Becoming a new parent is the start of an incredibly exciting chapter in your life, but between feedings, dirty diapers, and naps that are far too short, it can be easy to quickly become overwhelmed.
Equally as importantly, it can be easy to forget about the romance that led you and your partner to make the decision to have a baby in the first place.
If you are a new parent, the baby is likely taking up the majority of your time. However, it is valuable for your mental health and relationship health to find space to get away and remember what led you down this path.
It is important to make time for romance and for date nights.
All the What Ifs…
Okay, yeah, you might be thinking that a date night sounds great, but there are so many reasons not to go out. For instance, if you’re breastfeeding, what if the baby runs out of pre-pumped milk? Or what if the baby cries the entire time you’re gone and the babysitting can’t get them to settle down? Or if there is an emergency?
There will always be what-ifs and potential reasons not to go out and enjoy yourself. You may feel guilty about leaving your child or like you are wasting money that could go into a college fund. But there is much more at stake here. Your child will benefit more from parents who get a break and who maintain a healthy relationship with each other than from burnt out parents who suffer through.
Nearly two-thirds of married couples report that their relationship has become boring and unsatisfying within three years of having their first baby. Many others begin fighting over differences that never came up before the baby was born.
Finding time to go out together can help alleviate some issues by keeping the relationship fun, giving you both the opportunity to talk about things other than childcare, and helping to build a parenting partnership.
Easy Date Ideas
Just because you are scheduling time to go out on dates doesn’t mean that the date has to be wild and crazy. Chances are you are both exhausted, so just spending quality time together may be enough without spending a ton of money or going on a day-long adventure.
The most important thing is to just set some date night ground rules, like no phone calls from kids unless there is a real emergency.
Try a New Restaurant
If you and your partner are foodies, perhaps the best date for you is to try new restaurants. You may be interested in an experience such as a local farm-to-table meal that incorporates seasonal foods from your local area into the meal.
Alternatively, you may be looking for cheap, quality food and make a game out of who can find the best meal for the price each week.
Get Adrenaline Pumping
So maybe you don’t have the energy, but if you do, there are a plethora of fun activities that will get your heart racing and relieve some of that pent up angst. Try date night activities such as paintballing, laser tag, ax throwing, jump houses, or shooting clays. All of these unique ideas can get you laughing together and make you feel like you’re actually the kids of the family.
Whether it’s putting together an actual puzzle or working together to escape an escape room, these types of activities can bring you closer together and help to build teamwork skills at the same time. If you have a longer evening, you may even consider joining a murder mystery dinner party.
It can be so challenging to take small children to some places such as a museum or an art show. You may be interested in a new exhibition at the local art gallery or going to a play you have both been wanting to see.
Some museums have late night hours, which could serve as an alternative to the typical movie or nightlife scene.
If you and your partner live close to a casino, a night of gambling could be a really fun way to spend an evening. Always set a budget prior to gambling and help each other stick to it. If you practice your poker game enough, you may even go home a big winner!
Date night is a valuable part of any healthy relationship with your partner whether you have kids or not. Although it can seem like there are a million and one reasons to stay in with a new baby, taking the time for yourself can actually help you and your partner maintain a solid relationship and be better parents in the long run.
Sam Bowman writes about families, wellness, and how the two merge. He enjoys getting to utilize the internet for community without actually having to leave his house. In his spare time he likes running, reading, and combining the two in a run to his local bookstore.
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