You can never overestimate how much less time you will have for yourself once you bring a baby into your home. The trouble is, the same can apply to time with your spouse. As a Christian family, we know that it is important to prioritize our marriage. Since having our first baby, we have come up with a few strategies to ensure we continue to have time to focus on bonding and building up our love for each other. This includes having ready-to-go dates at home.
For the first three months after Little Fox was born, our lives were mostly focused just on her. The closest we came to dates were having Baba watch baby at the grocery store while we shopped.
Then came our wedding anniversary. We went out for supper, enjoyed a lovely Italian meal, and came home. Baba looked after Little Fox, and was just feeding her a bottle of pumped milk as we came back in. We were only gone for an hour an a half, maybe two hours. Although my husband and I felt good about our date (especially considering it was longer alone together then any previous occasion in the last three months), it was a reminder that we should be doing more to nurture our relationship.
After a little consideration, it was clear we needed to come up with some dates we could do at home. We don’t have a lot of money to spend on going out (even when we have an eager Baba, ready to watch Little Fox at the slightest hint of possibility). Also, with my husbands long hours away from home already with his other commitments, going out more isn’t exactly appealing. Time at home together was exactly what we both wanted.
Not going out, and not spending much money are two nice things about dates at home. But the best thing about dates at home is that they’re baby-friendly. They can be done with Little Fox sleeping nearby, awake and playing, or with Baba in another room. Child-friendly, but still loving and romantic.
The Set Up
How you want to do this is going to depend on what dates you want to have prepared. We keep our date materials in Ziploc bags inside of a green gift bag in our living room. There it serves as a visual reminder to have dates, as well as holds everything we need for them. You could also keep the dates in a bin, box, or drawer. The important thing is to keep what you need all in one place so that it’s ready to go when you need it.
My favourite date that we’ve done so far (and have the materials to do again) is icon painting. To do this we used dollar store canvases, a print out of the icons we wanted to paint, glue (to attach the print out to the canvas) and paints.
Another date my husband and I have enjoyed is answering questions about each other. It was a fun way to learn more about each other and reminisce about our relationship. You can find some example questions to print out and use here. Print two copies so you can write and ask each other. There are various variations of this game found online. Sometimes it’s called the Newlywed game because is popular at engagement parties.
Some of the dates in a bag are just tasks or activities written out on slips of paper in the bag. These include
As you can see, some of these dates are more involved then others. It’s easy to find a date in the bag that will work for any date night situation.
My husband and I also enjoy doing word puzzles like cross words and word searches together, so we added some of those to our date bag as well. If you enjoy doing certain activities as a couple, see how you can bring that into your planned dates at home set.