Finding adequate, trustworthy child care for our kiddos, and the time between work, church, sports, and life to 'date', not to mention the $$$ it takes, not just for the date, but the sitter, is difficult at best. We have a wiling Mimi, niece and nephew and an amazing sitter who all love our kids and provide us some time away when the stars align, but let's be honest here, that whole adage about set aside one night a week to date your spouse, that's meant for people with.....well, I'm not even sure who that's meant for! It seems so impractical and frankly, impossible, with where we are in life right now.
So, we cherish our 'mini dates'. Moms and dads, you need your time together without those precious babies you're raising. You need to enjoy the silence, to enjoy each other, to remember what you talk about besides them, to laugh and to catch up. It's vital to your sanity, your marriage and to your children.
If you are in a season like us, where weekly, or even monthly, date nights seem like a joke, then these tips are for you. Maybe you already have your own brand of mini date, which I'd love to hear about!
I'll start with the coffee date. The one that started when a friend told me, "Girl, put on some lipstick and call it a date!" What started as a bit of a joke has turned into one of our most coveted times together. Scott gets up around 4:30am for some bible time and his first cup of coffee before he eats and gets ready for work. I wake about 5:30, as he's finishing up, and we have a cup of coffee together. Some days this is a very quiet date, and I'm far from lipstick, but for 20-30 minutes, we smile at each other, hug, talk about the day ahead, pray, and just be together. There is a touch of sacrifice on both our parts for this date, since he could sleep an extra 30 minutes and not have this time, and for me, the kids don't wake until seven, or a little after, so I'm up about an hour earlier than I really need to be, but it's just that important to us. Plus it provides me the time I need in the Word after he leaves, so it's a win win!
Another is the weekend 'quiet time' drink date. I love this one. Two of our kids still nap, and the other two have quiet time, daily. During the week, I read, write, rest, work with the kids on school work. But on the weekends, we take, again, about 20-30 minutes during that window, pour a coffee, or maybe an adult beverage, and bam, it's a date. When it's nice out we sit on the porch swing together, or maybe out back in the sun, or on more cuddly days, we sit close on the couch and hold hands. We tell the kids to hold any and all requests, questions or good ideas, unless of course, there is a fire, blood or loss of limb. This is our time and we love it. We usually spend this time talking about how much we love each other, our kids and our life. It's refreshing and sweet.
Lastly, and usually the most needed, is our evening date. We LOVE our kids. Love them. But again with the honesty here, sometimes we are just ready to put them to bed about 6:00 and bust out the bottle of wine! This has never actually happened, but a girl can dream, right? Closer to the truth is, on most days, we get them to bed between 8-9:00, shower and spend a few minutes with each other as we wrap up kitchen cleaning, laundry, lunch prep, or a short wind down show, before we fall exhausted into bed. But a couple nights a week, we make an extra effort for that 8:00 bedtime, pop some popcorn, pour a glass of something, and depending on the night and time of year, either sit out back and enjoy the sounds of quiet country living as the moon rises high in the sky, light a fire in the fire pit with a layer of flannel on, or queue up Netflix and find something funny to catch up on. This date is probably my favorite. After spending all day with my four littles, I need the adult time with the man I love, to remind me that the woman I am is not just 'mom' in stretchy pants with messy hair and no make up.
If you struggle to find the time to date, I hope these tips help give you ideas how to squeeze a mini into your days. Throw on some lipstick and call it a date!
Have a blessed week!