Balancing the responsibilities of adulthood is a time consuming venture. Throw parenting on top of the to-do list and it’s easy to see why many parents habitually skip date night. When time is limited, most couples use their free time to sleep or catch up on household chores. But at what cost? Happy marriages are the foundation of functional families but to keep them together, parents need time alone to stay romantically connected. Even in the chaos of busy schedules, it’s important to prioritize regular outings that give couples a chance to enjoy uninterrupted time to focus solely on each other. Use these three tips to help master date night as parents.
Schedule in Advance
Conflicts of schedules is one of the most common roadblocks when it comes to date night. To avoid this, plan ahead. Get a hardcopy of a calendar and note any family appointments or events. Afterward, find a day of the week that is consistently open. Choose that day for date night. Once you lock in on a certain day, try your best to be consistent.
Find a sitter who also has the same free day and will be available for a recurring weekly appointment. Weekday nights often have more sitter availability than weekends. Once you’ve secured childcare, make a longstanding date night appointment and make sure to give your sitter advance notice if you need to take a week off. Lastly, pick your date night locations and events well in advance and make a habit of double checking your reservations before day night arrives.
The single most important factor in achieving a flawless date night is choosing the right sitter. Date night should be relaxing and stress free. Those goals are only obtainable when you leave your little ones with someone who has your full trust. High quality child care providers come with a steeper price tag than less experienced sitters. Include childcare fees in your monthly budget and save enough extra money to cover tips and advance pay (if requested).
Use recommendations from trusted sources or a reputable website to find a provider, then make sure to conduct a thorough interview. Elite sitters typically have extensive experience, are certified in first aid and CPR and are willing to go above and beyond to ensure that your children are safe and you are well informed while away. The right sitter will make all the difference in how enjoyable your night is, so don’t cut corners when seeking the best.
Do the Important Stuff Yourself
As parents, you know your kids the best. You know exactly what to do in all possible scenarios that may arise. Share as much information as you can with your childcare provider and before your date, do the important things yourself. Take it upon yourself to set out appropriate snacks and meals, approved options for entertainment and pre-measured medicines. If your children are particular about certain things (stuffed animals, favorite pajamas, etc.) make sure those things are clean and ready for the sitter. If your littles ones are good at the art of persuasion, also leave a “don’t list” that details household rules that are not to be broken, no matter how much the children attempt to convince the sitter otherwise.
The rewards that come with dating your spouse are well worth the effort required to make it happen. Keep the fire alive by following these three steps to guarantee a memorable date night.