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So, you’ve done it – you’re a new parent! One of life’s greatest joys and accomplishments. The little one is home, safe and sound. You’re adjusting to your new schedule – and your new life. Taking turns calming the baby in the middle of the night, feeding, diaper changing, then the cycle repeats.
As beautiful of a miracle bringing a tiny human into this world is, nobody said it was easy. It’s also no secret that this time in you and your partner’s life can be stressful and strain a relationship and a marriage.
Shortly after the pregnancy announcement usually comes a lot of, “say goodbye to ,” and, “you better do as much as you can before the baby comes,” and so on. While to an extent, that is true, it just means some of those activities are done a bit less or are replaced with different ones.
One part of your life that will likely fall to the wayside, whether intentional or not, are date nights. Maybe you’ve had a designated date night prior to parenthood where you always made a point to do things one-on-one. Or, perhaps you’ve never set aside a specified day/time for this and you just went with the flow whenever you were both available to catch a movie or grab a nice bite to eat.
If the adjustment of a new little one in your life doesn’t leave enough time for things like shooting hoops with friends or spin class after work, it surely doesn’t leave time to go out on the town, just you two. Stress, work, and all of your time being focused on the baby can create a distance between yourself and the other person. At the end of the day, all you want to do is try and get even a minute of sleep, not get dressed up and go out or even have the energy to argue about the day’s frustrating events.
It is, however, vital to your relationship to make time for one another, aside from strictly being the wonderful parents you are. One day a month, try to go out or stay in and do something together. It isn’t as expensive or brain wracking as you may think.
Leaving your bundle of joy at home without you for the first time can be incredibly triggering. Separation anxiety sets in, worry, and missing them so much it pains you. Once you get your little one into a routine, however, try to set aside time to go out with your partner. This gives you a chance to clear the air, catch up with one another, and focus on your relationship together instead of just your roles as parents.
Make sure you choose a sitter you are more than comfortable with and trusting of, especially if it’s your first time away from your child. Family members are a great option, but if that’s not in the cards, a close friend will be just as well. If your family is anything like mine, it will basically be a brawl over who gets to watch the baby, so you will likely have no shortage of sitters available!
If you don’t have family or friends available, there are some great resources out there to find a sitter that’s right for you.
Facebook groups for local babysitters and those seeking babysitters exist in most areas – just try searching for one! Care.com is also a vetted babysitting service that requires a thorough background check to be done on all sitters. Another great idea if you don’t feel ready to go through a stranger to babysit, is you could make arrangements with friends – i.e., I’ll watch your child on this day if you can watch mine on this day. Also, a good resource you may want to explore is your coworkers. Lots of parents have teens who are always looking to make some extra cash – it’s a win-win!
Not ready to entirely leave the house and be 30+ minutes away in case of an emergency? Setting up a night in together, baby-free like old times can do the trick, too. Just make sure you either are not within earshot of the little one or you have a close-by sitter on duty at a different location. Or, to really ease into things, bring your baby along when you first start your date night traditions.
Here are some ideas for going out – or staying in – to reignite the fire that brought you to where you are today and reestablish the bond you share that made you ready to grow your family in the first place. Regardless of the season or your location, you can find something enjoyable in any weather or time of year.
GO OUT: A classic date idea, if you’re lucky enough to live near one, is to go ice skating together. What’s more romantic!? You can enjoy skating around the rink hand in hand, laughing together when one of you falls, and you can warm each other up afterward with some hot chocolate.
STAY IN: If you decide the stay at home route is more your style this winter, try mixing up some drinks and making homemade pizzas together. This will help you work together, bond, laugh, learn, and enjoy the fruits – or bread – of your labor!
GO OUT: A more adventurous date night might be indoor rock climbing or skydiving. Trying something new together that might be a bit scary, exciting, and fun all at the same time is the perfect way to bond and create lasting new memories. If you’re looking for a baby and me option and something a bit tamer, try berry picking! Your little one will be mesmerized by the colors and the adventure and you can collect fresh berries for your enjoyment at home!
STAY IN: If you’re feeling extra competitive, have a video game marathon! Even if gaming isn’t normally your thing, everyone can find a game or two that strikes your fancy. Whether it’s dancing, completing missions together, or trivia, gaming is a super fun way to spend time together. Need a place to store all of your games when you’re done? Try one of mDesign’s video game storage bins, the perfect size for the cases and simple to view each title.
GO OUT: Go to a concert! Make a night of it – dinner, drinks, concert. Find a band or artist you’ve both been dying to see or a group from your teen years that brings you back to a simpler time. If there aren’t any big name venues or artists in your area, find some local live music and support musicians in your town!
STAY IN: Have a board game party night! Make or buy you and your partner’s favorite snacks, order a pizza and play games! It’s a fun way to have some healthy competition and forget about the stresses of real life for a while! Make a real smorgasbord out of your snack selection on a slate serving tray from mDesign and make the cleanup easy when you’re done winning!
GO OUT: It’s cliché, sure, but pumpkin picking is both an easy outing and picture-worthy! Pick out a couple of pumpkins, take some pictures, then go home and carve them for Halloween! You can even get a tiny one and carve it for your little one! If you don’t want to leave your babe behind, you can bring them in tow for this one!
STAY IN: Have a fire in your fire pit or build one in the back yard! Roast marshmallows, make moon pies, have some cider, and cozy up together. Get some fall drinks and keep them chilled nearby in mDesign’s beverage tub.
No matter the season or whether you want to stay inside or go out, schedule a sitter, schedule a date night and spend at least one night per month doing something with you and your partner, to enjoy one another’s company, just you two. Take a break from parenthood; while it’s the most rewarding experience, everyone needs a break now and then, even for just a night.
Or, if you prefer to take on some activities and outings that include your little bundle, that’s okay, too! Make sure it’s a new experience for everyone to enjoy!
Looking for more ideas? See all the other great suggestions here.
Shop the Look: Stay in and snack in style during movie date nights.
Shaylee Dillen is a SEO Content Writer at mDesign
and considers herself a caffeine and cosmetics fanatic!
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Feb 12, 2020