New parents need date nights for the survival of their marriage.
Does this sound familiar?
You’re exhausted both mentally and physically. Between the lack of sleep, sore nipples, postpartum hair loss, and shear stress of being a mom, you don’t even feel like yourself anymore. But you can feel your marriage taking a nosedive and you’re desperate to get a handle on it before it spirals out of control.
It’s no secret that the stress of a new baby can weigh heavily on a marriage. Sleep deprivation, increased hormones, and navigating the responsibilities of a newborn are a recipe for relationship meltdown.
So, it’s no surprise that The Gottman Institute found that within three years of the birth of a child, approximately two-thirds of couples find that the quality of their relationship declines. And, within five years of the birth of a first child, 13 percent of marriages end in divorce.
So what gives?
How do you sustain your marriage while learning how to be a mom?
Date night. It’s as simple as that.
Click below to grab our ultimate list of date night for parents. Don’t let lack of childcare hold you back, we even tell you how to make date night happen with kids!
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Why is date night necessary?
It’s easy to get caught up in the every day tasks of motherhood and unconsciously neglect everyone and everything else.
Trust me, I get it!
After being home all day with a baby, feeding every 2 hours, constantly changing diapers, and barely finding time to eat and shower, when your husband finally comes home, you just want to be left alone.
The last thing you need is for someone else to be touching on you. And for his sake, he better not ask what you’re cooking for dinner!
Here’s the thing:
We can’t forget about the relationship that made us moms in the first place. We have to continue to nurture it and make it a priority. That means being affectionate, being attentive, and being available.
That’s where date night comes in.
Think of it as your relationship maintenance package. It allows you and your husband the opportunity to reconnect and focus on each other. You’re able to relax, enjoy one another and remember what brought you together in the first place.
Instead of waiting until the relationship is strained and in need of repair, date night becomes your built in tune up. It keeps the relationship sizzling.
Still not convinced?
Research shows that husbands and wives who have regular date nights are significantly less likely to divorce.
Date night rules for new parents
There are rules to this thing.
1. It’s nonnegotiable
Date night is a priority and should be treated as such. It trumps everything and should take place no matter what.
Your parent’s want to visit? That’s fine but they will have to come after date night.
Need to work late? Bring the work home and finish it after your date.
The girls want to have drinks tonight. You can’t go because you have a date with your husband.
I think you’re starting to get my point.
2. Should occur regularly
Your date night can be weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly.
In an ideal world, date night would happen weekly. This most resembles what happens when you’re first getting to know someone.
New couples are always planning fun activities and trying to spend as much time together as possible.
Remember the same things you did to get into your relationship are the same things you’ll have to do to maintain it.
If a weekly date isn’t feasible, plan for a monthly date night instead. Don’t go longer than a month without having a date with your spouse.
3. It’s all about you
Date night is about you and your husband. This means no kids allowed!
They can’t be there physically and shouldn’t show up in conversation either.
Remember to keep it about the two of you. Use this time to be a couple and not just parents.
4. Show up
Leave the stress from work behind.
Don’t think about the list of chores you have to do.
Forget about the argument from yesterday.
Be present. Listen to him. Share with him. Enjoy your time together.
Now that we have the rules out of the way, what in the world are you supposed to do for date night?
Don’t worry, I have you covered. I’ve created a list of 31 date night ideas for you and your husband to enjoy!
Creative date night ideas:
Trying to decide what to do on a date night before becoming parents was already challenging. Adding a baby to the mix definitely means you’ll have to be creative.
First off, you should take the time to make sure you’re still speaking the same language.
What do I mean?
Let’s face it, parenting can make you forget who you are, what you like, and what you actually need. It’s not unusual for moms to lose themselves in motherhood.
Here is where the first date idea comes in:
1. Learn each other’s love language
I know you’re thinking “how is this a date?” but I need you to trust me!
This date idea can take place even if your baby is present. Not only that, this is an activity that can be repeated nightly and truly enhance the intimacy in your marriage.
I’m sure you have heard of the 5 Love Languages by now and may have even taken the quiz before. But, here’s the thing, your love language can change as circumstances in your life changes. In case you were wondering, having a baby is definitely a life changing event.
