Perhaps, like me, you remember a time when ‘date night’ meant more than uninterrupted conversation over a swift dinner. The lead up to the event would perhaps include browsing the racks for a new outfit, a manicure, a leisurely shower, and a mist of perfume. Slide into those heels and off you went.
Nine years on, with a preschooler and a 7-month-old to our names, the times have indeed changed. After a full day of work and being with the kids, the relief of an early night to catch up on sleeps is tempting.
A smidgen of romance goes a long way and is a special part of a relationship, sometimes too easily forgotten in the midst of demanding lives, traffic jams and little people. Not extravagant gestures or plans, simply time together sans our children. Q-time with your partner is possible with some planning and effort.
Movie Night at Home
Here’s a no-brainer: Toss the kids into bed, choose your flick, bring on the chocolate, ice cream, wine or bowl of popcorn and you’re in business. If movies aren’t your thing, do a games night instead. Board and card games or make it up as you go along. My husband shoots me a dirty look each time I suggest Scrabble but hey, I’m sure there are those out there wanting to flex their tile prowess.
Take It Outside
Solid teak and functional though it is, eating at our dining table is our constant so sometimes a small change of setting helps make mealtimes more appealing. Eat outdoors, humidity and limp locks be damned. Tea lights and lanterns offer ambiance while making everything feel whimsical.
If you aren’t sold on the thought of perspiring in our tropical heat, crank on the air-conditioner and throw a picnic on the floor of your living room. Go with tapas-style finger food and cloth napkins. Gingham spread optional.
Date Night Doesn’t Need to Be Well, ‘Night’
So you probably know organizing the kiddos in the evening requires getting them fed, cleaned and changed before hugs, cuddles and stories. Then the offspring act like you’re abandoning them forever and cling on, negotiating for you to stay. Cue the neglected lunch date. Various restaurants do attractive lunches and with the brood at school – if you have a tiny, pop them in their stroller and hope fervently that they are well-behaved for an hour – it’s a winner.
Switch It Around
Much as I love being out at beautiful restaurants and served deliciously warm bread rolls with salted butter, there are nights when I like doing a family dinner before heading out. I admit, this way I feel like we’ve spent time with the kids and deserve time to ourselves. Get the family, helper or babysitter to mind the kids while they sleep. Cocktails are our thing so we like experimenting at new bars but if you favour a different sort of night cap, there are numerous coffeehouses, cafes and dessert bars that make for a sweet finish.
No matter what you’re doing, the aim is to spend time with your partner. Date nights are possibly one of the easiest ways to connect and keep a relationship strong. Loving our kids is a given, but it’s good, even vital, to have adult time too and who knows where good conversation, food and drink will lead?
Annabelle Josef is a girl from KL who married the best guy she knows and lives with him and their two little folk in the neighbouring red dot of Singapore. She runs a juggling act of school runs, swim classes, play dates and diaper changes, absolutely loves to travel and one day aims to complete a full marathon. Between one trip and the next, she is a freelance writer, amateur photographer and is earning her chops as a Lego master builder.
Image Credit: Annabelle & moms.xyz.