You probably know about play dates for preschoolers. You also know that teenagers like to date. We probably all remember dating in college and as single adults. How many of you out there know that parents date as well? Okay, so many of you don’t, but you should! The idea that romantic dating is outlawed with the words, “It’s a Girl/ Boy,” is silly. It ranks right up there with the idea that you only buy your wife flowers on your anniversary or Valentines Day.
Kim and I try hard to keep at least two dates a month. We were doing well, there for a while, until number three came along. We love you Kasia, but you threw a big wrench into our date nights. Well, she is getting older and we are quickly remembering why we had regular parent dates.
I realize this is nothing new. I expect we all know that parents date, or at least should date. I also know the reasons why they don’t. We struggle with the same difficulties. After all, babysitting is expensive (especially with three kids), movies play too late or are at the wrong times, the babysitter isn’t available, oh, and the whole nursing an infant thing. Yep, we know them well. So, how do we get around them? Well, we have to be creative. Let me tell you a little story…
My wife and I had a parents date last Saturday. We had to start 30 later then normal so my wife could nurse Kasia before we left. We also live 30 minutes from anything so an hour of our date is almost always drive time. We quickly realized that our available three hours was not going to fit both dinner and a movie; at least not in the traditional sense. We printed out our coupon for Ruby Tuesdays (if you are not in their club you should be) grabbed the laptop and hopped in the van. We enjoyed a slow and relaxing meal and took some time to chat and catch up. We then headed back home. Well, mostly home. We pulled off in a walking trail’s secluded grass parking area a few minutes from our home and hopped into the back of the van. You see, we keep one of the back captain chairs out to make it easier to get the kids in. We set up the laptop between the front seats complete with FM transmitter, popped in a DVD we had been wanting to see and snuggled up together with four or five pillows, a few blankets and desert. I like to think of it as a portable movie theater. We had a great time and made it home just in time.
So, this is one creative idea for your next parents date and it worked well. Here are a few others that come to mind. Some we have tried, some we have not… yet.
Creative Parent Date Ideas:
- Go out for desert – Eat at home and just stop in somewhere for desert. This offers plenty of time to talk and reconnect. It is also easy on the budget.
- Window Shop – We enjoy going downtown and just walking. Most towns and cities have local artist shops or studios where you can spend some time enjoying art or even live music. If you really want to get daring hold hands! It can be quite romantic.
- Go to a park – I remember our first date in college. We had dinner and then hung out in a park talking. We still do this on occasion. Stop by Dairy Queen or your favorite ice cream shop then head over to a park. Spend some time being kids again and sharing in some fun. It will do you both some good. Guys, this is also a great opportunity for you to show off to your wife and remind her why she married you! If you need a date on the cheap, bring a picnic.
- Crash a friend’s house – We have actually done this. We called up some empty nest friends and asked if we could borrow their basement. Kim and I had a great time talking and working through a bible study we had been neglecting. We didn’t have to waste so much time driving either. Depending on your needs at the time, bring a board game or movie and invite your friends to join you.
- Go to a book store – This is the old standby. We have often gone to Barns & Noble, grabbed some coffee and cookies and spent the evening looking through books. This is how we planned out our flower bed one year. It is a great way to find time to share in a common interest and reconnect.
- Stay at home – There may be times when you don’t wanted to go anywhere. So, find a babysitter that can keep your kids at their place and stay home. Enjoy some peace and quiet, watch a movie, give each other a massage or whatever. We have done this a few times and it has been great each time.
- Ride your bikes – Go for a bike ride or jog or any other shared activity. I am sure there were many things you use to do before kids. Use your dates to revive an old hobby and enjoy it together. If you don’t share a hobby then start a new one.
- Go Exploring – This is one we have done often. Find a state park, walking trail, or even just an unfamiliar part of town and go exploring. Spend some time sharing new things and making new memories together. You might even find a new favorite place.
These are only a few ideas for a parents date . Nothing against the standard movie, play, dancing or bowling but there are other options out there. Many of them allow you more flexible timing. Others can allow you to date without selling a kid first. Remember our portable movie theater; the entire date including babysitting was only $50. I realize there are 1000 reasons why parents don’t date, but there are at least 1001 reasons why they should! Hopefully these ideas will help. Do you have a favorite creative parents date? We are always looking for new ideas at our house so please share!
This post has been shared @ Good True and Beautiful.