After being used to having big kids that I can send to family or friends whenever Dan and I wanted to go out on a date night, having Adam has really thrown us for a loop! I forget how anxiety-ridden and - let's be honest - damn near impossible it is to have a date night out, just the two of us, when there's a baby in the picture.
Not that there isn't a long line of potential babysitters happy to watch the older kids and the baby anytime. It's that we're not ready to leave the baby! But that hasn't stopped us from still having date nights almost every night.
"Date nights in" is something that we've been doing together for the entire time we've been a couple - including when we were living thousands of miles apart. Since we didn't have the luxury of sharing the same space with each other for most of our relationship, I think we actually cherish our time together, just at home, more than other couples would.
Anyway, since today is Valentine's Day, I figured I'd share 5 of our favorite date night ideas that new parents can do at home!
- Netflix and Chill
On-demand TV is a lifesaver for new parents. Being a slave to our new baby's schedule (or non-schedule, as it were) means that we can't necessarily sit down at a set time to watch our favorite shows. Plus, having the older boys in the house means that watching anything rated M (AKA anything remotely interesting) has to wait till they are in bed. So what we do is get them to bed, get Adam to sleep (usually on the chaise, right next to us), and we Netflix! The chill part usually means literally just chill out, but at times it does take on that other meaning ;)
- Sneaky Sexy Suppers
Alright, that should probably say "Sneaky Salsa Suppers" instead, for the amount of nachos we consume after the kids are in bed. But I promise - salsa breath aside - it is quite sexy! If we're ever feeling peckish (usually while watching Netflix, lol), we make it a point to make a sinful supper and share it from a single plate. Finger foods are a plus. Feeding each other? Extra plus. Also usually means the end of Netflix time and the beginning of that second definition of "chill".
A full-body Thai massage at a spa where there is peaceful gamelan music being played and the scent of lemongrass oil is in the air? Ideal! But not likely to happen in your own home. Still, taking turns rubbing each other's feet or shoulders is a fantastic way to reconnect after a long day. Big bonus is being able to chat while you do it too. Another big bonus is that it doubles as foreplay! (Just saying)
- Alone Together
This one isn't the best date night idea but on some nights, it's the most realistic. When Dan has had a difficult day at work, and/or I've had an overwhelming day with the kids at home, sometimes we each just feel too knackered to do anything more than just play with our phones. And that's okay. We all need our alone time. But try having your alone time, together! Sometimes we just cuddle in bed together as I surf through Feedly and he surfs through Cracked. We're still doing something together, just not with each other. And there's something special about being able to sit together in companionable silence, without needing anything more than your partner's presence.
- A Good Chat
Sometimes new parents are like ships in the night - you live in the same house, but you barely talk or even see each other on most days. Once in a while, make it a point to reconnect with a good chat. This can be done anywhere, and even in conjunction with other ideas on this list, but the best chats are those in the comfort of your own home, and with the promise that you'll be fully focused on each other. Dan and I put the kids to bed, turn off the TV, and get chatting. Important rule: Don't talk about the kids! Our chats do tend to veer towards talking about our children, but we try to always bring it back to us. It's important for us to be able to always be in touch with where we're at as a couple and as individuals. We chat about all sorts of things. Sometimes it's serious (like our hopes and dreams, or how overwhelmed we're feeling) and sometimes it's complete nonsense (our opinions on the TV shows we've been watching or just laughing at really shitty jokes courtesy of my husband). What matters is that we are reconnecting as people and as a couple, and not just as caregivers to three small humans.
All these ideas are great. But honestly, my personal favorite date night activity is what all these activities usually lead to ;)
Are there any more ideas you'd like to add? What is your favorite date night activity to do with your partner at home?