Do you and your significant other have Valentine's Day plans yet? If not and if planning a Date Night feels like more work than pleasure then I have some motivational advice.
Date night is a form of self-care for couples. We know it is important to spend quality one-on-one time with the person whose helped create our life. Yet sometimes making time for this big night isn't a priority because life is hectic!
To help encourage you to start preparing for a big Date Night let’s talk about getting the entire family excited.
The Kid Party
First, you need to find a trusting babysitter for the kiddos. Here are some suggestions:
- A family member or friend of the family. Perhaps Grandma and Grandpa will take the little ones for a slumber party or maybe a neighbor will have your kids over for dinner and a movie with their kids.
- A sitter recommended by your child's school. Ask around at your child’s school recommendations or ask other parents who they have used.
- Find a sitter out on www.care.com. This website allows the sitter to post their qualifications and ratings they've received.
Now it’s time to get the kids fired up!
Involve them in the planning. If they are going to a slumber party put a duffle bag in the hallway and a checklist, like this one. Ask your kids to pack the items on the list and then check them off.
If someone is coming over put out an empty toy bin. Ask the kids to find toys they want to share with the sitter. Also, have them put out their favorite PJs they would want the sitter to see.
Your Significant Other
Although you may be the planner loop your significant other into helping orchestrate the evening.
Both of you could ask family, friends, co-workers or Facebook/Twitter friends for restaurant recommendations. Get a conversation started outside of the house! Others will be excited for your big night which will help you two get excited about it, too.
Head over to www.yelp.com and check out restaurants or places to go. Then forward what you find to your significant other with your comments. Seeing picture of the place and of the food is bound to stir up anticipation!
Do you want to save money and stay in for the night? Cook a dinner the kids would NEVER want to eat (vodka sauce, anyone?). There is something liberating about cooking for two and not having to worry about more than two plates. Hop over to Pinterest and find something enticing and mouth-watering.
With the kids are out of sight you have no sense of responsibility. Relaxation will set in. This time spent with the person you love the most in this world is precious. Honor the relationship that has helped you build the life that you have. If it wasn’t for this person, you wouldn’t have your little ones under foot.
To keep thoughts about work far away take a moment before the big night to do a mind map about work.
This exercise will relieve your worries because you’re jotting them down on paper. When you revisit this map later you will look at with more clarity.
Last, but not least, think about how you will feel during the date night. Really feel it. What words would you use to describe it? Then think about how you will feel afterwards. Visualize it and write about it.
Are you ready?
Take this time to dream about what you two want to do together. Do you want to start a house project? Is there an experience you two want to have with the kids? What do you see the kids doing in a few years? This night gives you two an uninterrupted brainstorming session about your family and its well-being. Share your dreams on this big night, like what goals you’re going after and why they are important to you.
Perhaps this will spark your significant other to help in some way or start their goal setting.
I hope that these motivational ideas help spark some creative strategy to set up your next date night! Distance does make the heart grow fonder and it also gives everyone, including the kids, a break from the daily grind. I hope you have a great night!