My dad managed our local movie theater when I was a kid – movies were a big part of my life then and they still hold a special place in my heart. I've even invested in a home entertaining system and speakers, similar to those on maxyourhometime.com, so that I can watch as many movies as I like, when I like, and enjoy an authentic experience with great sound. As cliche as it may be, my perfect date night is dinner and a movie. There is something about getting all dressed up that just makes me feel so glamorous.
I love sporting my best fake Gucci belt, popping on a slick of red lipstick, curling my hair, and hitting the town with my partner. Fashion has always made me feel more confident, and although I might not be able to spend as much money on my outfits nowadays, there is always a way to find more affordable alternatives to all of your favorite date night clothes and accessories. For example, a friend of mine recently introduced me to the joys of designer replicas and I have not looked back since. You just have to be a little creative!
With four wonderful children, however, date nights are few and far between. Sometimes I even look into something as simple as best restaurants Roanoke and make plans, just in case a date night ever happens. It would be something nice to do again, as this doesn't happen as much as I'd hoped.
The price of a date night grows exponentially when you factor in childcare for multiple children. When I asked local moms how much they paid for “date night” sitters the range was from $10-15/hour per child – and even if I cut dinner out of our plans we'd need a solid 3+ hours of baby sitting to see a movie which could run me over $100 for babysitting services alone. Who can afford that?!
So, how do we survive marriage without date nights?
My husband is a gamer and I am a social media addict. For a while we were in a rut where we would sit on our opposite couches with something random on the television, each pressing keys on our laptops until it was time for bed. My husband used to tell me about how he could buy lol smurf to level up on his favourite game and apparently it made him get pretty good at it. Now, we limit our computer time to about an hour. It's not a firm limit for us because as a self-employed entrepreneur and stay-at-home mom, sometimes I HAVE to be on the computer to get work done or meet a deadline… but we do our very best to work smarter, and stick to our limits.
Every single night after unplugging from our computers we watch TV together. We are Netflix lovers – so we are typically binge-watching a series, but sometimes we throw in a movie from Netflix or the Redbox. I will admit that the shows we watch now are mostly up his alley – but over the course of our marriage I have learned to love a lot of “his” shows. Right now we're in the middle of Gotham and recently caught up on Arrow and The Flash. I already have our next series picked out: Fuller House (yup, that's one of my picks)! Having a show we both look forward to and enjoy not only gives us something to look forward to each night, but it gives us something different to talk about too.
If you are at a point where you need a break – whether that means a solo trip to the grocery store or someone else cooking dinner – be honest with yourself and your husband. My husband and I don't get date nights, but we do allow each other to take a break when it's needed. It's important to remember that you can not take care of others if you are not taking care of yourself.
Another great idea is to find another family in the same boat that you are and set up a sitter swap. Maybe once a month or every other week… come up with a plan that works for both of you and alternate watching all the kids so that each couple gets some alone time to watch a movie or take a nap!
I'd love to hear the ways that your marriage thrives without traditional date nights – or even the ways in which you keep the spark alive between date nights.