It’s so easy for parents to get busy and overwhelmed with their responsibilities caring for kids, maintaining a household, balancing school, and keeping up with all the activities surrounding parenthood. Kids are super cute, and we love them so much, but marriages need just as much attention and prioritization. If investments into the marriage are not made on a daily basis, a couple may soon find that all they have connecting the two of them is the children.
A regularly scheduled date night is one very fun and easy way for couples to commit to prioritizing their marriage and ensuring they have moments focused solely on each other. Whether you are fortunate enough to be able to have a date night every week or if you can only commit to once a month, you may be surprised at the difference a night out together can make in your parenting!
Couples Need to Feel Connected
As parents carry the stress and burden of providing for a family, as sleep needs are not always met, and as kids demand all the attention, feelings of connectedness can quickly become lost. Parents feel run down, and their identity as a couple becomes lost in their roles as parents. Being a mom or dad is certainly an identity to be proud of, but couples need to be able to find ways to connect again outside of their parental duties.
A date night is a perfect opportunity to spend time together engaging in hobbies or volunteer opportunities that you both once found to be of common interest. Engaging in shared interests and having an opportunity to talk about things that draw you closer to each other are certainly important priorities to make in your marriage.
Kids Need to See a Healthy Relationship
While a date night is certainly meant to be about your marriage, it is also good for the kids. Not only is it healthy for them to learn it’s OK to be separated from you, it is also beneficial as they are growing up to be witnesses to a healthy relationship. Think about how you want your son and daughter treated in their marriage when they are adults. There is significant advantage to children learning the importance of a loving marriage.
Date night is also the perfect opportunity to teach your sons and daughters the expectations you want them to have in a dating relationship. Are you modeling to your son how to be a gentleman and to your daughter what to expect from a date? These are teachable moments to pass along values and behaviors when it comes to dating.
Excuses Need to Go Away
Granted, child care expenses can quickly become budget killers, especially when you calculate in multiple kids. However, if you plan for these expenses as part of your monthly budget (perhaps sacrificing less important expenditures in favor of adding these), then you won’t have the excuse of not being able to afford a date night. Also, if all your date night budget goes into the child care costs, then you can get creative with cheaper dates such as picnics, walks through a park, or budget movies.
If there truly is no money available for regular date nights, then consider a babysitting swap with another family. You watch their kids one night for them to go on a date, then they watch yours the next night. Another option is to take advantage of the kids being at school during the day, and meet up for a lunch date!
While no parenting situation is the same and many brave parents face the challenge by themselves, for those parenting couples seeking to strengthen their marriages or relationships, a date night is a crucial way to keep you feeling connected! What creative date nights have you and your spouse enjoyed?