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Don’t Forget… You’re Married! The Importance of Date Night

Couple reading a menuNothing puts a strain on wedded bliss like sleepless nights with a teething baby… the monotony of daily chores… or arguing over whose turn it is to clean the vomit off the couch.

You might even find there are times when you look at your unshaven husband wearing his stained t-shirt and college sweat pants and think, “Who is this guy?”

And there might be other times when you watch him surf the internet while ignoring the child clinging to his foot and shrieking at him to play ponies and think, “I don’t even
LIKE you anymore.”

Well, chances are he’s thinking the same things about you.

So is it time for a divorce?

Quite the contrary. It’s time to pull your rundown, Dr. Seuss-reading, Baby-Beluga-singing selves out on a date.

I’m always shocked by how many people tell me they haven’t had a date night since their kids were born. We all know marriage is hard work, so why are people neglecting it?

When you only spend time together doing the hard things — like taking care of your kids, doing housework and paying the bills — your marriage will start to suffer, kinda like a plant that hasn’t been watered in too long.

In my own marriage, it has always been important for me to let my kids know that I value my relationship with their dad enough that I’m willing to carve out time just for him. I may even throw on a nice dress and put on lipstick, because it’s worth it to show the kids that their dad is special and important enough to me to want to spend time with him outside the home.

And even if you don’t have the money to hire a sitter and go out for a movie or dinner, there are still ways to make “date night” special. You can put the kids down nice and early, open up some wine, light a few candles, put on your favorite music, and voila, you’ve got yourself a date!

Here are my recommended rules for date night:

  1. Do NOT spend the whole time talking about the kids. If you have a few things you need to get out of the way… well, fine. Take ten minutes to talk about the new preschool teacher or how to handle Sara’s thumbsucking. But then move on to other topics. Remember, this is your time to be together as adults.
  2. Even if you’re tired (which most parents of young children are) make a bit of an effort to be affectionate and attentive. You will probably find that by the end of the evening you’ll feel rejuvenated and closer to your spouse than you have in a long time.
  3. Put on some nice clothes, brush your hair, wear nice shoes (you too, guys)! Even if you’re just going to the diner around the corner, do something to make it feel different than every other night.
  4. Make date night a regular thing. Going out once a month is not at all unreasonable, and I highly recommend it.

If you have some “date night rules” you’d like to share – I’d love to hear them in the ‘Comments’ section below!

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Dana’s Sleep Blog

Straight talk about sleep, parenting,
babies, toddlers, relationships… and
just about anything else!
My blog is a great place to find opinions, advice, the occasional rant, and some great videos about sleep.

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