With valentine’s day coming up, it seems fitting to discuss the first “real” date night after baby arrives.
When Should Date Night Be?
Short answer, as soon as she is ready. Many women don’t want to or aren’t able to get around for weeks after having a baby, some even months. So, don’t rush it, (unless she is). Once they are feeling better, they still may not be feeling up to the crowds or dressing up. Or the big one for us, they aren’t ready to leave the baby.
Full Disclosure, my wife and I didn’t have our first date night until around 6 months. We have been fortunate that our daughter loves being out and about with us and doesn’t do poorly at restaurants. We haven’t felt the need to leave her at home. So, if you think you have put off the first Date night for too long, think again. Our daughter is 10 Months old now and it’s still hard to get out. The first date night should happen in the first year and probably even in the first 6 months after baby, but don’t feel forced. Plan it and stick to it as soon as your able. The best time is when you are both ready for it.
Who is Watching Your Baby?
Deciding who is going to watch your child can be the hardest part of having date night. Who do you trust. How much is it going to cost. Am I going to offend someone if I don’t ask them? All questions you may be considering when trying to leave baby at home for the first time. You may trust someone with your life but leaving your baby alone with them can still be hard. Even your mother can seem like a bad option even though you can’t think of a reason why. It’s understandable and I promise most parents to have been in your shoes. Go with your gut, if you think a good friend is the best possible choice then pick them. Don’t worry about upsetting anyone, it’s your baby and your peace of mind. Nobody will enjoy date night, if you must constantly rethink your decision of babysitter.
What Should You Do?
This obviously varies widely amongst couples. Just take into mind how your significant other may be feeling. She may be up for dinner, but not physically ready for something such as dancing. Also, don’t assume she still is comfortable wearing her favorite dress to a fancy place. She may be able to fit into it, but that doesn’t mean she feels the same way while wearing it. My recommendation for the first date night is to keep it simple. Dinner, Movie, maybe some shopping if you haven’t bought new things in a while. If you can plan something on your own, do so. Nothing kills the idea of date night like arguing what’s on the agenda. Tailor the evening towards her interest if possible, and make sure she enjoys herself. A good date night will hopefully lead to future date nights.
Why It’s Important.
Couples put their romantic relationships on the back burner when a baby comes into the picture. It’s inevitable. It’s important to take some time away to remind yourself why you chose to raise a child with this person. Seeing them a little less in Mommy mode may be exactly what is needed. We all know moms are never fully out of mommy mode but giving them a chance to ease up could be huge. A single night of stress-free baby-free fun could be all she needs to take her parenting to the next level. Give her the energy she has been missing and remind her how things all began. Plus, even one night out will be enough to miss your child more than you realize. It will give you a chance to talk about how crazy your past months, even year has been. I mean real conversation, not whispers in bed in fear of waking the baby, or in passing as you are doing household chores. Communication is key and date night is a chance to get back on track.
If Valentine’s day has snuck up on you, and you haven’t had your first date night yet, it may be time. It’s a great excuse to have a date night, that most people won’t judge for. It may even be easier to get a family member to babysit, since they will recognize the holiday and that you want a night out. It’s one of the few holidays that don’t feel like you need a “babies first” experience. So, take the opportunity and run with it. Valentine’s Day offers a built-in sense of connection and romantic atmosphere, which may make relaxing, and focusing on date night a little easier.