Most moms remember fondly the time they had with their husbands before children entered the picture. The idyllic days of getting up on a Saturday morning with nothing to do but hang out together seem like a distant dream. Instead, the new reality of baseball games, sparring matches, Boy Scout activities, and trying desperately to clean the house after a week of boy devastation looms large. Some moms have the consolation of looking forward to a regular date night with their husbands to get them through the chaotic week, but there are many moms without access to a trusted babysitter who may think that dating their husbands is simply a relic of their past single lives. Not having a babysitter does not mean that you canít get some quality alone time with your husband, though! Here are several ways to date your husband without ever having to get a babysitter.
1. Chinese food and a movie. Okay, so it may not be the most imaginative choice, but there is something about this classic that never gets old. Depending on the ages of your children, either feed them and put them to bed early, or sequester them in a different part of the house with an activity that will give you some uninterrupted time together. In my house, that means my four kids go into my bedroom to watch a movie while my husband and I take over the living room. The novelty of being able to watch TV in my room is enough to ensure that the kids stay putÖmost of the time! We donít have to have a babysitter, but we still get to enjoy eating and watching a movie together just like in the old days.
2. Pack a picnic lunch or dinner and eat itÖin your backyard. If your kids are young enough to still nap, plan an afternoon picnic. Choose either a good old fashioned menu like fried chicken, potato salad, and lemonade, or take the more sophisticated route by packing wine, cheese, and fruit. Either way, the key is actually to pack the picnic and then to eat it somewhere different than in your house. Ban talk of the kids, if possible, and talk about the things you would if you had no pressing child matters: work, films, books, vacations past or future, or, even, nothing at all. Whatever creates a connection between the two of you as a couple is the ultimate goal here.
3. Go to bed early. I canít be held responsible if your imagination takes flight here, but what Iím actually thinking of is just creating some companionable togetherness without the pressures of the rest of the house. If youíre not hanging out on the couch, then you canít see the laundry you ought to be folding or the dishes that havenít been unloaded from the dishwasher yet. If youíve made the decision to go to bed, then youíre down for the night. You may both like to read in bed. You may like to read to each other in bed. One of you may like to do crossword puzzles. The key is that you have minimized all distractions and that you have no concern other than just being together. Itís amazing how rejuvenating these evenings can be.
4. Play games together: Trivial pursuit, Scrabble, cards, or whatever strikes your fancy. Playing games allows you to indulge a different side of yourself and to see a different side of your husband. Iím always amazed by how much my husband knows about Ė everything! Playing games with him reminds me of how his intelligence was one of the major reasons I fell in love with him. Further, we tend to get silly when we play games. As a mom, I tend to be way too serious. Itís wonderful to be able to let go of some of that and act the way I did when we met when I was 18.
5. Dance. You donít have to make plans to be without the kids for this one. Any time, day or night, turn on the radio and dance together. It creates an instant connection, zooms you back in time to your pre-kid days, and allows you to engage in a more than 10 second long hug. Whether you like country or classical, rock or pop, dancing together is a wonderful way to share a moment.
Of course, the above list is in no way all-inclusive, but hopefully there are some ideas you can take away from it to use in your own life. Whether you have one child or four, nurturing the relationship you have with your husband is a very important job. Enjoying quality alone time with your husband doesnít require a babysitter, just a dash of ingenuity and a dab of imagination!