Even so, it’s more important than ever for you to stay connected and support one another. You are a team in this new adventure, and a healthy relationship is good for both of you, as well as for your baby. As often as possible, try to carve out time for each other in your new routine. You don’t even need to leave your home to reap the benefits of one-on-one time. Below are some ideas for staying in and going out that are sure to spice up your relationship!
Try a Date Night at Home
Even if your baby wakes every few hours, take advantage of the time after he or she goes to sleep at night. Or if it works better for you and your baby’s schedule, create a special date during the morning or afternoon too—it’s all about setting aside intentional time for you and your partner to spend together!
1. Have a special dinner in.
Have your favorite meal delivered or make a nice dinner (it could even be warming up a frozen meal someone has brought you). Clear the table, set out your nicest dishes, and light some candles. Keep your baby monitor close by so you know if your little one needs you, but put down your phones and focus on each other and your meal. Allow yourself to leave the dishes until morning too.
2. Bring the movies to you.
Watch a movie at home, whether you rent one through Redbox or find something on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime. Make popcorn, grab a drink, and snuggle up on the couch. If your emotions are all over the place these days, maybe choose a rom-com over a drama. Act as if your living room is a movie theater. Dim the lights, find a comfy blanket, and sit tight for the whole show—try not to get distracted by laundry or things that need to get done.
3. Bring out your creative side.
Do you enjoy artistic projects? Create your own painting studio in your home. Purchase inexpensive canvases and art supplies, put on your favorite music, grab a snack, and let your creativity flow. The simple act of creating something together will release tension and lift your tired spirits! If your baby happens to wake up during your date, don’t let it derail your project. Tend to your little one’s needs and then get back to where you left off.
4. Create a home spa.
You might not be able to splurge on a spa day, but try to recreate a relaxing atmosphere at home. Put on calming music and try DIY spa recipes, or purchase oils and take turns giving each other massages. Soak your feet while you sip tea and enjoy your quiet time together.
5. Host a game night.
Invite friends over and put out snacks for a game night while your baby is sleeping. Even if he or she wakes once or twice while you’re playing, your friends will want to help with holding, feeding, and rocking the baby. Choose friends who are sensitive to your situation as new parents and who won’t mind interruptions. Or you can have a game night for just the two of you. Pick a two-person game you both enjoy, order pizza, and have fun!
Enjoy a Date Night Out
If you have access to regular childcare, keep a standing date night every couple of weeks. This will help you make it a point to stay connected. It’s good to start these routines early so you’re regularly setting aside time to spend focused on each other. Even if it’s not possible to have a date on the calendar every couple of weeks, still try to take advantage of those times you are able to secure childcare in order to enjoy a night out. You might not want to impose on the friends and family who have offered to watch your baby, but let them help! If you feel like it’s hard to ask, go out after your baby is in bed for the night, so your sitter can be there just in case the baby wakes up.
6. Get lost in a book.
Go to a bookstore and browse your favorite sections. Pick out something to read, and if there’s a café in the bookstore, have a cup of coffee while you peruse your selection. Even if you’re not talking with your partner the whole time, you’re still relaxing and enjoying an activity together.
7. Have a kid-free dinner.
Go to your favorite restaurant and enjoy a leisurely meal. Reminisce about previous dinner dates, talk about current events, or marvel in the wonders of new parenthood. Enjoy not having to clear your plates or do the dishes, and take time for dessert too! You could even go somewhere else for dessert to add another event to your evening.
8. Cheer on your favorite team.
If your town has major or minor league sporting events, get tickets and enjoy cheering on your home team.
9. Enjoy the great outdoors.
If weather permits, try getting outside as a couple. If you live near water, spend a couple of hours at the beach or try kayaking or canoeing. Go for a hike or take a scenic bike ride. If you do take on something active, just be sure that your body has healed after delivery and you’ve been cleared by your doctor.
10. Make that to-do list enjoyable.
Some parents find going grocery shopping or accomplishing other errands together is a nice escape from the house. Maybe grab dinner first and then enjoy leisurely strolling the aisles. You’ll get one-on-one time and accomplish something on your to-do list!
It Will Be Worth It
Before date night, spend a bit of time trying to feel like yourself again – take a shower, get out of baby-fluid-covered clothes, and practice a little self-care. Change into something nice or stay in comfy clothes—or better yet, a combination of the two, like the Clara Top and Louisa Leggings or the Angelina Nursing Nightgown, which doubles as a super-cute dress. Spending even five minutes on yourself will make a huge difference.
When you have a new baby, it may not be easy to make the time to continue dating your partner, but it will be worth it! You might find yourself distracted and experiencing a wide range of emotions, and that’s okay. You’re going through a lot of changes, but communicating with each other and being open about what you’re feeling will help you navigate these transitions in a healthy way. Take turns planning, and keep it simple. The point is to be together without other things getting in the way. Take time to appreciate and remember what you love about each other. This adventure will be your best one yet!