Date Night Ideas for Exhausted Parents
4. Book a cheap hotel room.
We’re not talking about leaving the kids with a sitter overnight, just three or four hours of hotel/motel bliss. This could be a little costly but look for hotel/motel deals and grab one. Even in a major city, you may be able to find a last-minute deal for a romantic interlude.
Here’s how to make the most of this date idea without further bank account damage. Take a picnic basket with chilled champagne, fruit, a cheese plate and some fancy chocolate. Bring some scented massage oil and use your imagination!
5. Double date.
Make it a double date with the parents of your child’s friend. If the kids are old enough for the sitter-to-child ratio to work, pool your resources and let the kids have a play date while the adults have a double date.
You get the enjoyment of remembering how much fun your spouse is when you see him or her interact with others outside of the rut that the two of you may have fallen into.
6. Be original.
Try an activity the two of you have never done. Maybe that’s taking a cooking class, a dancing lesson or a visiting a ceramics make-it-yourself studio. Doing something new forces you to connect in a new way.
7. Set up a babysitting cooperative.
Work out a deal with your children’s friend’s parents to babysit each other’s kids on alternate weekends. That way, each weekend your kids have a standing play date while the parents get alternating date nights.
8. Have a work-week daytime date.
Skip the babysitter and go on a date while your child is still in school. If you know you have personal days or sick days left at work, use them and explore your city. Go to your favorite restaurant at lunch when the menu is usually cheaper or hit a museum or gallery. Enjoy playing hooky with your spouse. And it doesn’t have to be a whole day. A friend and her husband have a standing appointment for a weekly lunchtime tango lesson. They’re in each other’s arms during the workday, reconnecting through an activity they enjoyed before they had kids.
9. Skip out early.
Get a sitter and go to an evening PTA meeting together — that’s not the romantic part. Leave the meeting a little early before the crowd of parents and tack on a romantic dinner together before you head home to relieve the sitter.
If these date ideas don’t get some sparks flying, you may have some stored up anger and resentment that’s getting in the way. I can help you get to the root of the problem, so you can get back to enjoying each other. And for parenting support, whatever the age of your child, reach out to me here. I look forward to speaking with you.
Diane Spear, LCSW, is a licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist in private practice in New York City since 1995, working with individuals and couples to help them find the joy in everyday life. She contributed a chapter to a book on family New York State family law, and has been quoted as a relationship expert in the Huffington Post. Her website is www.dianespeartherapy.com.