Happy Wednesday, friends!
It’s the APRIL edition of Let’s Look!
If you don’t know what this is, once a month, Erika and I do a little link up where we “look” at different aspects of our lives (and then if you blog, you share and link up too!). We have been doing this little linky party for years now, and it’s always one of my favorite posts each month because most of the topics are YOUR suggestions!
And today, we’re looking at….HOW YOU PLAN/DO DATE NIGHTS!
I mean, am I right or am I right?!
Oh how I love a date night with this guy. The deal is though…they’re few and far between during this season as well, we’re so dang busy with those four kids! That being said, I do think that the longer we’ve been married (18 years now!), the better we’ve become at carving out “date” time throughout our week. I mean, it’s not a traditional “make a reservation, get a babysitter and go to a fancy dinner” kind of date night, but it works for us and keeps us connected. In fact, our kids groan often because well, we like each other. A lot. And at least once a week, we say “leave us alone, we’re hanging out together on the patio”. He’s my favorite person, and I enjoy hanging out with him, so it’s not always traditional, but it works. That being said, I’m SUPER open to your ideas because I bet you have a million good ones about date nights 🙂 .
Here’s how we “do date night” during this stage of life:
#1: We date with our kids in tow. Yup. Please note, the last two pics are of us at The Yard here in McKinney enjoying a drink, sitting by the firepit and chatting. Those kiddos are with us and it’s totally family time, but it’s also a great way to get out of the house with its never ending list of chores/responsibilities/laundry/things to distract us from hanging out together. It’s one way we have “date night” without really having “date night”. We’re on a date…just with four chaperones 😉 . If you have younger kids, this is much harder, but if you have older kids, change how you think of evenings like this sometimes. Often, a family night can double as a date!
#2: We head outside on the patio with a charcuterie board, some fun music and tell the kids to stay inside. Again, if you have littles that can’t entertain themselves safely, this is harder, but for us, if we can grab even a quick 15 minute patio hangout time, we can catch up, chat, laugh, and enjoy each other’s company before we run off to baseball practice/make dinner/do laundry. It’s good for the soul even if it’s brief.
#3: We day date…
Awwwwww! I miss my babies being at home with me SO MUCH! I would go back and do those years over in a heart beat…BUT…there is something glorious about eating a meal and hanging out during the day while the kids are in school. Built in babysitters, beautiful weather and sometimes friends, make day dating one of my faves. Sometimes, we do big things (like last year, when we went to the Byron Nelson golf tournament) and other times, we just grab a quick lunch. Either way, it’s an easy way to sneak in a date.
#4: Group dates are our jam too! We love going to dinner with friends, but with everyone’s busy schedules, we often plan those a month or two in advance. It might sound insane to say “hey, on June 18, can you mark that date down for a couples date” but it’s the only way (we’ve found) to make sure our schedules allow for date nights with our favorite couples and groups of friends.
#5: Get a babysitter or leave your kiddos home for a late evening activity. Andrew and I love the live music at this little wine bar right by our house. Sometimes, we’ll have all the sports and family time and then after the kids are showered and ready for bed, we’ll go over there for an hour and enjoy the music (they play until 11:00 PM). So, it’s not a full date, but it’s a super fun hour after we’re finished with all of our kiddos’ activities.
Yeah but what did you do when your kids were little??
Here are a few things:
#1: We took turns with the Slaughters and one week, they would go on a date while we watched all of the kids (it was crazy and loud but hey, the next week, we would switch!). This was an easy and free way to have a date night. Find another couple and see if you can switch off!
#2: Andrew and I stopped going to movie when K and Smith were little because we didn’t want to spend the money on the movie, the dinner and the babysitter. Want to know what happened? We realized we LOVED not going to the movies. Instead of doing both, we started just getting a babysitter and going to dinner…but staying longer at dinner and chatting. Wait for it…we tried to remember, but I don’t think Andrew and I have been to see a movie together in a theater without our kids since 2010. Yup. Getting rid of the movies allowed us to be able to pay for the sitter and spend more time together at dinner.
#3: We had our nightly brownie time every night after the kids went to bed. If you’ve been around here a while then you know that Andrew and I FOR YEARS had a brownie date night every night after the kids went to bed. I would make a batch of brownies each week, and we would enjoy one and chat when the kiddos were asleep. We loved this stage in our life and reflect back on it often. Some nights, we chatted about 10 minutes…some nights, an hour. Either way, it was something we always looked forward to. We stopped having brownie dates two years ago when our house became g-free, and we realized that g-free brownies weren’t that amazing…and because most nights, our kids stay up later than us 😉 .
My favorite nights are the nights when we’re all together. I know that this season will be over in a blink, so I try not to take any family time for granted. If you have little babies at home, please know that I understand that you’re just trying to keep your head above the water. Don’t forget about your marriage (PLEASE DON’T!!!), and try super hard to stay connected even if just in little ways every day, but I also understand that “big date nights” aren’t always realistic, so try and sprinkle them in even if it’s just on the patio or over a brownie.
Now, what are your date night tricks, tips and ideas! Please comment and share!!
Coming up this year on Let’s Look…
…next month, we will be posting our HOMETOWNS!
If you blogged with us today, make sure you link up below!
Have the best Wednesday! xx