November 21, 2016 Date night ideas for new parents
Ah, yes, date nights.
If you’re a parent, chances are these have become a bygone conclusion.
In fact, it’s often hard to reconcile just how much time you had on your hands, pre kids.
Whether that was being able to shoot off anywhere at the drop of a hat, or, more importantly, spending quality time with your partner. Nowadays, even catching up with friends for a coffee on a Saturday morning requires military-like planning and precision.
Amidst the craziness of having young children, the one thing we often forget as parents is each other.
Which is totally understandable given that you’re both invariably juggling 20 different things at any given point during the day.
And it’s not only time that works against you – you’re both usually exhausted at the end of day, potentially no longer have the disposable income you once had, or struggle to find a babysitter.
For us, it’s been a case of being adaptable and weighing up what’s most important: spending lots of money to eat out or spending precious time together without the kids, even if it’s only for an hour or two.
Here are some date night ideas for new parents that have been working for my wife and I over the past couple of years…
Date nights in
Sounds cheesy, I know.
But, if you can’t rope Mum and Dad or close friends in to babysit, a date night at home is your next best thing. Whatever you do, the key is to make sure your phones are well out of reach – and actually making the time. Cooking for each other’s a great start, as is doing a regular ‘themed’ movie night.
You’ll need an aforementioned babysitter, obviously, but you’d be surprised at just how beneficial something as simple as getting out for an hour or hour-and-a-half walk together really is. Same goes for dusting off the pushbikes and heading off for a leisurely ride.
If you don’t have a mutual hobby, create one. It could be a photography or latino dancing class. It could simply be doing a weekly spin class together.
Providing it’s close, get a friend or neighbour over for an hour or so to watch TV on the couch and keep an ear out while the kids are asleep.
If you don’t have the luxury of a babysitter for, say, three hours, skip having dinner out and just do dessert and coffee locally. Whether that’s hitting your favourite gelato bar or checking out somewhere new in and around the area.
Have a laugh
We head to the Comics Lounge (North Melbourne) on a Thursday night from time to time, babysitter permitting. The acts are always consistently funny, the place is always packed and it’s so good to break up the seeming monotony of day-to-day family life by having a laugh together.
The other thing we occasionally do is take advantage of the local cinema’s cheap movie tickets on Tuesday nights and enjoy a film together. Given you’re both often so tired, the key is to pick a film that won’t send you to sleep. Maybe stick with comedies and action films.
Hit the markets
Come this time of year, we love hitting the Night Markets at Queen Victoria Market and checking out all the cool stores. The street food there is amazing and, depending what you’re into, there’s always live music, too.
It’s easy to forget that we live in one of the richest cities in the world in terms of art and culture. And so much of it is free.
When we can, we tend to check out the occasional exhibition on a Saturday or Sunday when we have our parents over.