We are in what some might call the thick of parenting in a lot of ways. Our kids are at the age where they need us most both physically and emotionally. One is still in diapers, and one in preschool. Getting away for a date night is not always easy or doable. Sometimes it feels impossible to find a day, sometimes childcare doesn’t work, sometimes it just gets...forgotten...placed on the back burner.
I would argue that this time alone together is not optional. This time is necessary. To be good parents, to be strong together, you need time to be who you are outside of mom and dad. You need time to talk about things that don’t involve 46 interruptions or topics such as Paw Patrol and the latest poop disaster. You need to remember what brought you together and what keeps you together.
Still...don’t have the money? Really truly can’t find a day? Sitters just aren’t in the picture right now or work is crazy? Have a date night in. Take turns planning, or plan it together! Make it intentional, and more importantly, make it sacred. For us, this often looks like a board game and a homemade snack (that no one can “try a bite” and end up eating it all)... and sometimes with a favorite show on in the background (the ones that have real people in them that don’t sing the whole time).
For you...it may look different. Once we had a bake-off baking a surprise for one another, or maybe you try a hobby together after the kids go to bed that the other likes. Just don’t make it a “to-do” and don’t make the planning feel too much like work. Maybe it is just building up all week long a Netflix movie and popcorn.
Try it out. Find what works for you! This season won’t last forever...but you can’t just push aside your marriage until the next. And...who knows... you just might find you like date nights in the most!
This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.