Recently I read an article titled 'Why I Don't Believe in Date Night'. And while I don't agree with all of the sentiments of this post, after reading it a second time, I realized that I agree with her opinion on date night more than I originally thought, especially now that our family consists of more than just the two of us. All too often, I hear couples with kids say that they don't have date night very often for a number of different reasons. Some have young babies who can't be left with a sitter yet, others don't have room in their budget to go out and hire a sitter or family nearby who can watch their kids while they spend some time together. I've decided that maybe, our use of the word term "date night" is putting too much pressure on something that should be happening on a regular basis, no matter our circumstances.
What to do When You Don’t Have a Babysitter for Date Night
The official definition of date night is, "a prearranged occasion on which an established couple, especially one with children, go for a night out together." Events that fit that definition are important for a marriage and should be planned on a regular basis, whether that's once a week, once a month or once a quarter. This is where I don't agree with the article mentioned above. I firmly believe that time out with just the two of you and having a ritual or tradition of that is important for your relationship, BUT I don't think that an extravagant night out without the kids is the only definition of date night
Date night to me is any intentional time that I get to spend with my husband. Date night involves a lot of talking, laughter, and memories made. Date nights can be spontaneous or planned well in advance. We set aside one night a week for the time that we have chosen to call "date night". Sometimes our date nights take place at home, don't involve spending any money, or we're accompanied by our cute little third wheel. Once a month, we plan a baby free date night, and throughout the week, we look for opportunities to have mini date night moments, often after the baby is in bed. Sometimes our "date moments" are as simple as a late night walk or enjoying a bowl of ice cream while we watch our current Netflix favorite. Other times our date nights are a lot more involved and well planned out like our date night to the drive in movies with a baby earlier this year. We love taking a break from our role as parents to spend time with each other, but family date night with time together after the baby's bedtime can be just as beneficial to our marriage.
One of the best examples to me of someone who makes time and finds ways to date her spouse on a regular basis is Kaitlyn from Plain and Simple Joy. From really early in their marriage, they've been parents, living on a student's income, working around her husband's busy schedule all while living away from family. Those factors have forced them to be especially creative and intentional with the time that they have to spend together. Every time Kaitlyn posts about date night on her blog, I get excited to add something new and creative to my list. She inspires me to think outside the box and look for ways to have fun together after our baby is in bed and without spending a lot of money. She wrote recently about what their date nights look like on a regular basis; If you're in need of some inspiration, check it out!
I guess what I'm trying to say is, date night doesn't have to be a big event, without your kids. Date night should be time when you reconnect as a married couple and a time when you can fall in love all over again. Your kids should see you spending time together, working on your marriage, and see that you are obviously in love with each other. We will continue to make child free date nights and weekends away a priority in our marriage, but when those two things aren't possible as often as we'd like, we will find other ways to date each other and keep our relationship strong.
As much fun as I have dressing myself for date night, I've been surprised to find that I enjoy dressing my little boy to join us on date night as well! One of my favorite shops for quality, handmade clothing for mama and littles is Olive the Things. Kimberly designs quality clothing, creates her own patterns and finds the cutest fabric! Now that it's finally getting cooler and I have a better idea of what size Bensen will be wearing through winter, I can't wait to do a little Christmas shopping in her Etsy shop!
You can use the coupon code AMBERLY15 to get 15% off adorable clothes for your little one (or yourself)!
Her Mama and Me sweatshirt pack is one of my favorite listings and I'm still deciding which print I want to match with Bensen, I'm thinking the foxes!
When Bensen's sweatshirt made its debut this weekend (because Utah finally decided to look and feel like fall) everyone commented on how warm and cozy he looked. The inside of his sweatshirt is so soft and there are two snaps on the shoulder to make getting it on and off as smooth as a onesie. I'm a big fan of the sweatshirt that I bought for myself as well! I fell in love with the XO's and loved the toddler hoodies with the contrast pocket and hood and I got really excited when Kimberly said that she could make one in my size! You can bet there will be more clothes from Olive the Things under our Christmas tree and as birthday gifts for all of my future littles and I'm going to make sure that Santa doesn't forget to bring a thing or two for me this year as well! You can read more about Kimberly and Olive the Things at the end of this post!
I want to challenge you to find ways to make intentional time with your spouse a more regular occurrence in your marriage. You can consider it a "date night", "mini date", "date moment" or just quality time. The importance of regular date night isn't the extravagance of the activity, the money spent or the time away from your kids; it's the quality of the time that you get to spend together and how it is influencing the relationship that you have in your role as husband and wife.
How did you get started on this adventure with your shop?
I can't remember exactly when I got the idea, but I've been working on it since my daughter was just a year old. I knew I wanted to quite my teaching job and spend more time with her and I thought an etsy shop would be a fun way to make a little extra money while I did that. Over the years it's taken much more definition and become exactly what it is today. (She's almost five now!)
What makes you so passionate about what you do and what you sell?
I love love love to create! When I look back on my life, it was always leading me here. Hello!? I dropped out of dance class when I was 9 to take sewing lessons! I got my machine when I was 10 years old and it's still the one I use today. Making new products with fun colors and patterns gives me such a high. And baby and toddler clothes are so tiny and quick to sew up, it's a no brainer :)
Tell me what makes your business and product unique?
I never ever want to copy someone else's work. In fact, I don't think I could if I tried! I do this for the fun of creating, so my baby/toddler clothes are going to be different from anyone else's you find on etsy!
What is one thing you want everyone to know about your business?
I love to mix and match! If you like something I've made but want to see it in a different fabric or color I would love to help you design something one of a kind. I love sending out high quality items to you and your little ones.
Check out Olive the Things and tell me what your favorite item is! Don't forget to use coupon code AMBERLY15 for 15% off your order!