7 Stay at Home Valentine’s Date Night Ideas for Parents Friday, February 5th, 2016
The Valentine’s Day after my son was born, we attempted to go out to dinner… and bring our brand new baby along with us. He was just a few weeks old at the time, and we were first time parents. What we planned as a simple dinner out with a mostly sleeping baby ended in complete disaster. I’ll spare you the details, but I’m sure if you’re a mom or dad, you’ve got a similar experience to pull from.
Actually, most of our Valentine’s Days since becoming parents have either been spent at home with our children, or basically ignored as if they were any other ordinary day. Don’t get me wrong. My husband and I would love a good date night out. Making time to get away together is so important.
But the truth is, it’s not always possible to leave our children at home with a sitter. There are some nights we can’t afford to go out, or can’t leave the nursing baby with grandma, or we have a sick kid that needs us, or we just plain can’t find anyone to watch our children for five blessed minutes.
But because I believe in connecting as husband and wife even in the midst of being mom and dad, I’ve put together this list of 7 Stay at Home Valentine’s Date Night Ideas for Us Parents. While there are some great family night ideas out there, this list has been written for when the kids have been put to bed (maybe a few minutes early.)
Our list ranges from mild to a little spicy. Choose your level of heat. 😉
- 1. Cook a Meal Together: Make a kid-friendly meal earlier in the evening for the rest of your crew, but after the kids are in bed, cook something special for just the two of you. I think some of the most romantic evenings start in the kitchen. (Also, I fully understand if this is not your thing. I can hear some of you screaming, “Lady! I don’t need ONE MORE PAN TO WASH! Not ONE more!” If that’s the case, move on to idea #2!)
- 2. Go Outside (With a baby monitor): We live in the middle of nowhere. It’s quiet. There are stars… I think…I never look to find out. Because when the stars are out, I want nothing more than to be sleeping. For this date night idea, grab some coffee or hot chocolate and a couple of blankets and cozy up in your backyard or on your front porch. Doesn’t the quiet sound like a corner of parental heaven?
- 3. Movie Night: I feel like this one is pretty self-explanatory… BUT! To make it special, grab your favorite popcorn and candy and go all out. Sit close to one another. Hold hands. Pretend it was the year you fell in love… obviously this would include making out. Just kidding. (Or am I?)
- 4. Play board games: Let’s be honest. I like to win, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. But it would be nice to see who wins in something like Monopoly or a card game instead of, Who-Doesn’t-Have-To-Change-This-Diaper (which is the least fun game we play at our house daily.)
- 5. Fondue Date: At our house, on fondue night, we grab a shopping basket full of our favorite fruit and throw in marshmallows, brownies, and these tiny cheesecakes bites from the frozen dessert section. We melt a little chocolate in the microwave or in a sauce pan and add a little cream or caramel. Scandalous! Perk? Not having to share with little hands.
- 6. Massages: Okay, look, this doesn’t have to be uncomfortable. We’re married. We’re adults. We can give our spouse a massage and not blush when we talk about it. The truth is, I know as a momma, there are days I just don’t want anyone touching me. I’ve had a nursing baby, or climbing toddlers, or just plain clingy kids who have been crawling all over me. Some nights, I just want to be left alone, but other nights, there is nothing I would love more than a massage to relieve some of the stress of the day. Intentionally touching our spouse sometimes fades when we have children. This is a great way to reconnect.
- 7. Be Intimate: This goes along with what we discussed in number six. It is so important to be intentional about being intimate with our spouse. Intimacy looks different for every couple in every season. There are things that sometimes keep us from being physically intimate… but those physical limitations do not mean that we cannot connect emotionally. Plan an entire evening around intentionally connecting with your spouse. Revive (or keep fanning the flame of) romance.
I know that when we become parents we sometimes forget how to be husband and wife, but maybe this Valentine’s Day, we could take the opportunity to remember the importance of investing in our marriage… today and every day.