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