There we were after another night out.
By night, I clearly mean evening, because we were pulling back up to the house at 9pm.
Jenny and I usually make some joke about how different our lives are now that we have four kids at home.
The boys are usually in bed between 7-8 which gives Jenny and I time in the evening to wind down without looking after children.
Nine at night feels like a late night out.
We laugh as we think about when we had started dating. There were times we were rushing back to the dorms to make it back by the 1am weekend curfew.
I can barely make it to the 11oclock hour these days. Part of my inability to stay up late is a result of having to get up so early. I’m heading across the room to shut off my alarm at 5am most weekdays. If I stay up late it makes getting up that early pretty difficult.
Anyway, our dates typically do not last far into the night but we always have a good time. We utilize our time away from the kids to just relax and have some away from the hous married people time.
Here are a few steps we take to ensure we have a successful date night.
It starts with a plan.
I am not talking about a step by step plan of each destination with bulleted points and times.
I just mean in order to have a date night, a day has to be planned. Before we had kids we could just go out whenever we wanted. If we felt like heading out to eat we just did it and called it a date.
Now, more planning is necessary. We need to find a day when we know I won’t be working too late. Is there an evening not taken up by a Bible study, homeschool event, or any number of other activities?
Then when a day is found we have to make sure we have someone available to watch our kids. Our oldest is only seven, so not quite old enough for them to be left home alone (at least that’s what other people tell me).
We also have to make sure we have it in the budget to have the money to go out as well as pay a babysitter, unless the babysitter is a grandparent. They do it for free).
What are we going to do?
Life with kids can basically take up all of your thinking if you let it.
It can feel a bit odd leaving the house without any children. You may find yourself driving down the road when all of a sudden you look in the back seat to find your kids have vanished.
It can be scary until you realize you left them on purpose.
If you leave the house without a plan of what to do (see a movie, go out to eat, hit up some stores your kids would tear apart if they went into, go to a park, etc) you may find yours of driving around in circles or wandering aimlessly around Walmart.
Actually many of our dates end with us roaming around Walmart, so that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Remember to be present with each other
Whether your date nights are once a year, once a month, or once a week, it does not leave much time for just the two of you.
Try not to worry about what is happening wherever the children are. Be present with each other. Talk about your lives with each other.
Plan to spend your time focusing on one another and this time you are having alone. Marriage is a wonderful institution, especially when it is being spent with a friend.
Those are just a few things we do to make sure our date nights are successful. No matter the actual activity we know it has been a success if we do these things.
What are steps you take to have a successful date night.