Dating after Marriage?!?!?! WHAT is THAT?!
I’m ashamed to admit that my hubby and I don’t go out on dates like we should. Probably, like most of you, life gets so busy with the “priorities” of our schedule choking out our days. We find ourselves tired and in a rut, doing the same things day in and day out. Sameness gets old and boring. Then we feel like our children demand our every minute and find that once again, we’ve put ourselves along with our needs last. This is not good. It simply is not healthy.
Back in my ‘career’ days, working for a record label, it was very important that amongst our artist roster, each of them had something to say. Our A&R (Artist & Repertoire) department stressed to each of our artists the importance of being plugged into their home church, taking part of an accountability group as well as keeping a journal. It quickly became evident that in order to “give” you have to “receive”. In other words, to “feed others” you have to first “be fed” otherwise you will become like a dry well.
Before we became parents, we saw the value in helping our friends get out for a date night now and then. We’d offer to watch their kids so they could get out for an evening. Admittedly, part of it was selfish on our parts; we wanted children so badly ourselves and this gave us our “fix”. It was our gift to them. Now, I’m not sharing this to boast or brag on what we did; rather to demonstrate how valuable it is for parents of young children, especially, to get out and have a much-needed break. Fast-forward to being parents ourselves, we have fallen into the same trap our friends did. We find plenty of reasons why we don’t need to spend the money or hire a babysitter when in fact, time out with your spouse doesn’t have to leave you in debt!
Let me share a couple ideas of what this can look like for you without having to take a loan out from the bank just for a couple hours of freedom. A friend from our MOPS group (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers) and I were talking about our need to get out more with our husbands. She shared with me that after putting her daughter to bed, she and her husband have a “date”. They retreat to their bonus room, pop popcorn, watch a movie or favorite tv show(s) and enjoy one another’s company sans the interruption and distraction of kids. Yet another friend of mine and I have swapped babysitting so that we can have a date, run errands, go to a doctor’s appointment or even clean the house! Still another hires a sitter for a couple of hours so she and her husband can simply finish a conversation while sipping some coffee at a favorite spot. On a few occasions, we have been (happy!) recipients of restaurant gift cards. All we had to do was to hire a sitter or swap out with a friend for a special night out, such as an anniversary.
So you see, date nights don’t have to be extraordinary or extravagant. In fact, sometimes simple and spontaneous is a better choice allowing you to enjoy it more frequently. For me, the payoff comes upon returning home. Since I’m feeling renewed and refreshed, I have lots more patience for my son and look forward to seeing him and meeting his needs once again. After all, children are demanding and require our 24/7 attention. Be a better “you” by taking care of yourself first. Think of it as an investment in your marriage rather than an expenditure in your checkbook. 🙂
The takeaway? Don’t wait! Make plans now for your next date night and watch how it revitalizes and rejuvenates you to take on another day!
**For additional dating ideas and a fun retreat with your spouse, check out “A Week-end To Remember” through Family Life Ministries. My husband and I have been twice; once as an engaged couple and once after 5 years of marriage. It is an amazing and affordable ‘shot in the arm’. Also, check out the “Love It Like You Mean It” cruise. Either of these would make a wonderful gift for you, or someone you know, while you trade off watching kids.
Check it all out at: http://www.familylifetoday.com