Back when it was just my husband and I, the biggest challenge around date night was figuring out what we wanted to do. Where should we eat, what movie should we watch, where should we go, and so on. My husband is a movie and music buff, so we tended to spend a lot of evenings out catching a movie (or two) or out seeing a band live. We did a mix of date nights alone and with a crowd. It was nice to spend time along, but we also enjoyed the company of friends.
When we decided to start a family, we recognized that we would still want to have date nights, but not all of them would be away from home. There was the concern of leaving our baby with a babysitter and the realization of how much an evening out can cost when you consider dinner, movie, and paying the babysitter, that made us figure that many date nights would be enjoyed at home. One of our agreements was that before we had children, we would finish our basement and that it would include a media room - a place where we could go to watch a movie with the full glory of surround sound and a good size screen - a chance to have date nights in the luxury of our own home.
We have spent many a night catching a movie together on our own private date in our basement. We have watched some good movies and some not so good movies (my husband will tell you that I don't always watch the whole movie - but I usually see most of the good ones :-)! It's just that the dark room, with the warm blanket and the comfortable recliners - it just makes it hard to stay awake at the end of the day), but whehter good or bad, the important thing is that we have been spending the time together and we have a movie experience to talk about. Spending time together and talking about topics other than the children, is something that is important to keeping a relationship strong.
I have always enjoyed going out to dinner as a part of date night. There just is something about a meal at a restaurant that feels special or like a treat. I now find myself recreating restaurant meals at home, to make dinner seem more special. We still typically eat dinner as a family, even if it is a fancy meal (fortunately, there aren't many foods the kids don't like), but that doesn't stop it from feeling
speical like a meal out (it's sort of like a date night with friends, only in this case kids).
Enjoying date night at home certainly is more frugal than a night out on the town, but we do still periodically get a chance to actually leave the house for date nights too. As you might remember, my husband took me away for a whole date weekend for my birthday. I think part of it is that now that the kids are older, I am not as hesitant about leaving them on occasion with a babysitter for a chance to go out and have a date with my husband. It's still not a regular occurrence, but we do get out. We recognize that this is important to maintaining our relationship and to being a couple, not just parents.
This post shared at Works for Me Wednesday.
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