I still can’t believe that it’s February and that Valentine’s Day is around the corner. Have you started talking about your plans yet? Hubbin and I are still trying to figure out what we want to do… it will likely end up being a last-minute scramble.
I don’t know about you, but I find date night to be an exhausting prospect. After all, it’s so much work to plan a date when there are kids in the picture… First you have to pick a date, buy the tickets, make the reservation, find the sitter, stop by the bank to get the sitter’s cash, and still have energy to get dressed up while the kids are trying to eat your makeup (no, Tiny doesn’t actually try eat my makeup … but you catch my drift). Then you have to go pick up the sitter after wrangling your little miracles into the car, get the kids and the sitter settled for dinner after going over the bedtime routine. After leaving your house you rush through dinner so you can get to the theater … and leave before the final song so you don’t have to pay the sitter after getting stuck in traffic.
I was recently discussing date night plans with some of my other mom friends and I was so gratified to learn that I was not on my own in feeling exhausted at the prospect.
I was also struck during the conversation by the impression that date nights fell entirely on the shoulders of my mom friends – that their partners did little or none of the planning nor took charge of any of the execution.
The more I thought about it the more I wondered if there weren’t some resources online to help moms – and their partners – keep the romance alive without one half of the relationship burning out in the process. I’ve included some of my favorites below.
As I read these articles I found there were two consistent threads of advice that seemed apparent in each. First, communication is key. Expectations unsaid will always be expectations unmet, so communication is so important. Keep the lines of communication open about likes/dislikes, schedules, finances, and most anything else you can think. Second is intention and consistency. Even if you can’t afford regular date nights out in the town, those small daily habits of affection towards each other are incredibly important. Perhaps these things – open communication, intention, and consistency – are more important than grand, sweeping gestures and big, fancy dates.
In a few days I will share some date night ideas but for now I hope that these resources are as helpful to you as they were to me.
If you need a little bit of help with the consistency, The Love Dare by Alex Kendrick is a good start. With daily challenges that include doing one unexpected thing for your partner, this is a great tool for building and growing in consistency.
If you’re not sure where to start in some of these challenges, The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman is a tried and true way to understand your partner better. And, as another resource for better understanding your partner, this post on iMom helps define re-frame the idea of romance in a way that I found very helpful.
I really love the Dating Divas website as well. I highly recommend you sign up for their 7 Days of Love Challenge, which sends you daily emails with lots of unique ideas and printables to help you keep the romance alive even if you have kids. And, just as a sample, these are two of my favorites from their website, both of which emphasize consistency.
And here are a few more articles that I found helpful in readjusting after baby arrived.
- Parents.com – “Keeping Romance Alive Once Baby Arrives“
- WorkingMother.com – “5 Steps to Keeping Romance Alive After Baby is Born“
- AllProDad.com – “10 Ways to Romance Your Wife“
- ScaryMommy.com – “Fathers Need to Show Love Through Actions“