Recently on Facebook, a mom shared that she had finally gone on a couple’s date night after almost 4 months because she had no one to babysit her children in the States where they are now based. Babysitting charges over there are much higher than what she used to pay here in Singapore.
That led me to share on that post that date nights can still happen even without babysitters. Which then led me to write this post 🙂
Do we do date nights?
We haven’t done a traditional date night since Baby #2 came along almost 13 years ago. Traditional meaning, we have not gotten dressed up and left the house for a meal or movie or even a walk in the park. What we did and still do is date each other at home, have our heart-to-heart chats and reconnecting with each other after the children have gone to bed.
Think out of the box solutions
I am not saying that you cannot dress up and book dinner at a posh restaurant to have a date with your other half. What I am saying is that if you are craving time alone with your other half but not having a babysitter on hand, you still can do it. Don’t set up unnecessary obstacles and then moan about missing your date nights.
And nowadays, with even the high end restaurants having a delivery service, it is even easier! Henson used to buy food from the nearby kopi tiam (coffee shop) on his way home or I would order MacDonald’s (yes, yucks! Lol!). Then we would have our couple’s date night; sitting, eating and chatting after the children have been packed off to bed.
Date nights are about re-connecting
To me, these dates are not just about eating out at the latest restaurant or watching a movie. It is about reconnecting with each other as husbands and wives rather than as dads and moms. It is a chance to just sit and be without being interrupted by little and not so little ones. With that definition, one can certainly have date nights in the home, without any babysitter.
Yes, it is not the same. But if you feel that re-connecting with your husband regularly is important but you cannot get anyone to babysit for you, this is a very viable option. You would just need to change your mindset that date nights = leaving the house. This season of dating in the house is a temporary and a short phase for most families with two children, or less. They do grow up eventually. Then they can stay home by themselves while you pop downstairs or to the nearby café for a drink or two.
Even for those of us who have more children, this season is also a temporary, albeit longer one than for those with less children. The older ones can soon take over one day and be that trusted babysitter. Then dad and mom can have a few hours away together without the house burning down. 😀
Valentine’s Day and Anniversary Dates
I can share this now because we had our first ever date on Valentine’s Day this year (2013)! I prepared dinner, dished it out and then left the older ones in-charge. The children are all very independent and know how to keep themselves occupied.
We left instructions for them to remember to do their after dinner chores, and to get themselves bathed at the required time. We then popped out for a quick dinner and came back in time to shower the youngest 2, prayed with them and then packed them all off to bed.
And guess what? We just did it again on our 18th wedding anniversary! Thank you Lord for older children who are willing to step up and be counted on when needed by dad and mom.
*** PS : Since then, we have been having more and more date nights!
So take heart, those of you who want to have a couple’s date night but cannot find babysitters. But I must add that this is where having children who can go to bed on their own and an early bedtime is supremely helpful. If your children require you to sit with them and/or they sleep at midnight, then sorry, your date night at home isn’t going to happen. Then, you’ll probably have to hire a babysitter 😉
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Post was first published 14th March 2013. Updated July 2017