Every marriage article I read seems to give similar advice: go on dates, get away together, prioritize time without your kids. While that’s all well and good, let’s be realistic–not every family can afford a weekly date night or a couples’ getaway!
With five kids, our baby-sitter bill for a simple night out adds up quickly. When you combine the sitter fees with the cost of whatever activity we’re doing that night, the expense can be more than our budget can bear. So over the last few years, we’ve learned to be more creative and sneak in mom and dad time without breaking the bank.
Here are some budget friendly ideas for ways to connect with your spouse or partner without spending a ton of money:
- If you have flexible work schedules, go on a lunch date! Moving date time from the evening to lunch saves us from getting a babysitter. Plus, we’re honestly more awake during the day!
- Enjoy a late dinner without kids. While I’m a huge proponent of family dinner, sometimes it’s nice to let the kids eat early then pop on a movie while you enjoy a date-night dinner at home.
- Play a game after the kids are in bed. One of our favorite date nights is scrabble and wine after we get the kids tucked in. Watching a movie or catching up on DVR is great, but playing together can be a great way to reconnect.
- Let your kids watch a movie during a road trip so that you can chat in the front seat. I remember cherishing road trip talks before we had kids, and sneaking one in now feels like a real luxury.
- Plan a date night when family is visiting. We don’t have family in town, but when someone is visiting for more than one night, that’s a great time to go for a short date. Even one drink, an appetizer, or just a cup of coffee can create a great time to converse without interruptions from the kids.
- Work in the yard or on a project together. Whether the kids are inside or playing nearby, they’ll probably leave you alone if they think you are “working,” and accomplishing something together can be a blast!
If you can afford a weekly sitter for date night, that’s awesome! If you can’t, don’t be discouraged…get creative and make your own ways to reconnect.