Growing up, one of the things that my siblings and I looked forward to were the nights when my parents went out on a date. When date night happened, we knew that we were going to get to eat something special for dinner, watch a movie while eating a special treat, and stay up a little bit later than normal.
Leaving your little ones home while you go on a date can be difficult. Making the night more fun for them could make things just a little bit easier for you. If you aren't worrying about the kids back at home, you will be able to enjoy the time that you have together on your date. Doing a few things will help your kids (and the babysitter) have more fun while you are gone on your date. Your kids will begin to look forward to date nights, rather than begging you to stay home. The two of you will get to go out more often and everyone will benefit from the effort that you are putting into making date night a priority in your marriage.
Plan a Simple Meal
The food that we got to eat was one of the best parts of my parents going out on a date. It was usually personal pizzas, fish sticks, chicken nuggets, or something that they could grab quickly from the drive-thru on their way to pick up the sitter.
Have stuff on hand in the freezer that your kids love but isn't part of your family's regular meal rotation. Make date night the one night when you'll order kid's meals for them, rather than stuff from the value menu. Get food from their favorite fast food place, the one that you'll never go to because you don't like the food there. You could leave money for the babysitter to pay for pizza, let them know what is for dinner and where to find it, or have your kids eat before you leave so that the sitter doesn't have to handle that portion of the night.
We recently went on our first date night, since Emmy was born, when we had someone other than our parents watch the kids. I picked up all of the fixings for Bensen to make mini pizzas with his cousins (our babysitters for the night) and had everything ready to go. He had a lot of fun building his own pizza, and I knew that it was a meal that he would eat and enjoy, even though he wanted to get down and play with two of his favorite people. The had some fruit and a treat so putting everything together and the clean up was easy.
Leave a Fun Activity
Our kids are young enough, that they are just thrilled to have the full attention of whoever is tending them. Bensen loves to show off all of his toys and read stories with all of his favorite people. As they get older however, I plan to put together a "date night/babysitter activity box" that he and Emmy get to pick something from every time we go out and leave them home with a sitter.
Your box could include coupons to rent a movie to watch while you're gone, a scavenger hunt you put together, a seasonal activity, or any number of things that you know would appeal to your kids. By keeping those activities and items in the box and rotating them out often, you will help make your outings fun and exciting for your kids.
The Dating Divas have put together a couple of printable packs that will make it easy for you to prepare a fun activity for your kids to enjoy with their sitter! Check out the Camping Edition and Cooking Adventure (affiliate links) and see which one your kids would love the most. Or, grab them both and you have two date nights completely taken care of! Your kids will have so much fun that they'll want you to leave the activities for them time and time again.
Be Part of their Bedtime Routine
Technology makes it so easy to make this happen. Before the kids go to bed, have the babysitter call or Facetime you so that you can say goodnight to the kids and blow kisses. If you're at a movie or doing something active, this might not be possible, but if it is, make it happen! Your kids will love talking to you and it will help their bedtime routine go more smoothly.
If you're feeling extra fun, you could sing a song with your kids, read them their bedtime story, or do something else that is part of your bedtime routine every night.
Date night should be something that the entire family looks forward to. You and your spouse should look forward to getting out of the house to do something fun together while working on your relationship. Your children should look forward to seeing the two of you make your relationship a priority and with these three tips, they'll look forward to the fun that they get to have while the two of you are away.
Just a reminder that I'm co-hosting the #ReviveDateNight series this month with Justine from Little Dove and Kailei from Two Best Friends in Love. Every Friday we are sharing ideas in our blog posts for how to revive date night. Follow us on Instagram for a fun giveaway later this month and for more date night suggestions! Also, use #ReviveDateNight on your IG posts so that we can see how you are overcoming your date night obstacles and make it a priority this month.
What things do you do to help make date night more fun for your kids?