Well, seeing that it’s Valentine’s Day, this felt like the best time to share a new part of our life: DATE NIGHT. Which will not be happening tonight, because my handsome hubby has a hockey game. Honestly, it doesn’t bother me: our church was doing something cool, so we would have gone to that, but typically we don’t like doing stuff just ‘cuz commercials and society tell us to. And now that we have DATE NIGHT, I feel loved all week long.
So, how do we do this? How much does it cost? Well, a babysitter for four kids can run you pretty high. So we rarely do go out, although we LOVE our babysitter, and talk of her often. Literally. One son has already pledged marriage. But no, we don’t leave the house, and sometimes the kids are a big part of it. We are also religious in the fact that no matter what, Thursday is date night. It has changed once, with a lot of notice. Otherwise, rain or shine, sickness or health, DATE NIGHT is Thursday night. This has made it kinda sticky for me because Thursday is also swimming lessons, but with enough planning and fast thinking, it’s worked out okay.
Our inspiration for this night come from our friends who as of yet, do not have kids. They are able to do go out and like, LEAVE, but the premise is still the same: we need a little fun to shake things up and show each other we care. We’ve been together for 10 years, and been through lots of ups and downs, but the plateau, or the unchanging days of children, schedules and laundry can get to a marriage. So far, we have added other kids to shake things up, but we needed to look at other ways, too. I didn’t want to wait until we didn’t care enough, or felt completely stagnant. Hence, DATE NIGHT. Every week we take turns picking the evening. It’s always fun guessing what he’s going to do.
Here are some of our favourites, along with a way to adapt for bad days.
DATE NIGHT #1: Super formal dinner (my pick)
Activity: This one was fun. We ate by candlelight (with the kids fighting over who would eventually blow out the candles.) Kids in their best clothes, good dishes, and romantic music on Youtube which also came with a fireplace screen. As a bonus, the children worked on their manners. Note to self: always use linen tablecloths. The Pretty One ate the paper one I gave her after her cloth one got dirty. After the kids went to bed, we played games and listened to songs that we know. From ten years ago. Don’t judge.
What I wore: Make up (including lipstick!), fanciest dress, perfume
BAD DAY ADAPTATION: Music at dinner.
What to wear: Lipstick, clothes that are not “activewear.”
DATE NIGHT #2: Games night (his pick)
He came home with a card, my favourite candies and a bottle of wine. We played Scrabble. We laughed and tried so hard to think of good words, but I don’t think we did that well as compared to people who don’t have fuzzy brains from lack of sleep. So much fun.
What I wore: super flattering outfit, make up and I did my hair!
BAD DAY ADAPTATION: Uno and a bag of chips
What to wear: fruity lip gloss and jeans
DATE NIGHT #3: Movie Night (his pick)
He was super sick, and like the fascist wife I am, I did not volunteer to take his turn. However, I did remind him that we had PVR’d a movie on TV. So we snuggled on the couch and he did homemade popcorn.
What I wore: Newest clothes, with no spaghetti marks, spit up or flour.
BAD DAY ADAPTATION: Honestly, this was our worst day. But it was so nice to snuggle on the couch together, it didn’t even feel like it.
What to wear: Pajama party!
A couple other easy ones we’ve done: I don’t like sports. As a matter of fact, I kinda detest them. So for one evening, I PVR’d his hockey game that started early, bought a cheap Montreal Canadiens shirt from a facebook group for $5, and went for the “sporty girl” look. He loved it, and we had fun. You don’t have to actually spend any money: I was out and about anyways, and I found some change in the car. I mostly just wanted to see his face.
Last night was his turn, and he made up this awesome game of blackjack. There were a lot of rules, which made it super exciting. We played all night. You know, till 9:00. He also came home with dinner, because I have a super infected tooth and it’s been kinda rough this week. He called to inform me that I wouldn’t be making dinner, and that we were using paper plates. May not have been good for our carbon footprint, but it was great for my heart. I love the idea of him thinking about it when he’s working: that means so much to me. He loves the fact that he comes home and I’m all decked out. And I smell good. The kids also love seeing me rush around and change outfits five times. (That one!! No, not that one! Mommy, you wore that one last time!)
We spend nearly every night together, either watching TV or playing on our phones, but it always seems like such a waste of time. However, when you’ve spent the day chasing after kids, or working as hard as he does, this is kinda all we can do most nights. DATE NIGHT gives us a reason to try. To dress up, just for him. To chat, laugh, plan.
Let’s show our children that marriage is fun, and to be celebrated all year round. If you’re not married, start buying board games so you have a great collection. If you are, and want to hear some other fun idea, inbox me! We’ve had a few others that were super fun and memorable. But I’d love to hear yours: my turn is next week!