Let’s get real for a moment, babysitters are not cheap!
I love going out on dates with the hubs, but by the time I add up the cost of babysitters, dinner and a movie and/or drinks – we are talking hundreds here. Paying hundreds of dollars so that I can go out and have an interrupted date with the hubs is not always in the budget and when it is, its not as often as needed. Dating your spouse has to become a weekly habit.
The only way to grow a healthy & solid relationship with your spouse is to get to know them on the weekly, dare I say on the daily. Haven’t you noticed how much things change from day to day? It reminds me of a time when I wanted a 6 pack (abs, not beer), I spent an entire week doing sit ups, leg crunches, scissors, and bridges, planks & which ever abs exercise I found online…and I will tell you what. At the end of that week, I still didn’t have chiseled abs. You can’t build in a week, what takes at least a year to accomplish. I began a healthy regimen, taking out time each and everyday (including weekends), to make great food choices, to get my body moving at least 30 minutes a day thru cardio & to do abs exercises every other day. At the end of a whole year, I was half way to my goal -I was loosing weight in a healthy way, I was toning up, and I had a 4 pack of abs! I worked hard to get the results I desired.
So it is with relationships. Taking out time on the daily to grow, to listen, to talk ( we need to talk less & listen more ), to get to know the man or the woman who is standing in front of us today. If you are not spending daily, weekly, monthly time with them…don’t be surprised when you wake up next to a total stranger. Who we are is not who we were…I challenge you, to look back at yourself and see how much you have changed thru the years. Growth can occur together, its okay to change, to develop, to grow…
SO I decided to share a couple of ideas and on how you can still Date your spouse, even if you don’t have a huge dating budget. These are ideas that Clyde and I have tried ourselves and I hope that they can inspire you to date again. Our goal in this series is to talk about issues that we all experience in our marriages and to try to come up with creative solutions to share with you.
A S K Y O U R F R I E N D S T O W A T C H Y O U R K I D S
If you are part of a community of friends that you know and trust, one great way to get free babysitting is to take turns watching each other’s kids. I have been blessed with a couple of ladies that are amazing and that I absolutely trust. We have taken years to grow our friendships and know each other very well- these are ladies that I trust to leave my kiddos with them! If you are blessed with great friends – plan out date nights and give each other some dating time.
D A T E D U R I N G S C H O O L H O U R S
My husband and I recently started doing this. With both kids in school, it has been easier to have dates during the day. No need to pay for a babysitter during the day. So go ahead, get a little time off and plan a fun day date. If you are pressed and cannot get any time off of work, plan around your lunch schedules and have a lunch date. Quality is vital – leave cell phones off and focus on the person you have right next to you.
I drive down and meet with Clyde to have lunch dates. We are striving for once a week, but for now we are having a date, during his lunch time -every other week.
B E C R E A T I V E
Here is where we have to get creative. There are times when schedules cannot be aligned and life just gets in the way, too much to do in such little time…creativity is the only solution. We have come up with a couple of ideas on how to still date your spouse and not have to pay for babysitters.
Put the kids to bed, turn on the monitors – plan a dinner date in your back yard. Turn on the lights or the candles, set up a nice little table outside and hang out with each other. Drinks are another option – just open your favorite bottle and enjoy each other’s company over drinks. Check out our Mini Backyard Date for more inspiration.
2.Have a date at a local park, while the kids play – you can have a picnic. Pack your baskets and let the kids play while you and your love re-connect. When the kids were smaller -Clyde and I – would take this kids to Chick-fil-A; they played in the playscape area while we talked. Because we live in Austin, we have other great local restaurants, markets & food truck areas that have kid friendly areas where the kids can play while we date. If you are a local or when you come to visit Austin, here are some great local places to visit:
Amy’s Ice Cream ( on Burnet Road)
Hat Creek Burger Company
3.Get up early. Another idea (for those who are morning people) is to get up early and spend time together-first thing in the morning. This doesn’t have to be daily. But if can make ‘couple time’ a priority -at least once a week. I think that you will start to see great changes in your relationship.
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