Conventional wisdom says that it's important to have regular date nights with your spouse once you become parents, but in reality, a certain little someone could complicate matters. It's tough to find a sitter you really trust with your precious bundle, and your extra spending money might be going toward diapers and your little one’s college fund these days. But don't fret ... with a little creativity you can still have some fun date nights without leaving home.
My husband and I spent many a night watching LOST
marathons on DVD, and making homemade pizza together. The key is to find time to do something together that you both enjoy, even if you're only baby-free for a few hours between feedings.
Some alternative new parent dates to try:
Put on some music and sip some wine.
It sounds simple, but most new parents get so used to the routine of listening to baby monitors and drinking coffee to stay awake that they forget about grown-up fun.
Dust off an old favorite board game or a deck of cards.
The loser has to make ice cream sundaes. Although my hubby isn't one for board games, we did enjoy a couple of Guitar Hero tournaments back in the day.
Light some candles and use your good dishes.
Even if you order in, fancy up your dinner table once in a while like you did when you were dating. Of course, we always found eating Chinese food out of the containers with chopsticks around the living room coffee table pretty cozy, too.
Pamper each other with DIY spa treatments.
Whether you swap neck massages or you get him to paint your toenails, you'll have a few laughs and feel great afterward.
Plan your first family vacation.
Even if it's months away, start thinking about some places you might like to go, and hit the web together to do some research. We couldn't wait to take our boy to Disney, so we enjoyed discovering all of the new attractions that were added since our last visit years earlier.
Dawn Papandrea is a freelance writer specializing in parenting, women's lifestyle, and personal finance. Her work has appeared in Family Circle, Parents, WomansDay.com, and more. She lives in Staten Island, NY with her husband, two fast-growing boys, and a living room full of toys.