with Angella Dykstra
I'm a mom of three, a professional accountant, and an amateur photographer and writer. I am not a marriage expert. But my husband and I take "Til death do us part" seriously, and here I'll be sharing how we keep our marriage strong while we both do that insane work-life juggle.
Check out my Work It, Mom! profile and my blog, Dutch Blitz.
One thing that my husband and I learned in our premarital counseling was that it was very important to have a regular Date Night. Before we were married, Date Night was no problem. Every Friday we headed out to eat a dinner cooked by someone else and we often partook of a movie as well.
Then we had our first child.
I think it was a mix of being overwhelmed, of being exhausted, and maybe of a bit of paranoia, but we did not go on a date until our first born son was six months old.
SIX. MONTHS. OLD.
We had made a trip to Vancouver (BC, Canada) to see family and left our baby with my husband’s sister and her hubby. I think I called to check in approximately six times. Good grief.
We got better at making time again for date nights, and after the birth of our second son we left him at the ripe old age of three weeks (As well as his big brother) in the care of their grandparents while we went on a much needed date night/Christmas shopping trip.
(I like to multi-task. Don’t judge me.)
We are huge proponents of Date Night, because we all need time to be away from our kids in order to keep the foundation of the family, the parents, strong and secure.
Here are a few tips for getting the Date Night at a minimal cost:
1. Join/Form a Babysitting Pool
In my community there is a group of parents who are part of a Babysitting Pool. When you watch someone else’s kids, you get a credit that you can use towards having somebody watching your kids for free. The added bonus being that you get another Mom watching your kids, instead of a teenager. Nothing against teenagers. Really. If I remember correctly, I was a teenager at one point so very long ago…
My nineteen-year-old brother lives with us (Yay! Free babysitting!), but once he is gone I am totally joining the babysitting pool.
2. Use your community resources
Our church hosts a “Movie Night” once month. For three dollars, your kids get a movie and pizza. You get two hours of child-free time. Sufficient time to go out for dinner…or head home for dinner…and possibly dessert.
*wink, wink, nudge, nudge*
Look to see if there is something similar offered on your community. Um…not the “wink, wink, nudge, nudge”.
3. Date night need not consist of a costly dinner.
If you pay a babysitter to come for two hours, you do not need to spend a lot of cash on dinner. Sitting in a coffee shop, sharing a dessert will not wrack up the costs. Nor will a trip to a museum, the park, or any other community venue. You could take in local theater on the cheap, such as high school/college shows. Your city/town’s Information Center should know everything that is going on in your area.
Better yet, make it a date night in. Feed the children, usher them to bed AS SOON AS POSSIBLE and do something beyond the same old, same old. One idea is to turn the lights down low and have a romantic dinner. Fireplace and bear skin rug are optional.
4. If do you want dinner, it need not be expensive.
When we lived in Vancouver, we would purchase The Entertainment Book. Since moving to The Okanagan, we keep abreast of local specials and festivals. Every January (My birthday!) there is a festival that gives you great deals at local restaurants. We usually indulge.
Regardless of what we actually do on our dates, making the time for Date Night is a priority for us.
Do you have any great tips for a cheap date night?
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