What followed was a majority of Moms saying things like
"What is 'date night'?" and
"Six years ago, before my oldest was born"
and "I can't remember".
You need to date your spouse. Now, this might not look like a weekly trip to the movies with dinner, but you need to date no matter how unconventional it looks.
I understand that some people have no extra money, and some people don't have anyone who can watch their kids for free. I still believe there is a way to date your spouse even without those luxuries. Often it's just adjusting priorities to make the room.
We are busy people. Our kids (if we let them) take over things and at the end of the day we are tired. You must connect with your spouse, you must take time to look at them in the eyes and have an uninterrupted conversation. No kids begging for your attention or electronic devices including the TV to distract.
I believe this is so vital to a healthy marriage, and for us we have made the allowance in our budget to date often at the sacrifice of other things that some may not. We have done this because we believe strongly that if you are not connecting this way with your spouse you are slowly losing track of one another. Life happens and it's auto-pilot until kids are in bed and then you crash (after laundry and kitchen cleaning of course)
Save all your change for a $2.00 date once a month. Head to Sonic at happy hour for a drink, stick it in the freezer. That night as you head out, grab it and a spoon and head out to sit in the car, eat your drink and talk. Grab a taco each and do the same thing.
You can do a lot with $2.00 if you are creative. Give up coffee for a week, put that in the date night fund. Turn in cans and bottles, sell some stuff on Craigslist and make that money date money only. It can be done. It doesn't have to be fancy or long, just do it.
As far as childcare goes, and I know this is a biggie. Do the research with friends and people you trust to find someone and save up just the same with your change, your adjusted funds and even if it's just an hour out of the house, do it. Check with friends that have kiddos and do a swap! Watch their kids for free while they go out, and then when it's your turn they can watch your kids! This is one of the best ways to do this and I think sometimes people forget! Others are in your same situation, so ask!
Yes, have a date night at home after the kiddos are in bed with movie and popcorn, but also get out of the house. I think your brain and body relax in a way it can't at home, especially if you are a stay at home mom. Yes, there are seasons that it doesn't work out like this, especially with a newborn. Or if you've just moved...I get that. But I also think there are too many reasons NOT to date your spouse, so it's easy to just pick one and settle at that. Fight for it.
Do a double date sometimes too! Have all the kids and babysitter at one house, and go out or go to the other house and rent a movie and do homemade pizza! My parents did this when I was young and they have the best memories!
Date your spouse. It's good for your kids to see that the world doesn't revolve around them, that you care for and love one another so much you take time for just yourselves. I think that is so important for our kids to see.
If you haven't been good about dating your spouse, put on your creative thinking caps, plan some cheap dates and get out the door. If money isn't an issue, than you really need to line up that date :)
Ask your spouse (in a moment of quiet) if he wants to date you more, if he wants to make it a priority, if he wishes you went out on dates more. Maybe you've gone so long without this at the forefront, neither of you have realized how much you need it.
We try to go out twice a month, we are blessed to have many people watch our kids for free, but when that isn't an option, we set aside babysitting money. On the in between weeks, when we aren't out, we have a date at home. Sometimes we only get out once a month. The point is....don't not go out on a date.
It's a priority for us, and if it's not a priority you won't make it happen.