Remember I said yesterday that half our dates are out and half are at home? Here are some things we’ve learned about our going out dates.
1. Pray that day. It seems like every time we plan to go out, the kids don’t sleep well, life feels like a disaster and we end up getting in some varying degrees of an argument.This is totally the enemy trying to keep us from this much needed time together. Pray on date day that the Lord would guard your hearts and that no offence would be easily taken up.
2. Choose a question to ask each other. How many times have you got to a restaurant and suddenly felt like you had nothing to say? Or we end up talking about how to deal with a parenting issue that’s been really challenging…or even worse: FINANCES! (we’ve now learned just to never talk about finances on a date…)
I crave deep conversations and too many times I came home feeling disappointed and like we had paid a babysitter for nothing until we started this.
Before we go on our dates we each think of something we are going to ask. It can be as ridiculous as “what animal do you see yourself as?”, to “where would we live if there were no limitations?” or “what has the Lord been speaking to you about this week?”.
Our conversations have taken us places we couldn’t have imagined with a pre-meditated question.
3. Leave the kids. The first time we left Caleb to go on a date, my little baby was two weeks old! It was our first anniversary and we had the blessing of parents close by who we felt very safe leaving him with.
I remember running into someone that night and them looking shocked that we didn’t have our newborn with us out for supper. I felt so guilty for leaving him alone (even though it was really only two hours).
Looking back, I see how that was one of the best moves we could have made, setting the precedent off the bat that our marriage comes even before the kids, and that the best thing we can give our kids is a strong relationship between us.
When it comes to babysitters, we totally understand seasons of not feeling like you have extra to pay one. We are blessed to now have a “babysitting fund” that is a top priority in our monthly budget.
If you don’t have family near by, offering to trade babysitting with another couple is a really great idea. We tried this a few times, and it worked great. It was one of my friends, so I knew her kids, and vice versa. Be creative, but don’t give up trying to come up with a way to get on a date!
4. Keep it lighthearted. Studies show that laughing together and trying new things create a bond between a couple that can help carry them through the tough times. Trying new food, walking a new path, or sharing a new experience all can draw you closer.