Now is the perfect time to reaffirm that you each know the other’s language.
Start off by reading the book The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary Chapman. You can purchase the Kindle version through Amazon.
The key is to read the book together!
Once you put your baby down for the night, head to bed with your husband and read out loud for 20-30 minutes. Each night, alternate who does the reading. It’s ok if you can’t do 20 minutes, try for 10 instead.
This activity is two fold. The act of reading together in bed, is a very intimate. So, 1). You are gaining intimacy and 2). You are learning to love your partner in a way that speaks to him while he does the same.
Once you have finished this book, continue the habit of reading out loud to each other. Have fun picking out different titles and exploring different genres together. Before long, you will come to cherish these nightly readings.
Keep reading, my other suggestions are more conventional!
Inexpensive date night ideas:
Date night doesn’t have to be anything extravagant. It just needs to be enjoyable.
There’s nothing like a good game of bowling to get your competitive juices flowing. You can even grab a bite to eat from the bowling alley.
2. Miniature Golf
This can be a lot of fun and give you something to laugh about later.
A picnic can be both laid back and very romantic. It’s the perfect time to reminisce about the past and make plans for the future.
4. Bike Ride
Sometimes we overlook the simple things in life. A bike ride is the perfect way to take in the sites while enjoying great conversations.
5. Dave & Busters
This place has something for everyone! Don’t be afraid to place friendly wagers as you and your husband compete against each other.
6. Laser Tag
This event isn’t just for kids. Adults enjoy it to0. The rush it gives is intoxicating.
Cozy up with your partner while you catch the latest flick.
Take in nature and enjoy each other’s company at the same time.
9. Walk in the Park
Get in touch with the environment and enjoy the sites.
10. Roller Skating
This can be a lot of fun, just don’t break anything!
What can you do on a date night home?
Sometimes you’ll have to take advantage of the hours after the kids have gone to bed. When you can’t find a sitter or want to have an impromptu date night at home, use these ideas to help.
1. Movie night
You’ve heard of Netflix and chill or you can try amazon prime videos. You can’t go wrong with either one.
2. Cook Together
Working together to accomplish a task is a great way to solidify your bond. The delicious food is just an added bonus.
3. Play games
The looser has to wash dishes and be on diaper duty for a month!
There are also games made specifically for couples.
3. Box of dares
Romantic date night ideas
There’s nothing better than a romantic evening together to sustain the intimacy in your marriage.
1. Couples Massage
This shared activity will leave you both feeling refreshed and reinvigorated.
2. Shared Bubble Bath
This is a great way to unwind at the end of the work day. Light candles and just enjoy being in each others company.
3. Candle Light Dinner
Atmosphere is everything and nothing says romance like a candle light dinner. It exudes passion and is sure way to reignite the fire in your relationship.
4. Take a Cooking Class
This is fun and a great way to add a new meal to your dinner repitwa
Couples date night ideas
Date night doesn’t always have to be you two by yourself. It’s okay to double date too. It’s all about doing things together outside of parenting.
1. Game Night
Game nights can be a lot of fun. Partnering against other couples reinforces your bond. Here are some games to try:
2. Escape Room
These are extremely popular and fairly inexpensive if you use a Groupon.
You don’t have to do this with another couple. Book your reservation and escape with a group of strangers. You never know who you’ll meet and how much fun you all will have.
Most men initially won’t like the idea of attending a musical but once he knows his friend is coming too, he will be on board!
Go to a concert that has a lineup you both will enjoy.
Date night is an essential component to any relationship but becomes even more important once a baby is on board. It’s easy to find an excuse for not doing it, but once you start you’ll see how valuable it is. If you are worried about how to make date night happen with kids, we’ve taken care of that too!
Download our Date Night Ideas and instantly have over 60 activities at your fingertips. It removes the guesswork and makes executing date night a breeze. Sign up below!
Being a new mom is challenging to say the least. Balance is the key to managing your multiple roles. You can be a great mommy, wonderful wife, and have a great career. Just remember to take time for you too.
What challenges have you faced in your relationship since becoming a mom? What have you done that has been helpful? Share with us below.
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