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You know when you need some reconnect time, but can't get out of the house because tiny people need boobs and a very specific comfort method and new parent nerves couldn't handle it anyway?
The parent club is a joy that way.
Thankfully, the "I don't ever see you because I seriously don't even see myself" stage doesn't last forever. But while it's here, it's not easy on the marriage-y things. Here we've got you covered with completely easy fun, and free (or super inexpensive) date nights. All you need is couple hours, each other and a few random things mostly found around the house for a night of whimsy and magic.
Outdoor Movie Night
This could seriously mean a computer sitting on a stack of books in the grass with an extension cord, a blanket and a few pillows to lay on. Or you could go for broke and grab a screen and projector (or a wall may do just fine) and sit in (or on) your car! An actual drive-in movie theater counts as well.
GATHER: Projector + Screen (or computer) | Speaker or Laptop | Favorite Movie | Best Snacks
Think you know everything there is to know about your lover? You might be surprised when you start asking the right questions! Grab an awesome book of questions and get to it! If you don't have time for a book, you can search online for great conversation starters.
Perhaps not the most carefree of all the date nights, but probably the most helpful if unity is suffering right now. If you're ready to really reconnect and see one another, check out this post for the how-to.
Dinner by candlelight, glow stick jewelry, reading love letters by flashlight, and looking at the stars (borrow your kids twilight turtle if the real sky isn't game). Dancing to your favorite love songs, Reading to one another under the covers, Truth or Dare, or combine this with any of the date nights in this list or any others.
Maybe you can't go to the Carribean right now, but it can be almost as good! Grab some leis and grass skirts at the dollar store, Carribbean food from the best local restaurant (or make your own), piña coladas, some Reggae on Pandora, and set up an island themed movie~ it'll be an awesome night.
Make a Fort
This may sound crazy, especially if you've got little ones and you're constantly building forts already. But if you're not an otherwise fort-building family, this can be SUCH a blast for an evening.
GATHER: All the blankets, chairs, and zip ties (or rubber bands) for securing said blankets to chairs-- or whatever works in your situation. Get a string of white lights to lay across your blanket "roof" for ambient romantic effect- if not, flashlights work just as well. Set up with your favorite snacks, card games, or netflix show on your computer, and snuggle in.
Playing for Keeps
GATHER: A deck of cards | Small, Fun Gifts (you can also sexy it up and do the strip version, in which an item of clothing is removed for every loss) | Food (obviously, because food makes everything better)
PLAY: Your favorite card game/games- or check out these 50+ Card Games and try some new ones!
Marriage Bucket List
It's dreamin' time! From big to small, make list of the things you want to do as a couple. If you want to take it beyond dreaming, figure out first steps and timelines too! Be sure to write it all down so you can check it off when it's done.
Postpartum is a great time to remind yourselves what you love about each other; why you're still choosing each other. Go ahead and grab old videos, your wedding video, love notes, photos, and anything else that serves as record of your romance. Put on your most romantic playlist or even better, your songs. Snuggle together as you take a walk down memory lane.
FYI: There may be grief here. New parenting is so hard on marriage. To look back and feel loss is entirely normal. Let each other grieve. This is good.
Practice the art of relaxation in your own home. Not that it's anything like a spa, but with cucumbers over your eyes you're bound to not notice.
Don the robes. Turn on the diffuser and the music. Rest in comfy chairs. Drink tea and eat scones. Do treatments. Afterward, soak in a bubble bath with candles surrounding.
You guys- FOOD. Food = Life + Happiness. If you two are cooks, GO TO TOWN COOKING SOME GOOD FOOD TOGETHER. If you love cooking but want to cry at the work load of a real meal, sign up for a trial of BlueApron, HelloFresh, Plated, or Sunbasket.
And if you're not a cook: Make a list of your favorite foods from all your favorite places, and have someone run about town picking these things up for you. Same for the grocery store. EAT ALL THE THINGS YOU LOVE. With bubbly and candles and music or on paper plates on a blanket in the yard. Whatevs, man. EAT what makes you happy. Then make love.
It may be really hard to find time to be together (in a state of not collapsed exhaustion)- but it's actually the most important thing. You need each other. Try adding a little spice with one of the ideas above, and see what comes of it!
What's your favorite stay-at-home date?