In numerous places, I’ve written and talked about the importance of a weekly date night, you can read about that here.
Unless you have free babysitting every week, there is a good chance at some point you will have a date night at home. Often, this feels like a letdown for a couple because there is something fun and exciting about going out. There is something freeing about someone else putting your kids down. For Katie and I, most of our date nights are at home after the kids go to bed.
Here are a few ways we’ve made those special:
- Have a plan. Nothing hurts date night more than having no plan. In the same way that you plan going out, plan what it will look like at home. What will you eat, who is doing what, what time will things get started. You may have to be more intentional about the plan for date night at home because you are at home.
- Stay dressed up. Don’t get into your pajama pants. Nothing shuts your brain down more at the end of a long day like getting into comfortable clothes. Stay dressed up. Wear what you would wear if you were going out.
- No electronics. The fastest way to kill most date nights is turning on the TV, no checking out Facebook or Twitter or your email. Concentrate on each other.
- Plan a fun meal. It doesn’t have to be expensive or a feast, but something special. Something you wouldn’t normally eat. Katie and I love to try new recipes, so we’re always searching. Katie uses this blog a lot for our meal plans and we’ve found a ton of recipes that have been great for date night on this site.
- Eat with your kids. At home, we do an appetizer while our kids eat so that we can still eat dinner with them, talk with them about their day and it helps to hold us over until we eat.
- Know who will cook and who will put the kids down. It might be more relaxing for your wife to cook. She may want you to handle the kids, or vice versa. Whatever it is, communicate that and stick to it.
- Pick a night you are awake for. There are certain nights you are more alert and awake than others. Find that night and do date night on that night. If you have a long day on Tuesday, don’t do date night that night. Maximize the night where your energy levels are highest. I find knowing which night date night will be helps me to be mentally prepared for it.