Remember the time before kids, when you would go out on a whim on a Friday night for dinner and a movie? That was considered a quiet night out.
Nowadays, something like that would take days of preparation and organisation before it would get off the ground.
It’s no wonder that date nights can go out the window once you start a family.
But being parents means it’s more important than ever to spend time on your relationship with your partner.
By supporting each other and keeping the romance alive, your partnership can continue to thrive despite sleepless nights, sick kids, bills, lunchboxes and missing shoes.
Today we have some simple date night ideas for parents. Can’t get a babysitter or not ready to leave the kids? Don’t worry – some of the ideas are for romantic nights in too.
Go out for dessert
Sometimes by the time you get the kids fed and into bed, the idea of going out for dinner seems all too hard (plus if you’re used to eating at 6pm you will be famished by 7.30pm).
So why not just head out to share a pot of tea and some cake at a local café instead? Even an hour together outside the house can be a great way to recharge your batteries and reconnect.
Classic film and dinner combination
Head to the DVD store through the week and pick up an oldie but a goodie which pairs well with your favourite meal that you can order in.
Think sushi and The Karate Kid; pizza and The Italian Job; or fish and chips and Jaws.
Head to a cooking class
You might be able to find a one off class such as a Thai cooking class that you could attend together. Or maybe a regular art class that you could attend as a couple.
Sharing interests (besides your mutual love for the kids!) is a great way to keep your partnership fresh.
Have a picnic
Picnics can be super romantic, and just because your blanket is set up in your garden or lounge room doesn’t take away any of the sparkle.
Prepare picnic style food – such as corn on the cob, crumbed chicken and some chopped fresh fruit; grab a bottle of wine, and you’re good to go.
Go out for breakfast
Who says date night has to be after dark? Organise a babysitter to pop over on a Saturday morning for two hours and head out for breakfast.
Think multiple coffees, reading a newspaper from cover to cover, and not having to share your pancakes with little ones.
Enjoy a games night
If you and your partner like a bit of healthy competition, a light-hearted games night could be just the thing for you.
A game of Scrabble, Monopoly or even Uno can be a fun way to have a laugh and relax together. Twister is always a good option too!
Do a workout together
Another option that can work for night or day, head out and do some exercise together. It might be a bike ride on a coastal track and then having a coffee.
It could be a Zumba class at your local gym. Or just a walk and chat without little ones demanding your attention.
HEALTHY MUMMY TIP: if you can’t afford to pay for a babysitter, set up a swap with friends. You go and babysit their kids one night, and they can repay the favour for you the next week. This works especially well with the families of your child’s friends, as the kids will already know you well and will be comfortable with you being there.