By Elissa Ashwood
As a parent, date nights can sometimes fall by the wayside. You don’t mean to backburner your relationship, but it happens, and it causes problems throughout the house that are the last thing you need. So how do you get some quality y’all time?
Here are 4 tips to get you back out there, together.
1. Once you’re out, stay out.
Don’t run home “just for a minute” between work and your date. Once you walk through the door, it’s harder to leave. You’ll have to rally yourself to go, and the kids may feel like they’re missing out.
Instead, meet up after work for your evening out. Set up a babysitter who can handle the witching hours and go straight from work to date. This can help you sidestep the issues that come along with going home first. Plus, if you’ve ever wished you had life where you could wear outfits that go “from work to evening” a la Cosmo and Glamour, now’s your chance.
2. Pick a date night that travels well.
If you travel Monday through Thursday, don’t make Thursday your date night. It’s just too frustrating to miss flights or be sitting in Philly while your U2 tickets are going to waste. Instead, consider a happy hour date night on Fridays. Take off early, enjoy some tapas, get home early.
Who says a date has to be all night long? You’ll still get home for tuck-in, but have already relaxed and debriefed with your partner on the key grown-up stuff. Have late night dessert and wine in bed with a video if you want to keep the date night going at home.
3. No time? Go on a “life-is-the-biggest-adventure date.”
If time is just not on your side, consider making a date out of chores. One of my favorite dates is a “haircut date.” We go to the same salon, timing our appointments to finish together and have a fancy lunch out. It’s totally practical – but totally decadent. And guaranteed to make your Facebook friends sigh over your romantic good fortune.
You can turn all kinds of chores into a date. If you need to go shopping for a gift, meet at the mall together, then catch a movie. One of your cars needs a tune-up? Head out together, and use the time while you’re waiting to go to a nicer restaurant than usual. Maybe you don’t have time for a full-blown evening out, but you can still enjoy quality time.
4. If you can’t swing weekly, swing something extra-cool monthly
Maybe a weekly date night just isn’t in the cards for you right now. Try getting a Groupon for something exciting you’ve always wanted to try, or pick up a subscription package for baseball games or an orchestral concert series. When you’ve already plunked down the cash for a big event, it becomes a must-do.
Getting dates onto your calendar can be tricky, but with a little finagling, even the busiest parents can find time for their relationship. Take time, even in small doses, where you can catch up, relax, and enjoy one another’s company, and switch your backburner on to sizzle.
Elissa Ashwood is known as a role-model of work-family balance, rethinking how to achieve hardcore career success without giving up the best parts of personal life. Her accomplishment and productivity solution is Truly Accomplished. Want even more Elissa? Her successful experience of managing personal and professional life through cancer is chronicled in the blog 33 Dresses.