Date nights may seem like a distant memory for the first hazy weeks and months of having a new baby in the house. But once you start to settle into a regular routine (with more glorious consecutive hours of sleep), it’s important to carve out a little time for just the two of you. Here are a few tips and tricks for making room for romance in your lives as new parents.
Take it Easy
Don’t beat yourselves up if you don’t feel like going dancing till 2 a.m. anymore. It’s OK! You’re still fun. You’re still you. You just want something different from your free time than you did when you were younger. Talk to each other about what you really want to do for date night, not what you think you should do. The best night out might be eating extra-cheese pizza and being in bed by 9.
Get into a Groove
The logistics are often the hardest part about making date night happen. You need to figure out what day you’re free, where you’re going, who’s watching the baby. Simplify this process by planning a few date nights at a time. Mark them on the calendar in advance, and call the sitter (or a kindly friend or family member) about multiple dates at a time.
Add an element of surprise to your night out by taking turns planning your evening. Nudge each other to get creative and break out of your normal habits. You can even set themes to narrow down possibilities: something that costs less than $10; something art- or music-related; something physically active.
Limit Shop Talk
You and your partner have a lot of shared responsibilities, but try to give yourselves a night off from discussing them. Explore all those non-parenting topics that interest you instead. And if conversation keeps drifting back to household chores or baby duties, come up with a silly word or phrase to say as a light reminder to change the subject.
Who says you need to go out to have a romantic night together? Take all the pressure and planning out of the equation, and indulge in a relaxing stay-at-home date. Put the baby to bed, keep the video monitor nearby and open a bottle of wine. Order takeout you love, and enjoy sitting through an entire meal without one of you having to jump up to change a diaper or wipe up a spill. Savor your wine and then watch a good movie on Netflix or head to bed early.