My husband and I have just recently moved to where we are currently living. We don't know anyone here, and our family all lives really far away. Babysitters are really hard to come by, and essentially don't exist for us, and therefore, neither do date nights.... Do any of you have this situation?
We have gotten creative, and have recently started having date nights right here at home after bedtime for our daughter.
One night, I told my husband that we were going to have a date, without leaving the house or having a babysitter, and he looked at me like I was a little crazy. It was right after Valentine's Day, and I had a special, yet really simple evening planned for us. What we did, was, during that day, we looked online for a recipe that looked good that we had never made before. then that evening, shortly before dinner time, all of us went to the grocery store, and bought everything we needed to prepare the recipe. On the way home we swung through the drive thru and got a Kid's Meal for our daughter (it was a special evening for us, so we treated her to something she really doesn't have very often.). Then we came home, and she had dinner, we both read her stories and put her to bed about half an hour earlier than we normally would have.
Because it was a few days AFTER Valentine's Day, they had a clearance sale at my local grocery store for pre-ordered special occasion cakes, so I ordered a one layer 8-inch cake. It was all chocolate with red frosting roses on it, it was really nice, and only cost me $5! We picked it up that evening while we were shopping (and promised my little one that she could have some the next day!). Earlier in the week I went to the Dollar Tree, and purchased some nice looking candle holders and candles. (They looked really fancy!! I was really impressed!) and a few other decorative things to make the evening special. I really decked out our dining room for less than $10!
Anyway, fast forward to right after bedtime, I put some nice music that we both liked on the laptop that sat on one of our dining room chairs. We started cutting vegetables and preparing everything to start cooking. We talked, and had fun figuring out a new recipe, learning something new together. In between cutting, stirring and cooking, we talked, kissed, danced, and more, it was a really great evening. After we were finished cooking, we dimmed the lights and lit the candles, and ate dinner on our nicer plates. We enjoyed a nice sense of accomplishment at learning a new recipe that came out really great! We had fun working together, and then, after we finished cooking, we had a nice dinner date at our own dinner table. We had such a great evening, that the dishes ended up sitting in the sink until morning ;)
We have been talking for years, about taking one of those cooking classes for couples, and that's where this idea came from. We essentially created the same thing in our own home while our daughter slept in our bed, knowing that we were home.
My point in sharing this with you, is that I completely understand and relate to the fact that not everyone has babysitters, and date nights, while great, and certainly important, are not always an easy thing to obtain for some couples with children. But, I have learned that it is possible. You don't necessarily need a babysitter, or to even leave your home to enjoy quality time with your spouse, and that's really the whole point of a date night, right?
Just the other night, after our daughter went to bed, my husband surprised me with a campfire in our driveway in a little $20 grill that we have. It sounds simple, but it was such a nice night, and it was nice to sit and watch the fire, snuggle, talk and just enjoy being together.
It's easy to get busy, and get into a romantic rut, but it's also fairly easy, with a little planning and effort to pull yourself back out of it also. My husband's work schedule is one of the craziest schedules I've ever seen, and we're finding ways to do it, so I know you can too!