My husband and I have never had the income to have babysitters very often. In fact, we’ve never had dedicated “date nights” in our entire 13+ years of marriage. Only in the last year, were we comfortable leaving our children for even 20 minutes to run to the store, which is…let’s face it, a far cry from a date night.
However, with some creativity and a letting go of the stigma of what makes a date romantic, we have been able to “date” each other while in our own home – even with small children. At one point, we had four children under the age of 5, so yes…we know what it’s like to have young children and no time, money or resources to go out.
When my husband worked the overnight shift, we only went out for birthdays and our anniversary, there were no dedicated date nights. It wasn’t until during his first full-time ministry that we were able to actually take a date night, not associated with a special occasion.
After that night, we realized how much we had become disconnected and vowed never to let finances or lack of a babysitter, stand in our way of having another date night again. That’s when we came up with a plan to stay connected, even if just in our own home.
A couple of weeks ago I shared about Making Valentine’s Day Romantic When You’re Not, and opened up about how neither my husband or I are romantic by nature. However, we do desire to be intimate with each other and share that connection. Being intimate and maintaining that connection with small or younger children in the house, can definitely be tricky, but much of what I discussed there would be the same advice I would give here…aside from these 3 tips.
3 Ways to Make Valentine’s Day Romantic at Home with Young Kids
Involve the Kids – Being a parent isn’t put on hold just because it’s Valentine’s Day or your anniversary. If you have children, you’re a parent 24/7/365. That doesn’t mean you can’t take a weekend away, but your kids will still be there and should anything happen while you’re away, you would be there in a heartbeat. They are a product of your intimate relationship with you spouse, so why not include them in the celebration! Have them help you set up the table, make dinner and/or dessert and then eat together as a family. This may not sound romantic to many of you, but I find it incredibly sexy and romantic watching my husband be a father and enjoy our children. The smiles on their faces fill my heart with such joy and love.
Plan a surprise evening alone – I mentioned in my other post about planning ahead and making decisions together, but that doesn’t mean you can’t plan a surprise evening alone! Maybe ship kids off to family or different friends’ houses for the day/evening and spend some time alone together! If you can’t ship the kids off, you can always put them to bed early so you have the remainder of the evening alone.
Love Notes Scavenger Hunt – I love scavenger hunts. I find them fun and exciting. Plan a love notes scavenger hunt for your spouse to lead up to the romantic evening ahead. You can involve the kids in the hunt or plan one without them. Use clues from your relationship (where you first met or had your first date), names you dreamed of for your children (that you didn’t use), fun events you’ve attended together and more! Lead him around town before/after work or around the house to different photos or memory albums and ending with dinner and a night spent together (alone or with the kids). And the best part is…this is personal to your story and can be done different year after year!
Over the years, I have heard married couples complain that they never have a night out or alone. I hear you and completely understand. There was a time in our marriage that we struggled to have either of those as well. We have never been on a week-long vacation just the two of us, and I’m not sure that will happen until our children are out of the house.
However, it is important to our marriage (and our sanity) to find time and ways to spend romantic evenings together – even with young children in the home. These tips have helped us and I hope they help you too!