The first few months of welcoming a new baby into your life is a mix of bliss, exhaustion, frustration and managing shifting identities. I know for Shep and I, finding time to see each other, really see each other, was so hard to come by. All of our conversations revolved around our daughter. We started to feel distant from each other and it was so hard to connect.
Having a newborn also meant that leaving the house for a nice dinner out or even to grab drinks was just a no-go. I didn't want to leave my daughter with my mom or friends and, as a nursing mama, I had to be close by in case she wanted to feed. Shep and I really had to become intentional about dating each other within the walls of our home. It can be so hard in the beginning but the truth is that prioritizing your relationship during this time is crucial to its success.
I know, I know...on top of everything else, giving your partner attention can feel like one more pull on you. And the odds are, if you're reading this blog, you're a tired mama wearing way too many hats already. Initiating date night and cultivating romance can make you feel even more exhausted and resentful. I see you mama and I get it. But, from someone who has been there, and worked hard to build her marriage back up, sometimes you've got to be the one to take the first step.
Feeling connected to and supported by our partners is so important to our overall mental health and having date nights at home can serve as an entry point into reestablishing a strong connection between you and your love.
Here are 5 at home date night ideas that are fun, easy to execute and affordable. Best of all? No babysitter needed!
+Take A Virtual Cooking Class
Maybe one of the best things to come out of the pandemic is the availability of virtual classes. Taking an online cooking class together will not only add a new recipe to your arsenal, but also remind you of why you and your partner made such a good team in the first place! Chefs like Alex Hill from Just Add Hot Sauce and places like Sur La Table offer affordable cooking classes all the time. Buy your ingredients, check your wifi connection and get ready for a fun experience.
If purchasing a cooking class is out of the budget (cause new babies have a way of hurting your wallet) pull up Youtube and cook alongside experts like Alison Roman, The New York Times, or grab a recipe from A Cozy Kitchen.
+Up Your Cocktail Game
If you've followed me for a while you know that I love a good drink but making them can be a little intimidating. Both online and local liquor stores have started selling cocktail kits that take all the pressure off of stirring up deliciously boozy cocktails at home. Order a pizza, grab a kit, put on some music and catch up with your honey over a sip or two of a new beverage.
+Stoke That Fire
The weather is cooling down and this is the perfect time to dust off that fire pit and sit outside for a bit. Make a s'more board and let the warmth of the flames get you all toasty. Pack a thermos with hot chocolate, sit underneath the stars and marvel at how much life has changed and how insane it is that y'all are actually parents!
+Bring The Spa To You
To be fair, this one may have to wait until baby is sleeping a little more regularly but having a couples massage would be wonderful wouldn't it? Who says you have to go to a fancy spa to get a little self care? Grab that baby monitor, light a few candles, put on a little soothing music (low of course, baby is sleeping after all) and call in the experts. Apps like Soothe bring highly trained massage therapists to you. The therapist bring everything needed with them. Have them set up in your bedroom or where ever you feel most comfortable. Lay down and just enjoy someone working out all the knots in your (very) tired body.
+Old Fashioned Movie Theatre
This isn't just you and your partner laying up on the couch watching the latest Netflix movie I promise. Pop a bag of popcorn (and add some seasoning!), grab your coziest blanket, this screen projector and get ready to watch an old Hollywood classic. Old school movies not your thing? Use this random movie generator to pick something neither of you have ever seen before.