“Parenthood: That state of being better chaperoned than you were before marriage.” ~ Marcelene Cox

Before Olivia came along, hubby and I would have a date night every month. We took it in turns to decide how we would spend date night. We went to the Italian Film Festival, romantic dinners, Gold Class movies and weekend picnics. We would also go out at other times with friends but that one night a month was something that we spent time planning and doing something special with each other.

I hate to admit it but since Olivia has been born, we have really only had three date nights. The first time was on our final night in hospital and you can read about why I wish I hadn’t gone on that date night here. The second was when Olivia was six weeks old and we had a Gold Class voucher due to expire. I spent the whole movie constantly checking my phone for messages from my parents who were babysitting. It is safe to say that the world didn’t fall apart for the three hours we were gone and I actually felt refreshed after the little break.

Our third date night was a little easier. A nice dinner at a local restaurant. Good food, a couple of glasses of wine and time for adult conversation away from our precious baby. But since then, we haven’t even talked about date night. You get so caught up in the day-to-day routines of sleeping, feeding, playing that it is all you can think about. Hubby travels a bit for work so often I find myself thinking that we should spend time together as a family when he is around rather that taking time just the two of us, like we used to.

We all know that spending quality time with our partner is good for our relationship so why don’t we do it? I love being a mum and spending time with Olivia but I will be a better parent if I take some time out with my hubby and enjoy his company in the way I used to. And that is what I am going to do. This month I will organise a date night. No baby, no phones (did you see the 100 hundred photos I took of Olivia yesterday?), no baby talk and no excuses. Just enjoying time with the one I love.

With that in mind, here are a few date night ideas that are easy to organise and good if you are on a budget.

  • make a list of restaurants you want to try and each month tick one off the list. Go to places that you wouldn’t normally be able to take the kids so it is a special treat
  • if you can only organise a babysitter during the day, drop the kids off and head off on a romantic picnic for two. Pack a picnic lunch and find a nice park, even if it is just around the corner
  • take a leaf out of Bachelor Blake’s book and hit the bowling alley followed by a dirty street pie. Have some fun, let your competitive streaks shine and feel like teenagers again
  • if babysitters aren’t an option, have a date night at home. Cook a nice meal (or order takeaway if cooking isn’t your thing), pick a movie you will both enjoy, lock your phones away, snuggle up on the couch and keep your fingers crossed that the kids stay asleep!
  • plan ahead for any events in your local area. Film festivals, night markets, outdoor cinema and art shows are good fun and add some variety. Check your local council website for free events if you are on a budget
  • wine tasting is a fun way to spend an evening with your love and you don’t need to head to a wine region to do it. You can find loads of wine tasting events with a quick google search. If wine isn’t your thing, try cheese or chocolate tasting or do all three

What do your and your partner do for date night?

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