Emma Thomas Full-time mum to an almost one-year-old girl, part-time blogger and writer, with a background as a Kindy Teacher/Director

Date night – doesn’t that sound romantic? Getting dressed up, beautiful flowers, dinner at a fancy restaurant then walking along the river in the moonlight holding hands…

Things tend to look a little different after you’ve had children but I want to encourage you to think about your social and romantic life and why it is important to your family. We all want our children to grow up in a stable and loving home. One of the best things you can do for your child is to prioritise your relationships. This includes romantic relationships, friendships and even time you spend with yourself! Only when your cup is full can you pour into others. 

February is a month of date night for us. We have Valentine’s day, dinners out, movies dates (dinner and movie vouchers from Christmas gifts!) and our daughter’s first birthday. I have decided that we are going out to celebrate keeping this tiny human alive for a whole year!! 

Date night after baby

After you’ve had a baby it’s easy to feel like you will never leave the house again, let alone leave the house without your baby! For a little while, your social life and romantic relationship might need to adjust but before too long you will be back out doing things. I found it hard to leave my daughter when she was young, I was breastfeeding, she didn’t take a bottle and was quite unpredictable with her feed and sleep times. Now that she is eating solids and sleeping better, I am enjoying the freedom to reconnect with my husband, my friends and myself!

Here are some suggestions for date nights at home or places you can go with a young baby:

  • Movie nights while the baby sleeps
  • Board games while the baby sleeps
  • Picnic in the backyard while the baby sleeps (hopefully you’ve got one of those magical babies who sleeps!)
  • Going out to the movies works if you have a baby who will sleep in the pram
  • A walk by the river (this works even if your baby isn’t good at sleeping!)

Date night with kids

Once your children are a little older it’s time to start socialising again:

  • Maybe you’ve got grandparents, siblings or a friend who’d love to come over and babysit for you. 
  • Make a deal with a friend who has kids, once a month you go over and look after their children and once a month they come over and look after your children
  • Go on a date during the day while the kids are at school or daycare! If you are both working could you meet for lunch once a month?
  • Does your daycare offer a date night service or could you hire a babysitter through an agency?

Whatever it looks like for your, prioritising your relationships is important and allows you to be a better parent. I know I feel energised after spending time around other grown-ups. 

Why bother with date nights?

Date nights are great because;

  • They allow time for communication – just imagine being able to finish a whole conversation!
  • They strengthen your emotional connection
  • They are fun and provide a spark of excitement to relationships
  • They decrease stress and allow some time out from the day to day routine of parenting 

I hope you enjoy a good date night this month – I know I will!