I sat down earlier this month to plan out date nights from that week until the middle of September when we'll officially be on baby watch. There were a couple of bucket list dates that I wanted to go on and a few other things that I thought would be fun to do together. But as I started going through our schedule, I realized that there wasn't going to be much time for the things that I really wanted to do. Holiday celebrations, family commitments, scout overnighters, high school reunions, company parties, and so much more have claimed our weekends from now until summer is over. I found myself getting a little disappointed, partly because some of our bucket list date nights have to shift into next year again, and partly because I really wanted to plan some quality, one-on-one couple time before our new little one gets here.
Like I mentioned a couple of months ago, time isn't just going to magically appear in our schedules, we have to make that time for each other. So although we have a lot going on in our lives over the next couple of months, and not as many solid blocks of time as I'd like to have available to get away together for a Bensen free date, just the two of us, I know that we can still make time with each other a priority. I'm determined to have lots of, what I like to call, "date moments" after Bensen is in bed on weeknights or after our other commitments on the weekends.
Be intentional with the time that you do have
Our weeknights usually end up being pretty hectic, despite our best efforts to do something fun together. After getting home from work, we feed Bensen and ourselves, play with him and get him in bed. Then Joe goes out to water the yard while I clean up the kitchen. By the time we get to sit down together, it's usually 9:30 and we're both so tired that we watch an episode of our current Netflix favorite before going to bed.
A couple of weeks ago, I noticed that the same thing was happening on weekend nights, even ones that we'd dubbed at home date nights after Bensen had gone to bed. Fridays and Saturdays are my day off, and I try to make the most of every minute that I have, whether it be time to clean while Bensen is napping, time to interact and spend with my family, or quality time relaxing and having fun with Joe. For the next two months, I'm setting a boundary in our home that after 8pm on Fridays and Saturdays, all adult responsibilities end. If the kitchen hasn't been cleaned up, it waits until the next day. If the yard needs to be watered, I will go outside with Joe so that we can talk and connect while he takes care of it.
I don't want our weekends that we look forward to so much to become too much like our weekdays that are full of work and other life responsibilities, just because it's our routine and what we're used to. Sure, I use my Fridays to clean the house and Joe still has to work on Fridays and some Saturdays, but our evenings can be different and less structured and it will be ok! Weeknights are for projects and adult responsibilities and weekend nights are for fun and connection!
Plan something fun for a future date
There is one weekend between now and when baby watch starts that I know Joe doesn't have to work and we have nothing else planned. We'll probably get to go on dates and do things together for a week or two or three after I'm starting baby watch, but I'm avoiding planning anything too far ahead into that time frame because you never know. (I'm due mid-October based on baby's measurements but based on a few other things, I think I'm actually due more toward the end of September/beginning of October, so we'll be in baby watch limbo for up to a month.)
Earlier this year, I mentioned that I'm a big fan of planning date night activities in advance. There are a lot of reasons why I love to plan, one being that it gives you something to look forward to. It just so happens that our free weekend is also a holiday weekend so Joe and I will both get an extra day off. I've started making date night and day date plans for that weekend as well as fun family plans so that we can spend more quality time with Bensen. I can't reveal any of my plans just yet, but I promise that I'll share them with you after the weekend has passed. Just coming up with those ideas and knowing that we have all of that time to connect and enjoy each other's company makes me excited, even if it is a month away.
I'm going to enjoy every minute of this coming month and all of the fun things that we have planned. Even if our big plans don't allow for big chunks of one-on-one time, I know that we will still have opportunities to bond and build a stronger relationship.
What do you do when you have a week or weeks without any time for date night?