It isn't a secret that keeping that "special spark" alive after baby isn't easy... It can definitely be hard to find the time and energy to do anything other than pass out after your little ones go to sleep. I realize that everyone has a different idea of what date night looks like, but can we all agree that even just 5 minutes of quality time together constitutes as a step in the right direction?
This past weekend, Augusto and I went on a "real" date. We went to a very nice restaurant and dined on steak and wine. So trendy, right? Not really. Behind the scenes our reservations were at 6:30pm and we talked about our kids the entire time. Haha. We were back at home and in bed by 9:30pm... (way past our bed time). The next day we had a lazy Sunday watching Netflix, eating popcorn and hanging out. We realized that we were enjoying ourselves so much more than at dinner the night before.
Don't get me wrong, dinner was lovely... BUT I guess we realized that it isn't all about what we are doing, rather more so about the quality of time we were spending together. Even if it just 5 minutes alone after the kids go to sleep. This blog post was requested but one of you lovely readers and I am so excited to share it with you!
Behold!! 5 Easy Home Date Night Ideas.
1. Start a show together. - Pick a show that both of you will like and plan to watch it once a week. It can be on Netflix, Television, DVD... whatever. Once a week, after the kids go to bed, commit to watching one episode together. Once a week!
2. Dance - This can literally be a 1 minute slow dance in your pajamas. Augusto and I love to dance. Sometimes right before bed, we just do a quick slow dance to no music. Sometimes it lasts a few seconds and sometimes longer, but it is just one of those things that reminds you that intimacy doesn't always need to be sex.
3. Game Night. - So, Augusto and I like video games, but if that isn't your style than a good old board game or card game will do.
4. Dessert Time. - After the kids are asleep, enjoy your favorite dessert together. In our house it's coffee ice cream, but sometimes if we have the energy, we will make cookies or cupcakes! It's a good time to catch up on your day over something yummy.
5. Take it outside. - This is one of my favorites... BUT living in Houston means its 100% dependent on the weather. When its a nice night, we might sit outside on our patio with a glass of wine and just talk. Maybe even sit by the fire if the weather lends itself to that. Being outside with some fresh air and your love is so relaxing.
Just remember, that its not WHAT your doing, its the quality of the time your sending together. Spending any alone time with your significant other is important. My biggest advice would be to not just look at bedtime as the time that you roll over and go to sleep. Augusto and I never go to sleep without laughing a little bit. So make sure to cuddle a little, talk a little, laugh a little and just enjoy one another.
It's kind of becoming a tradition in my house, that on Friday's (when we have Ethan) we have 'Family Friday'. We put away the devices and spend quality time together. We have Ethan every other weekend and so on Friday's I typically pick him up around 4:30pm from his mom's house. We go to the grocery store where I give him a list and a budget. This is fun for him. He gets to learn about different ingredients and locates them in the grocery store. He then also has to check prices and aquantity and make the best decision for the budget. Mamas, this is like killing ten birds with one stone. First, I get to push Amelia in her stroller and focus on keeping her entertained and calm so she doesn't have a meltdown in the store. Second, Ethan gets to practice his reading and math skills. Third, he is developing life skills. Fourth, he is learning about budgeting and fiscal responsibility. The list of benefits to this activity for both you, your child and your little ones is endless!
When we get home the entire family cooks dinner together. Tonight we made a healthier version of my husbands favorite, lasagna. I'll put that recipe in the health tab for you guys. It's so yummy. I give Ethan the directions and he takes the lead. Ethan really likes to cook & bake. Let's just say that he love Food Network more than I do. He is familiar with ingredients, measurements and cooking techniques. Make sure when deciding on a recipe, that it is something your kids can help you with. Check out my recipe page for some awesome kid friendly recipes.
After dinner, we all cleaned up the kitchen together and set up our spot in the upstairs gameroom. We decided on a movie, made some popcorn and enjoyed the rest of our Friday Night together. Nights like these are kind of a lost art. I feel like life is so busy these days that we forget to slow it down and enjoy the moment. I have great memories from my childhood that (believe it or not) didn't include an electronic device. I know you other mamas know what I'm talking about. Family nights are good for the soul, and trust me... these are memories worth making. What's one of your family traditions?