Thanks to Pop Secret® for sponsoring this post.
“Mom! He stole my unicorn and won’t give it back!”
“Dad, she called me a stink face!”
“Mama! Get a nack!” (That’s toddler speak for “please make me the 18th snack of the day.”)
This is a small snapshot into the near-constant stream of demands my husband and I field on a daily basis. Life with three young children (ages six, three, and one) is chaotic to say the least. Every day there are three tiny people vying for our attention and asking us to meet their needs at incredibly loud decibels — and those needs nearly always trump our own.
My husband has a physically demanding job and often works 10-hour days. I stay home with the kids and try to squeeze in work around their naptime. At the end of our days, we are pretty wiped out. While the idea of having a date night to get away and reconnect is great in theory, the reality is that they often get pushed to the back burner. Elaborate date nights out have become more and more difficult. You have to find a sitter (which can get expensive) and half the time you end up canceling your plans because one of the kids gets sick, there’s a last-minute work deadline, or any number of other random disruptions pop up. Last time we attempted to go out, I dropped the kids off at their grandparents’ house only to realize once we got there that my littlest had a fever.
Clearly, life with kids is unpredictable, but that just means we have to be more creative in order to get that alone time every marriage needs.
That’s why movie nights at home are the perfect compromise. Now, I’m not talking about a “family movie night” where we watch the same kids’ movie for the 700th time. No, I mean a kids-free, low-key evening where my husband and I can relax and reconnect (without little people climbing all over us).
For those of you who think “date night” only counts if you’re out on the town, consider this …
A movie night at home saves you a whole lot of money.
You don’t have to pay to hire a sitter (just wait until the kids are in bed!) and renting a movie won’t set you back more than a few dollars. Also, let’s not forget that snacks bought at the grocery store are far less expensive than at the theater. Some Pop Secret® microwave popcorn, a box of candy, maybe a couple glasses of wine and you’re in business.
You don’t have to get fancy.
While I do love a good excuse to get dressed up and don a full face of makeup for a night out with my husband, I also don’t mind wearing my favorite cozy sweater and leggings and just staying in. At home, movie attire requirements = whatever is most comfortable!
You get to expand your horizons.
Sometimes as a parent (especially one who stays home with the kids), you spend a lot of time watching your kids’ favorite movies and TV shows. But when you choose the movie, you’re finally prioritizing yourself and your interests. I swear, it can actually help you reconnect with your grown-up self and make you feel a bit less isolated from the rest of the world.
The bonding experience is real.
You may not realize it, but a movie night can help you bond with and learn so much about your partner. Recently, my husband and I watched a really funny stand-up comedy special. So much of what was joked about were things that we could relate to and laugh together about. We’ve also watched plenty of documentaries that have sparked animated debates and discussions that have helped us learn new things about one another as both parents and partners. Each conversation brings us that much closer, even after all these years of marriage.
They’re more relaxing than going out.
What could be more comfortable than watching a movie on your own couch, with your favorite blanket? Not to mention being able to control the temperature perfectly to your liking!
Movie nights have always held a special place in my heart because they bring to mind how my husband and I first got together. Sixteen years ago, we held hands for the very first time while sitting on my parents’ couch watching a movie. It was a budding romance between two high school kids who had no idea what a simple movie date would lead to.
That night marked the start of a whole life to come. We grew closer throughout college, watching movies in our dorms, then as young newlyweds in our very first apartment. Now here we are, 16 years later, still snuggled up together. (Except now we have the occasional interruption for potty breaks and water sips from our three children.)
It’s honestly a bit mind-blowing sometimes to think about how those crazy high school kids are now somebody’s parents … actually three somebodies. Raising kids has brought such joy to our lives, but before we became a family it was just the two of us — and I don’t want us to lose sight of that.
When the kids have grown up and they’ve moved out into the world on their own, we will still be here. That’s why it’s so important to me to make sure that my husband and I still have a strong relationship when that time comes. Sometimes it feels like life is too busy to prioritize our relationship, but often, the littlest things (like curling up on the couch to watch a movie) can breathe new life into our marriage.
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