How to make date night happen when you have babies, jobs, and no time.

Before Buzzfeed quizzes were the days of MASH.  My friends and I would spend a bunch of time writing out how many kids you’d have, what kind of car, and usually dates with our future dream guy (also to be determined by MASH).  And what did I always have on there?  Blockbuster.  To me, there was no more romantic date than cruising the aisles of Blockbuster to pick out a video.  Witty banter, slow walking, and every movie you could possibly want to watch.  Swoon.  Unfortunately by the time I met my husband Blockbuster was pretty much obsolete.  Dreams crushed.  

Look, advances in technology aren’t the only thing we’re up against.  I just had to get up from writing this blog post to go wipe a toddler butt.  Forget dream dates, we barely make time for dates at all.  In the summer, I interviewed Orlando Date Night Guide’s Kristen Manieri and it really hit home how important it is to make this a priority.  As a working mom with an infant and a toddler at home, I’m not quite ready to commit one night a week out (even if some may argue that’s what makes it even more important!) But I’m ready to take some baby steps.  Here are the ways we sneak in dates.

I’ve instituted a monthly lunch date on our family calendar.  Dadlando and I can visit some of our favorite places we wouldn’t dare venture to with our kiddos in tow.  And we usually save money by not needing a babysitter, not drinking on the clock, and the overall cheaper price point of lunch time.  It’s a great break in the day and I get excited when I see it coming up on the calendar.  

A couple years ago, a day lined up that both our offices we’re closed, but daycare was open.  Unbelievable I know, but it’s true!  We sent our sweet girl to school and went for breakfast, out to the movies, home for a nap, and she didn’t even know what she had missed!  Now every few months we’ll take a day off together to have a day date.  

Friday nights we get home from work, prepare dinner, and light shabbat candles.  We welcome the weekend as a family and get some quality time in with the kids.  Once the kids are in bed, we use this time for a check-in on how things are going for us in our marriage.  It’s a great time to make sure that we are having real conversation and connection.  As we’ve navigated how to make the time productive, we came up with a few questions that help foster honest conversation.

I’m betting on movie rental stores becoming retro one day so that I can live out my teenage dreams.  Until then, we’ll just have to keep working on ways to make ‘date night’ possible during a very hectic time in our lives.

How do you make date night work for you?  And what places should we add to our list?