I will not tell a lie, since Baby #3 (“Peanut,” a.k.a. “Oops!”) came along, we do not get out much. Life is just ridiculous with three kids and two of them under two. Maybe we just suck at balancing, maybe we should focus on our relationship more, or ya know what? Maybe we’re just normal. I think it’s normal to let your roles as parents take over and exhaust you and leave you with nothing left to give your spouse. Wow…that’s a downer! 🙂
I tell the handsome Dr. B all the time, “I just want to get through this parenting thing together, come out alive, and come out on the other end still liking each other.” Luckily, we have a great relationship that can weather any storm, but we work really really REALLY hard at this marriage thing.
We’ve started trying to have one date night a month. And laying in bed playing on our iPads while watching HGTV in our PJ’s doesn’t count. We’re talking REAL, planned-out dates, doing things out of the house, and wearing real pants.
To help with the planning, I created the “Date Box,” a date idea basket. We just pull out a card, and there’s a pre-planned date ready to go.
Here are just a few of the date ideas from the Date Box!
1. Bowling date! Whether you have to bowl with the bumpers up like me, or if you’re a card carrying member of The United States Bowling Congress like my husband…(GASP!!! I KNOW, RIGHT?!?!? WHO KNEW!? lol) …This date is fun for all! Get a big pitcher of retro beer, and some nachos with the squirty cheese, and you’ve got yourself a fun and interactive date that causes you to get up off your hiney and MOVE!
2. Picnic date!
This is so much cooler than you’re thinking. Last Spring I began a mission to really explore my city and to find some of the nicest, prettiest areas…and I was surprised! You can have a beautiful picnic date night really for no money. Some of the beautiful parks in my area are seated next to a serene body of water, wildlife, the best-maintained grounds you’ll find anywhere, tables, pavilions, trails, floral gardens, gorgeous sitting areas, grills…and the list goes on. I bet you have some crackers, veggies, cheese, and something to throw together a sandwich right there in your pantry and fridge, right now. And maybe a bottle of wine? Pack it all up, throw in a table cloth (or a sheet), some candles, your iPod for music…and you’ve got an instant date night that’ll be in a prettier environment than any restaurant can give you.
3. Ice skating date!
Ok, so, I love the IDEA of this date, but the day we actually do pull this one from the Date Box…I might just pee my pants, because I’ve never been up on skates…and I’m scared…and that’s ok. It’s all about the adventure of trying something new and trying it with your mate. Dr. B played hockey when he was younger, so the guy knows what he’s doing. I know that when I go ice skating for the first time, my man will be there holding my hand, and we’ll laugh a lot…and when I break my ankle, he will be there to take care of me, because that’s his job.
4. Thrift store shopping date!
It’s amazing what treasures you can find when you go Poppin’ Tags. Wait…my 17 year old who says I’m uncool says not to use that term. Ok… But anyway… This is a fun date. Each of you get like $20, and away you go!
5. Double date! Call some friends. Make some plans. Boom! Double date. That just happened.
6. Be a tourist in your own city date! See your town through the eyes of someone who doesn’t live here. If you were stuck here for a weekend, what would you want to do? Chances are, your city has museums, historical sites, some awesome restaurants, microbreweries, wineries, or sports teams that you turn a blind eye to. Go visit them! And buy souvenirs. And take pics. And put them all on Facebook and Instagram to show how happy you are and how much fun you’re having (which is the point of social media, right?!?)
7. Sushi date!
Order the Love Boat. Do it! Do it for me because I’ve always wanted to and never have! Sushi is just fun! It’s fun because it ALWAYS creates conversation (“What’s a Harry Caray roll?” “Do you think we can eat this much?” “Did you know escolar causes horrific oily diarrhea?”…so maybe skip that last one). It’s fun to try a variety of things, eat with chopsticks, have some Sake Bombs…it’s just FUN! So do it!!! 😀
8. Fancy date! Even if you’re tired, even if your PJ’s and a frozen pizza are calling your name…get all dolled up and pull out all the stops. Dress, heels, hair, makeup, the works. Chances are, the last time you saw each other looking this good was at the last wedding you went to…maybe it was your own. It’s amazing how you see each other in a different light when you’re all spiffied up (spiffied up…not spit up…which is usually on all my shirts…hence the need for a “fancy date”).
9. Psychic reading date! So it’s sort of a silly, hoaky thing to do, and that’s the point. But, there’s something slightly sexy and romantic about the eeriness and mystery of the other realm. 🙂
10. Movie date! Head to the theatre and choose a movie, any movie, even if there’s nothing you’ve really been wanting to see. I think I could get into pretty much any movie and enjoy it…except Spice World. Remember Spice World? 1997? Definitely did not get into that one. Munch on popcorn, hold hands, and talk about your favorite part when it’s over. Maybe your favorite part will be WHEN it’s over…like when I saw Spice World.