I’m sharing why I still date my husband (weekly!) as well as tips for fun and doable date nights on any budget.
This post is brought to you in partnership with Unilever Ice Cream. I am always grateful for the opportunity to partner with brands that I love and use regularly. Unilever Ice Cream (Breyers) is one of those brands! Supporting the brands I work with (like Breyers) helps make running this website possible. As always, all thoughts and opinions are a million percent my very own.
For the past couple of years, I have gone out on a date with my husband at least once a week.
I say “at least” because sometimes a group date with friends, a concert, or a new movie comes up and we end up having two dates in one week. But for the most part, we have one weeknight date a week. The same sitter has showed up at the same day and time for years and she knows the drill — what the kids like to play, how Lucy wants to be tucked in, where I keep the good snacks. My husband and I walk out the door without having to prepare dinner and get home after the kids have been tucked in for the night.
Many people are shocked by the extravagance of a weekly date. I’m not. When I think about all of the hours I spend making sandwiches, reading stories, brushing hair and playing board games, three hours a week isn’t anything crazy. What it is is just enough to get me through a particularly rough day. It’s enough time for my husband and I to hold hands without a toddler swinging in the middle, have a conversation uninterrupted, eat without cutting anyone else’s food first, or see a movie that isn’t animated. It’s enough time for me to wear a dress and shoes with heels and perfume and not feel like a human napkin.
It’s like briefly coming up for air in the midst of life with work and kids and chores and bills. And I don’t think I would ever go back to NOT having weekly dates. Because as it turns out, I really like dating my husband.
Not gonna lie — there are times that I decidedly do NOT feel like dating him. Thankfully, those are the times that I really need those dates most of all. It’s hard to continue a fight or the silent treatment when the sitter shows up as usual and you’re out of the house without the kids, just looking at each other. Eventually someone gets hungry and we are kind of forced to communicate.
Of course, things happen. Regardless of how things are looking with our budget — with two self-employed people, things fluctuate — I always allow for our weekly sitter. Because I pay a month in advance, she’s reasonable, and I always make sure it’s in our budget. As far as the rest of the evening, though…well. That varies.
We’ve used our date nights to grocery or Christmas shop, sit downtown in nice weather and people watch, wander the bookstore with a hot chocolate or coffee, or dress up and eat somewhere nice. We’ve spent an hour and a half sitting on patio furniture in Target, just talking and laughing. On more than one occasion, we have gone to the mall to use the $5 massage chairs and eat warm cookies from the cookie place.
There is literally a date night for any budget or situation, and what I have found is that what is most important is who you are spending it with.
Getting home is always a nice change of pace because the kids are already in bed. As much as I love our bedtime routines with the kiddos, sometimes I just DO NOT WANT TO DO ALL THE THINGS. Our routine is to grab some dessert and lay in bed watching a movie or whatever TV show we happen to be binge watching at the time. Neither of us are much for being out late, so dessert and a movie allows us to continue our date without regretting it when our alarms go off or Lucy shows up in our room at 6 am.
Lately we have been loving Breyers Gelato Indulgences. My husband isn’t much of one for trying new things, but I got him to try gelato on a recent trip to Seattle and he LOVED it! We live in a small town with only a few basic ice cream stores, so I was so happy to find Breye’s Gelato in the freezer at our local Target. Not only is it creamy, delicious gelato, but it has layers of sauce and toppings. No need to buy anything extra — it’s perfect scooped right into your bowl!
Obviously, we hide the Breyers in the back of the freezer behind the broccoli. I have no doubt that if the kids knew of it’s existence, it would be gone before date night was over. So for now, it’s our secret. And we all know that secret dessert tastes the best!
For those of you who do NOT engage in weekly date nights, I have to encourage you to do so. They have honestly changed my marriage SO much for the better! If a weekly sitter isn’t in the cards right now, here are some other options that we have utilized in the past:
Do a date night in! Feed the kiddos sandwiches and put them to bed early (I have changed clocks or bribed with movie time in bed — no shame here). Pick up take out, then snuggle up on the couch with a blanket and a special dessert like Breyers Gelato Indulgences.
- Consider a lunch date! If your kids are in school, lunch time is a great time for you to connect. Take a long lunch and go see a matinee on occasion.
Trade babysitting nights with another couple! One night a week your kiddos get to have friends over and you get a date night with a free sitter!
Connect when you can and keep a flexible schedule. If you’ve got an infant, those date nights might be difficult. The effort of making your relationship priority for an hour or two is all that is important. Take advantage of an odd infant nap and rent a movie or snuggle up together and catch up on your week. Call in pizza or open a bottle of wine. It does wonders for your sanity!
Do you date your spouse or significant other regularly? I’d love to hear what your date nights look like and how frequently you have them.
Be sure to look for Breyers Gelato Indulgences the next time you’re in your local supermarket. Keep it stashed in the freezer for an impromptu date night — you won’t regret it!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Unilever Ice Cream. The opinions and text are all mine.