If there’s one thing I’ve learned so far about parenting, it’s that it’s hard to think when you’re sleep deprived.
And let’s face it, there is a lot of sleep deprivation in parenting! But the sooner you accept it, the better you can plan for it and the fuzzy mind of a new parent won’t get the best of you. For example, we recently had our very first wedding post-baby. There are a lot of things to prepare for a wedding. On top of that, there are a ton of things to think through when you’re handing your child over to someone for an entire day. We knew once the morning arrived it would be very easy to miss things so we spent an inordinate amount of time prepping on Friday evening. It was a good thing because Rose woke up at 4:45am that morning so my mind was quite foggy as we began to get ready for the day. Good thing I’ve grown to love coffee! We were so well prepared that we arrived 45 minutes early to the wedding. It pays to have a plan!
Just as our clients and Rose deserve our very best, so does our marriage. As you know, we believe setting aside time for date nights is an integral way to invest in your marriage. But as you know, the practicalities of life, especially parenting, can easily dismay you from taking the time and energy to make them happen. We quickly realized that we would need a general game plan in order to keep consistent and creative date nights happening. It’s so easy to get in a rut of dinner and a movie! Or worst, to have date night roll around and you’re too tired to think of what to do so you just cancel.
We decided to come up with a few ideas/options to choose from each week. This way there was flexibility to the routine, but enough planned ahead of time to not have any room for excuse. Here are the options we choose from each week.
- Dinner and a movie (we are movie addicts!).
- Date Night In (we love to cook together). This is also good for weeks we can’t find child care.
- Coffee Shop life planning with our Make It Happen powersheets.
- Spontaneous/Adventure (hike, concert, donut run – the options are endless!) This is where you keep creativity alive!
Date night is all about staying connected! This could mean emotionally, physically or spiritually. Two weeks ago we canceled childcare and I spent a good hour crying on Vitaliy’s shoulder while Rose napped. It wasn’t the “ideal” date night, but it brought us closer together.
Life throws curve balls all the time, so we try to put everything aside once a week in order to reconnect, recharge, and make sure that we’re staying together as husband and wife. Because we are stronger together. When Thursday rolls around, we now look to this list, assess how we’re feeling and what we think our relationship needs, and make our selection. A little pre-planning goes a long way! And there’s always room for flexibility. Last week Rose was experiencing a growth spurt and her sleeping was all off schedule. We had planned on doing option #3 above, but instead, we spent date night walking with Rose in her stroller while we talked and spent time dreaming together. Again, it wasn’t the best case scenario for date night, but it helped us connect and dream about our future, a future that includes a strong marriage and family life.
What tips and tricks do you use to help make date night happen? Please share in the comments below!
This is the first in a three part series to get us to Think Different About Date Night.