We are lucky to have both sets of grandparents near by and a good resource of babysitters to choose from. In fact, there have been many times that my girls have actually asked us to have a date night so that they could have a babysitter. (I know, Feelin' The Love!) So, we are able to pretty much stick to our commitment of once a month because of that.
And can I tell you how much of a difference that has made in our marriage?! We, like every other couple, have had great times, and not-so-great times. But sticking to that commitment of going out once a month, just the two of us, has kept us united. It is a time for us to focus on our relationship, our family, and the things that we love about each other.
And honestly, I NEED time out away from the kids. It is so easy to become mommy focused that you forget what dating was even like. For instance, once upon a time, I could leave my house without stains on my clothes, (honest!), and I even ate hot meals, (swear on my life!). And guess what? I had *actual* conversations with people without having to stop in the middle to yell at someone to stop hitting their sister and I could talk about things other than child rearing. I know. Hard to believe but it's all true!
Most of the time our date nights are dinner and a movie, (we both LOVE movies!), but other things we have done are: go hiking, shopping, going to a bookstore and browsing, getting dessert, renting a video, or just sitting down to talk and catch up. Some of our best dates are the ones we don't plan. We just get in the car and make an adventure out of it.
And FYI, I won't tell you that all of our dates have been happy and great. Some have involved tears and being upset, but even that has been good. It was a time for us to be real and honest, away from everything and everyone else, and that may be the most important thing for a marriage.
If you and your husband don't have regular date nights, I encourage you to try. I know it is harder for some, finding child care, money and everything else that can get in the way, but I promise you that it is worth it! Making your marriage a priority and investing time in it is the best gift you can give your kids, and each other!
Also, I am linking up with Diaper Diaries this week! Be sure to click on over and check out all the other Things I Love Thursday Posts!