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Babysitters Are Expensive and Toddlers Aren't Easy: 5 Ways to Do Date Night In

There are those of you with relatives and friends who live close by that can watch your kids for you a couple of times a month. This makes getting out of the house with your lover without making a noticeable gash in your bank account possible. I’m jealous of you parents. Perhaps you’ve heard this a ton of times and are sick of hearing it, but one more time won’t hurt. YOU ARE LUCKY.

Now, I’m in no way hurting for a babysitter. I in fact have a couple of amazing ones. I just don’t have the bank account to match every time I’d like to have a date night. Even if we didn’t have to pay for a sitter, going out in and of itself can be expensive, depending on what we get up to.

In reality, parents really should be making regular date nights a priority. You guys, this is IMPORTANT.

It’s taken a while (nearly four years), for my partner and I to somewhat perfect the fine art of creating clandestine moments, romantic nights in and simple, relaxing ways to connect without the kids jumping up and down on top of our heads and/or hollering in our ears.

It’s called early bedtimes, using one’s imagination and hauling one’s butt out of a slump. Theses are just our top 5 ways to do date night in that aren’t cheesy.

  • How We Do 1 of 6
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    Having toddlers doesn't mean that the romance needs to die...

  • Early Bedtime 2 of 6
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    For the kids, not you! Now that we're full-on into the school year, they need more sleep. Plus, it gets dark in the evening much earlier making early bedtimes much easier than in the middle of the summer. We aim to feed the kids an early dinner one day a week and eat together by candlelight after they are in bed. Lighting candles and creating a playlist of some of your favorite tunes or picking out a selection of records is key here; little notions like this can turn a regular weeknight into something romantic. Tip: leave the smartphones off.

     

    If you're too tired to cook (because you made the kids grilled cheese for their dinner, right? Good on ya), order in from your favorite place. If you're not dreaming of your bed come 7PM, then have some fun with a culinary theme. Italian and Indian are favorites around here. If you're both foodies, cook together. You know, as you once did before kids. Pour a glass of wine, joke around, and dance around each other in the kitchen. Take it slow and don't rush — unheard of when it comes to meal-prep with kids, right? Create a spread without a thought or care to making it "toddler-friendly."

  • Home Spa 3 of 6
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    Not cheesy. I promise. Totally grand. You may need to pick up a few props for this, like some hot stones, or essential oils and massage oils. This should be something that you take turns setting up for one another perhaps once a month. Light candles everywhere and set the vibe with relaxing music, calming scents, and hot cups of herbal tea. Start with full body massages and end with a hot bath by candlelight. Remember the epsom salts and lavender oil!

  • Classic Dinner and a Movie 4 of 6
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    Perhaps to a young and frisky couple, this idea sounds old and boring. These ideas aren't for courting couples. We're in the thick of it already and sometimes all we need is to cuddle up and unwind together. On weeknights especially, I'm not looking to do anything over-the-top. Pour a couple glasses of wine, fill up the popcorn bowl, grab your coziest blanket, and pick a flick you'll both love or else someone's going to pass out. Which, is fine. Really. You cuddled. You did it. You took the time.

  • Entertain at Home 5 of 6
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    You don't necessarily have to keep it just to the two of you. Often date nights are a social thing and just because you have kids now doesn't mean you have to miss out or hire a sitter every time! Invite a few of your good friends over for late eats, board games, or a wine and tapas tasting. We've done this a few times and always wonder why we don't do it more often.

  • Play ‘That Kind’ of Scrabble 6 of 6
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    G'won, do it. Having a love for scrabble is key here, as well as sex obviously. Heck, turn it into a grand affair wherein you loose some clothes throughout the game while you're at it. Again, vibe is always important. Music, cocktails, and candlelight are the obvious companions to this "board-game" night in.

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More Babbles From Selena…

Selena is a crafty, culinary mom. Regular writer here and on Disney Baby. Part-time mischief maker, all the time geek. 

Elsewhere on the internets…

Via her humble beginnings, mastering in general mayhem: le petit rêve

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