After kids, marriage changes. In good ways and also in more challenging ways. It’s not always as easy to spend time together, our focus shifts to our kids most of the time and we forget to look after ourselves let alone our spouses. But God put us together with our spouses for a reason, that reason made some great kids, but that doesn’t mean it should be forgotten!
“I am my beloved’s and my beloved’s is mine” Song Solomon 6:3
Even though I am busy and sometimes stressed out with the kids, or running low on patience. I try to make my relationship with my husband a priority.
I need to remember I belong to my husband and he belongs to me, God brought us together and gave us this family to grow together, but that doesn’t mean our kids are now the most important thing. Our relationship is still priority. So I try not to put our relationship on the back burner whilst I attend to other less important things and find ways to renew our love for each other.
In Japan, people live a very busy lifestyle, dad’s are often working late as well as some mum’s and without many days off or holiday’s it’s very easy to give little or no time to our married relationships. Sometimes it’s just unheard of to have date night after you have kids. And after having kid’s its easy for them to become a substitute for the time lost with spouses, sometimes leading to kids becoming the number one priority not our spouses. But as husband and wife we need each other, after God our spouses should be number one! Marriage is so important. It’s what’s keeping our families together, not our jobs or our kids, God and our marriage is central to our family, that means we need to invest time into it!
But after having kids we become exhausted more easily, there is so much to do and our lives are hectic and there is very little time to make the time we need. But the more we leave the situation, the more the bridge can broaden and the harder it becomes to get closer to our spouses. That’s why I think it’s absolutely necessary to still have date nights after you have kids’ in fact the sooner the better! We always try to make sure we have 1 date night outside, at least every 2 months. Even if that means we just take 1 Saturday night for ourselves, put the kids to bed early and ask someone to baby sit. We need this time not only to refresh ourselves but to refresh our relationship!
A lot of nights Hiroshi and I will just veg out on the sofa and watch a show whilst looking at our phones – this is NOT date night. This is two parents exhausted from their day, mostly ignoring each other because they are too tired to have a conversation. So we need to make sure if we can’t have date night out we make it at home. Maybe that’s a board game together, a cheese and wine night, candle lit dinner, doing something where we can communicate with each other.
So if you are really finding it impossible to get out of the house, you too can make a date night at home!
I can’t stress how important it is, having down time with each other. Getting to know each other more again, talking about our visions for our lives and our kids, talking about the things that are difficult now, or the great things that have happened in our days. Spending time together and communication makes our marriage stronger and brings us closer together! And when we are not having a date night we often take a bath together after the kids have gone to bed, so we can talk about our days and really communicate, I totally recommend this!
It can always be easy to make an excuse about why we don’t have time for date night. Yes maybe nobody has time for it, but it’s something we need to make time for!
So here are a few of my tips for how to make date night work, especially in Japan, where date night rarely happens, but anywhere too. And also my at home date night ideas for those of you who are really stuck!
Tips for a successful date night
- Plan and choose a night: If you don’t plan, it’s not likely to happen. Even if your husbands only night off is Saturday night, that night is for you! Make it happen, put it in your diary!
- Put the kids to bed: If you have young kids. start getting into a routine of putting the kids to bed earlier (our kids go to bed at 7:00, it means our evenings are always free, leaving more options for date nights, among other things). If you have young babies, maybe date night has to be bit shorter, but even getting out of the house for a couple of hours can make a big difference.
- Make a budget for date nights: this is a time for you guys, so invest in it, go somewhere nice, enjoy your time together. Make it special so you really look forward to it and enjoy your time together without worrying about the kids.
- Find a babysitter that you can rely on: even if you can’t afford one you could exchange baby sitting duties with other parents who also want to go on a date. Or you could ask a family friend and make them dinner, or offer to take them for lunch somewhere next time in exchange. Or that wonderful mother in law who may or may not live in the same house or street as you! I’m sure she would love to take care of the kids for a few hours!
20 date night ideas for the @home date!
- Play a board game
- Give each other a massage
- Have a Movie marathon
- Candle lit dinner (save dinner for later and eat just the two of you after the kids have gone to bed)
- Watch you tube videos of places you would like to go to
- Plan a holiday
- Play video games
- Wine and cheese tasting
- Have a picnic in your living room
- Write letters to each other and then exchange them
- Write your bucket list together
- Play 20 questions and get to know each other better.
- Cook something together
- Do a YouTube video workout together
- Take a bath together
- Look at your wedding album
- Have a sleep over, grab your favorite snacks and snuggle in bed together you never know what could happen!
- Or just do the traditional thing – have SEX!
Do you have any other idea’s for date night? How do you spend your date nights? Let me know!