Ugh. Where have all the babysitters gone? (Probably the same place as the neighborhood teen lawn-mower, car washer, and the “other” socks). Seriously, I always babysat growing up. I assumed there would be someone in the generations that followed who would lovingly take my place. I was wrong…
If you can find someone you can trust, and afford, go by a Lotto ticket– because you have some luck! Another great idea is to try a Baby/Kid Swap. Read more about Kelly’s awesome idea here. We are thankful to have family or friends who will watch the girls from time to time, but more often than not, it just doesn’t work out.
Do you have to give up plans for romance? No. Do you have to feel like your night is over? NO! Do you just give up and get back on Facebook? NO, I SAY!!! Here’s how to have date night at home, spark up some romance, and reconnect with your love:
- Really tire the kids out during the day.
Start by having lots of activities where you see “how fast” your kids can run! Take them to the park for a bit after school or try long walks around the grocery store where you make your kids look for items and carry them, make them take the dog on a walk, you get the idea…
- Order a fancy dessert or make your love’s favorite treat.
This doesn’t have to be elaborate—aim for the surprise of it! If you get something for the whole family to enjoy for dinner, make sure to save a little treat for just the two of you after the kids go to sleep.
- Change up the location.
Always on the couch, watching TV, after the kids go to bed? Try going outside and being under the stars (the weather is perfect for it), put all the pillows on the floor and watch a movie in the bedroom, or play a board-game in the dining room/at the kitchen table.
- Add to the ambiance.
The way a place looks makes a huge difference. I know I am sick of looking at my house all day, but a beautiful bouquet (that I didn’t get myself) is a really nice change…especially if it appears in the bedroom! It’s an unexpected bit of glamour. Change it up a bit: candles, flowers, add a favorite scent (wax, incense, plug-in), even Christmas lights can be fun.
- Pick a theme!
Themes are a great way to show you put in planning and effort. It’s easy to take something ordinary and make it special when you tie a few elements together. You can even start at the family dinner, but you don’t have to if it will cause stress. Here’s a few you can try:
Italian Stallion: Get some Cannolies, try an Italian dessert wine or an Amaretto coctail, play some Frank Sinatra, and have a flirty poker game.
French Kiss: Fancy cheese, French bread, French wine, a movie like French Kiss orApril in Paris.
Bengal Bliss: Order Indian food (or try an Indian dessert), put on Pandora and try a station like Global Chill, sit on some pillows while you eat, then give each other a massage afterwards.
Starry Night: Can’t go out to a paint-it-yourself place? Try one at home. Mix up a batch of your favorite cocktail, get out the art supplies, and paint together! They sell inexpensive canvas boards at Wal-mart, grab a pack of brushes, and a set of paints. Print out your favorite work of art for inspiration. You don’t have to be Van Gogh. In fact, laughing together (even if it is at how bad it looks) can be a great way to ignite a spark in each other.
Teen Heat: If your kids are old enough (or you have a great baby monitor), try a picnic in the car! Put on a mix of songs from your life together, put the windows down, laugh, talk, put the seat back and relax. You don’t even have to leave the driveway.
These are all just some suggestions to get your mind going. Doing something out of the ordinary (with cuisine, location, style of movie, activity, etc.) will put both of you in a different frame of mind. It’s too easy to bring home baggage from work, but a unique twist on the evening should get you thinking about each other instead.
A lot of people appreciate just the effort and time it takes to create a fun evening. Go a step further and e-mail an invitation to your love during the day. Use a fun title for the night (like the cheese-tastic ones I came up with). The anticipation of a fun evening together puts everyone in the right mood. Don’t let the whirlwind of parenting separate you from your partner. Plan to have a date—babysitter or not—at least once a month! Use the time to try and “win” your lover’s affection all over again.
Many people feel like part of their work-life imbalance is a disconnect with their partner. It happens easily. “Relationships” are the number 4 cause of stress in the US, and 28% of those people feel like job stress alienates them from their family. Purposeful attention focused on your relationship can have major payoffs, resulting in a harmonious and loving environment.
What are some of your ideas for a great night in?
The original text of this article was posted on the Tampa Bay Mom’s Blog.