Date-Night and the Busy Parent

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I know what you’re thinking. “La Jana, I know it’s important to stay connected. I’d love to go on a date with my spouse, but there simply isn’t enough time, money or babysitters to make it happen.” Those are certainly challenges many of us face. I have a secret though. You can date your spouse without even leaving home. Tuck the kids into bed for the night and try one of these:

Picnic under stars: The next clear, starry night, pull out a blanket and picnic in your backyard. Snacks, dinner, it doesn’t matter. If it’s a little cool, pull out a second blanket to cuddle under.

Movie night: Pop some popcorn. Grab a drink. Hit the couch. With subscription movie services and your television provider’s on-demand options, you’ll easily find a flick to watch.

Dance the night away: There isn’t much you can’t find online. Pull up YouTube and search “Learn to dance.” You’ll either find yourselves moving gracefully together or you’ll connect as you giggle over all those left-feet that suddenly appear in your living room.

S’more time with you: Build a fire in the fire pit or light up the grill and create your own back-yard camp fire. Tell stories, reminisce, or make plans for your future. Also, roasting a few marshmallows and making s’mores can’t hurt.

Kitchen coffee house: Brew up your favorite cup of joe and just take the time to talk. This isn’t about discussing the kids or the household ‘business.’ This is going on a date.

Game night: You know those nights where you end up not watching the latest rendition of bad reality TV because there’s nothing else on? Turn off the tube, pull out the board games and enjoy connecting.

Recipe challenge: There’s a recipe you and your spouse would just love to try, except it’s not ‘kid friendly’ fare, or it takes too long to make or some other roadblock. Now’s the time. Pour some wine, if you like. Pull out the recipe and work as a team to pull it together. It doesn’t even matter if you ultimately like the dish. This is about the process.

Challenge: Schedule a home-base date night this week. What will you and your spouse do? Help expand the list by sharing your ideas!

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