Let’s set the scene…
You are currently changing a dirty diaper with this morning’s breakfast stuck to your shirt, toys are scattered everywhere, there are dishes in the sink, and one child is running around coloring (with marker of course) on every surface imaginable.
Your husband walks through the door from work looking forward to the date night you had planned; meanwhile you are wondering if you even showered today.
Does this sound like anyone else’s life or just me?
It can be difficult to find time to date your spouse as a stay-at-home-mom of young children. But it is possible!
Read on to see how to date your spouse EVEN after kids!!!
How to Date Your Spouse Even After Kids
Let’s start out with why we should even continue to date each other.
Think back to when you were dating and engaged to your significant other. I bet you just smiled when you started thinking about it! Why is that?
When you are dating you are solely focused on doing things that show love and respect to the other person. You laugh at all their jokes. You take care of them when they are sick. You send encouraging texts for that big meeting they told you they had.
Why does this change when we get married? One word.
We have kids (see the scenario above), get new jobs, move houses, pay bills, and stress about money, all while trying to adjust to life with another person.
Our attention becomes divided. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the devil does everything he can to bring you together before marriage, and everything he can to keep you apart after.
This is the main reason we need to date our spouses even after marriage. Don’t give Satan a foothold. Spend time investing into people and things that matter.
Now I understand that circumstances change. For example, when we have children, our lives take a complete 180!
Our kids, especially toddlers and babies, need lots of attention. And that is okay! I get it! This is why what I’m about to tell you is so important when planning intentional “date nights” with your spouse…
Go over your weekly schedule together.
This is crucial.
Pick one day a week (we prefer Sundays after our daughter goes to bed) and go over your schedules for the week ahead. Take the time to discuss meetings, play dates, grocery store trips, work events, etc. Set a specific day (or days) and time where you and your spouse can connect with no distractions.
I cannot stress the importance of this enough. When my husband and I started going over our weekly schedule together, we found there was a lot less tension between us and unrealistic expectations. Obviously things can happen outside of our control, but we knew what our week would look like, and when we would have our time together.
You might think, “We don’t have time to do that, we’ll see each other at some point,” or “Why would I schedule in time with my spouse? That seems cold.” Well, there’s a clear answer for both of these questions.
“We don’t have time.”
Our first and foremost priority in life should be our relationship with the Lord, because everything else flows from that.
Second, is our time with our spouse. If we aren’t continually investing into our marriages, how are we supposed to show our kids what a godly marriage looks like?
I get that there are times and seasons that require a little extra grace (having a newborn, moving into a new house, travel, etc.), but there isn’t one single person on this planet who you are supposed to be closer with than your spouse.
“The two shall become one flesh.” 1 Corinthians 6:16
We make time for things that are important to us, which brings us to the next concern…
“Scheduling time for your spouse seems cold.”
Let’s think about some different things we put on our schedules:
- doctor appointments
- sporting events
These are all things that are important enough to be on our schedule so we can be prepared and on time… shouldn’t it be that way with our spouse?
Shouldn’t they get top priority on our to do lists and not just our leftovers?
When we have that time set aside, you both know what to expect and can mentally prepare to invest during that time.
So, with all that said, let’s get to the good stuff.
Now that we know why it’s important to date our spouses, and how to set aside intentional time to do so, what do we do during that time?
Ta-da! Here are 10 fun and creative ways we can connect with our spouses:
Side Note: This will be broken down into two sections – 5 date nights at home after the kids go to bed, and 5 date nights outside of the house that require a babysitter (Hello Grandma and Grandpa!)
Date Nights In
- Ask each other random questions
This can be such an awesome way to connect with your spouse! Having a good mix of serious and funny questions is ideal, so you can laugh together and connect emotionally as well.
You can get access to my “Date Night Questions” here, or Sarah’s Conversation Starters Binder here (use special discount code to get it for $50 off: DATEYOURSPOUSE)! You may even be surprised by some of your spouse’s answers!
- Go to the movies – in your living room!
Turn your living room into your own local cinema! Bring your mattress out into the living room with lots of blankets and pillows. One of you can grab a movie from Redbox while the other stays home and makes the popcorn. Put on your favorite jammies, turn out all the lights, and you are ready to roll!
If you don’t have a Redbox near you, Hulu or Netflix would work just fine.
- Have an at home spa
Really get into this one! Set up the bedroom with lit candles, Pandora spa radio, towels and essential oils (here’s some romantic diffuser blends). Take turns massaging each other and just relax! This is a great stress reliever, AND helps you both connect on a more physical level.
- Bust out the board games
Not just any board games though; pick ones that you know will get you laughing and/or thinking hard! Pass the Pigs, Name 5, Battle of the Sexes, and Farkle are some great non-card game options, although cards are fine too.
One game my husband and I love to play is “Heads Up.” It’s a guessing game app that you can download for free on your phone. We have spent hours playing this before. It’s such a great way to loosen up and laugh with each other!
- Binge watch a TV show/movie series
Pick out a show or movie series that you enjoy watching TOGETHER, and binge watch an entire season/series! Some options could be The Voice, America’s Got Talent, Friends, or our personal favorite… The Hobbit Trilogy!
This might be a good Friday date night so your spouse doesn’t have to get up super early for work.
Date Nights Out
- Dinner scavenger hunt
This isn’t your typical dinner date that you might be used to… let’s make it a little more interesting.
[Set aside a little bit of a higher budget for this one]
Ask your husband to hide 15-20 pieces of candy or chocolate (think tootsie rolls, mints, small things) around the house. However many you find will determine the cost of where you eat. For example:
1 piece of candy = fast food dollar menu dinner
20 pieces of candy = nice steakhouse dinner + dessert!
- Go on a hike/walk
Find a park nearby, and take some time to soak in God’s creation. Leave the phones in the car, and take the time to get active and focus on each other!
- Dollar dash
This one is fun! Head to your local Dollar Tree, and each pick out 2-3 items you think your spouse would like. Then, go to 2-3 fast food places, and each order only one thing off the dollar menu at each location.
Head on home, and talk about why you chose what gifts you did over dinner!
- Learn something new together
You can take a class together – cooking, painting, pottery making, golf lessons, rock climbing, etc. Experiencing new things together will automatically bring you closer.
- Go see a drive-in movie
Load up the car with snacks and blankets, and go see a movie at a drive-in! This is great because unlike in a movie theater, you can actually talk to each other during the movie.
Back to the scenario at the beginning…
Being a parent is TOUGH; it takes a lot of energy, time, love, patience, sacrifice and focus. And YOU are doing an awesome job.
But, let’s not get so caught up in life that we forget to connect with our spouses.
Remember, your kids will grow up and leave home, but your spouse is by your side forever. And now that we have all the tools, we can make dating our spouse a priority.