Everyone warned me that parenthood changes your life, but I wasn’t ready for the way it would take over everything. I wasn’t ready for the way it would change my relationship with my husband. We were finally a family, but we kind of stopped being a couple. We stopped dating.
In 2014, we went on exactly two dates. One was to a friend’s wedding, and one was a young adult evening hosted by the associate pastor, where the parish provided free babysitting. Other social events came up, but either one of us went while the other stayed home, or we straight up skipped out on them.
We went an entire year without any real quality time alone as a couple.
The only time we got together alone was at the end of the day or during nap time on the weekends. We slumped on the couch and turned on the TV. Our conversations were limited to a simple recounting of the day. We were so busy being parents that we stopped being Luke and Kate. I missed my husband.
My new year’s resolution for 2015 was to go on more dates.
Like most resolutions, I gave up on it three weeks in. Life took over and marriage to a backseat to motherhood. We didn’t really know any babysitters, so we stayed stuck in our rut. Something had to change.
When my husband asked what we wanted to do for ourselves for Christmas, I told him I didn’t want to do presents. No present could be more important than our marriage. Instead, we took the money we usually spent on each other, and put it in our fire safe. It became the babysitter fund. We enrolled in a service that provides (experienced and background-checked) babysitters. We started getting out once a month or so. It was great, but I still wanted more.
Finally, one day, I got a haircut. I’m a novice when it comes to styling my hair, so I really wanted to take advantage of a good hair day. I told my husband I wanted a date night.
Sadly, we didn’t get on the ball fast enough to get a sitter, but then we had the best idea we’ve had in a long time. We would do a date night at home.
We skipped dinner with the kids and put them to bed early. My husband ordered takeout, and opened a bottle of wine. We scoured the various streaming services for a movie to watch together. I put on makeup and heels.
It was great.
We talked. Actually talked. We fell back into the easy relationship we had when we were first dating, and enjoyed each other’s company. We got a little too tired to finish the movie, but other than that, it was a complete success, and it was far cheaper than any night we’d ever had out. Since then, we’ve started branching out, and our goal is to have at least one date night a week. We still go out with friends, but we’ve reclaimed our couple time here at home. I am so much happier, and I am so thankful for this quality time with my husband.
Want to have your own date night? Need ideas? Here’s a printable of some of my favorite At Home Date Night Ideas.