I am 33 years old. Mom to four (very loud) children. Stay at home mom with my own business. Married for 11 years. Known my husband for over 15 years. And I am also currently dating.
It all started at the end of last year when my husband and I decided to leave our children at their grandparents and grab dinner by ourselves (for once!) to discuss and plan 2018. Every year we pray about a word for the year and set out goals for ourselves as individuals, as a couple, and as a family. This is where we started to discuss DATING.
Did anyone else experience a tornado 2017?? We did. It was crazy busy. We had a new baby, two of our four children hospitalized, my father-in-law had strokes, and my husband was regularly out of the country for weeks at a time. All this while keeping our sanity was seriously pushing the boundaries!
It’s not like we had a bad or struggling marriage. In fact, our relationship was stronger than it has been in years. We are crazy supportive of each other. Deep love. Best friends. Serious BBFs.
But in love? Like when we were first married in-love?
We wanted that again. Dressing up in expectation of seeing one another. High heels. Flirting. Sharing desserts.
So we decided to make DATES a priority. Not just once whenever. But planned, non-negotiable dates. Every two weeks. We took out our calendar planners (Yes, it was that type of romantic date) and blocked out dates for the next 6 months.
But we also have four children. A baby under a year at that stage. Still breastfeeding. Babysitters were rare and expensive. (Apparently babysitters charge PER CHILD now??) Plus we actually still had to go on the date!! $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
We were not the only parents with this problem. Date-nights become a bigger hassle than we feel they’re worth.
So we came up with the brilliant solution:
Date Night Swops
We approached parent-friends we trust, and shared our idea. Once a month, we will babysit their kids for free. They go on their date, knowing their kids are safe in their own bed with someone they know taking care of them. In exchange, they do the same for us. This is also a genius way of getting some alone time to read my book without normal chores etc distracting me at my own house.
We personally decided on two dates a month, the specific dates marked on the calendar. I am responsible for the first date of the month, and my husband for the second. For my date, I have to plan a babysitter (aka family to swop babysitting service with), where we will go or what we will do. We absolutely love the Entertainer App for fun and discounted ideas on dates. (2 for the price of 1 deals! CURRENT SALE)
Oh, I still remember the first date I went on this year. I bought a dress. Even wore high heels. I took my time to finish my make up (because our babysitter friend arrived early) and prepared my mind for dating my husband. We wanted to fall in love again. I wanted him to be captivated. Enamored.
We have since tried new places we have never been before (yes, sometimes discussed totally bringing the kids here), gone for breakfasts, lunches, and dinners depending on …well…life, had a whole evening playing arcade games, sat in total silence at the beach, breathing… Other times we have laughed so much at the ridiculous place we have chosen, and once, our date included hotel room-service and a bed… But most of all, we have (decided and learned to) fall in love again.
I am 33 years old. Mom to four children. Married for 11 years. And I am also currently dating. Dating my husband. And falling in love all over again.