How to Make Date Nights Happen When You’re Parents: Kid Swap!!
When I posted The Fun Dare: 12 Dates in 12 Days challenge, many parents were discouraged; it’s as if they were missing out on all the fun.
Even when I suggested modifying most of the dates to stay-at-home, and spreading the 12 dates out over 12 consecutive weeks, some still couldn’t wrap their brain around how this could be done with children.
I didn’t have the solution until US Olympian Annett Davis posted a comment saying exactly how she and her husband of eighteen years were going to pull this off.
I immediately sent her a text and asked if she’d share their brilliant practice with you. Get ready…this is gooooood.
Until Monday…make it a great weekend!
I know what you are thinking. I have kids, I can’t do one date night, let alone the 12 suggested in The Fun Dare! Think again. I’ve got two words for you…Kid Swap!!!
On a beautiful fall day 18 years ago I married the man of my dreams. We purposefully waited before trying to have children. Why? Because we wanted to enjoy each other every day, selfishly, without having to care for little ones.
Fast forward to today. We are actually more happily married than we were in the beginning, and now have two amazing children. Sure spontaneity went out the window the moment we had kids, but that didn’t mean our fun date nights had to go with it, and neither does yours.
What’s a couple to do?
Kid Swap 101
A few years ago we came up with a fabulous idea. We have a neighborhood full of amazing folks with kids around the same age as ours. Our kids have been playing together for years. One day it hit us. Why in the world were we forking out $30 or more per date night, just for the babysitter, when we could be babysitting each others kids, for free?!?!
Here’s how the kid swap works.
1. Find a friend or neighbor that you trust with your kids.
2. Pick a day and time that works best for both couples. It’s okay to have a daytime date. There’s no rule that says you have to go out after 7pm. Sometimes with little ones dates work better during the daytime so that it doesn’t interfere with their nighttime routine.
3. If your child has allergies, make sure you bring your own snacks to share. You can also take your children’s favorite toys, games, or movies to ensure a good time.
4. Make this a regular occurrence, not just a one time thing. In my case, my neighbor Ani takes our kids every Friday night so that my husband and I can go out. Then on Saturday night we take her kids. The children play games, watch movies, have snacks, they have a blast! What kid wouldn’t want two extended play dates with their friends every week?
We all know that date nights are extremely important. Not only are we kindling the flames of our relationship with our mates, but our children are learning something important too. When you go out on a date, your child sees how much you value each other. They see that your relationship with your mate is so great that you do lots of fun, cool, and amazing things together to keep it going.
What a marvelous example we set for our children. My daughter’s eyes light up, in a Disney Princess type of way, whenever I tell her that her father and I are going on a date. She wants me to dress up, and wear make-up for him. I love how excited she gets seeing us date. Doing a weekly kid swap makes this happen much more often than it used to, it has certainly made our marriage sizzle. We are going to use the kid swap to do The Fun Dare, and I hope you do too!
QUESTION: How do you make sure your date night happens? Tell us on our community Facebook page where over a million women join us.
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THE NEW YORK TIMES® BEST-SELLING BOOK: It’s been described as, “Like Eat, Pray, Love but not down on marriage.” Make sure to check out the Happy Wives Club book. I had the great honor of traveling to 12 countries on 6 continents, interviewing couples happily married 25 years or more, with 1 mission only: to find out what makes marriages happy…and keeps them that way. It’s a marriage book like none other. Guaranteed.
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