The husband and I definitely can't afford to go out a lot- the price and drama of finding babysitters, figuring out times and finances, ugh. It's easier to stay in. Since, time with your spouse or partner, one on one is key to a healthy relationship . . . our stay home dates are crucial for us. We're pretty low key- so I'm going to list a bunch of ideas that aren't overwhelming. You want your dates to be special, yes, but also NOT stressful. There's enough of that to go around isn't there, with everything else going on! Let us know how you and your spouse reconnect, spend time together, etc., in ways that are low key and easy to do even with the busiest of schedules!
Some "At Home Dates" that Nolan and I have Regularly:
-A special us movie with treats. Why go to the movies, I say, when there's Netflix and you can make popcorn mixed with m&m's and dots, and enjoy it while cuddling u[p on your MUCH comfier couch? We try to pick one or two movies a month from our Netflix queue that are just for us, so we can curl up on a Friday or Sunday evening and spend some quiet time together.
-Dinner and/or drinks on the porch after the kids are in bed. Maybe one night, try to get everyone into bed a half hour earlier with an easy and fast dinner, quick bath time, and earlier stories. Be sure you guys have some yummy nibbles and a wine or other beverage you love, light a few candles on the porch (preferably when we're NOT drowning in rain) and just HANG OUT. Remember when you first were dating, and sometimes you just hung out to talk and BE together for no particular reason. Keep your conversation away from daily life and focused on things you both love, or talking about life, or perhaps a few good laughs. Maybe all of the above.
-Nolan and I are both BIG readers, so sometimes we swap books and get together to discuss what we got out of each others readings. It's amazing to trade common ideas and themes or find out if you both got the same things out of the books. Discussion and talking are two of the most powerful ways to reconnect with anyone.
-Game Night! Yes to poker, or Phase One, or backgammon, some friendly competition, and maybe a bit of flirty fire- just like the old days!
-Sometimes, I (maybe sadly)do consider the evenings we spend folding 8 million loads of laundry together or (like the other night) planting our gardens together, when we work side by side, just as important as a date night. It reminds me that we're a team, we work together throughout our marriage, and that even simple things can be meaningful to your marriage and connection.
-Make dinner, together, for the two of you. Again, working together as a team, and then enjoying delicious results, together. Maybe a walk afterwards or relaxing with each other.
-This is one of the MOST important dates we have. A lot of times, Nolan and I have drastically different bedtimes. We both have mountains of writing, school work, etc, that we usually tackle after the kids are in bed. I might be done and exhausted at midnight, Nolan at 3:30 am, or vice versa. But we try to pick a night each week, where we go to bed at the same time, lay and cuddle, talk quietly, reconnect by just the simple act of falling asleep at the same time. It's rare and it's treat.
How do you and your partner connect with each other during busy, hectic times? We'd love to hear more ideas.