Before your little cherub came into this world you probably never even came across the term ‘Date Night’, I know having been in a long term relationship it certainly wasn’t a term we used. Going out was something we could do whenever and wherever, so giving it a title wasn’t really needed. Fast forward 18 months and now it’s a term that’s bandied around our household frequently.
Whatever you choose to call it, the idea should be the same, to have an evening where you and your partner can be off shift and able to enjoy each other’s company without the usual responsibility that comes with parenthood. A time to switch off, relax, and rekindle the joy that first sparked the series of events you now find yourself in.
Since our Son Teddy was born, my wife and I have managed a handful of date nights/evenings away at weddings etc, and I would advise all new parents to really try and make the time to do the same.
My Wife and I have found the following tips to be helpful when preparing for our ‘Date Night’, and I hope you find them helpful too.
1. Leave them with someone you trust your life with
This may sound obvious, but a close family member or friend, preferably ones who have raised children recently should be your first port of call. In order for you to have a stress free night you can’t be worrying the whole time about how they are getting on. My Wife and I also have a rule that we will never leave our son with a trusted stranger/babysitter until he is of age to be able to communicate and talk effectively.
2. Let the sitter come to you
If possible this makes things a great deal easier. Everything at your home is in place, you just need to get them round, show them where everything is and Bob’s your Uncle. Moving your child, especially if really small, increases the risk of them being unsettled and waking during the night too.
Prepare your home, put everything within reach, your sitter may not know where you keep certain utensils so take all the guess work out of it. Show them where the nappies are, spare clothes etc etc. If you have a Grandparent over you may also want to spare 20 mins to go over how to work the Sky remote 🙂
4. Importance of a Handover
It may be that on your Date Night your child will be looked after by someone they are not as familiar with as you. In this case you want to make sure that whoever the person is can come to you a bit before you leave so that your child is aware they are around and is comfortable in their presence. The last thing you want is your child waking in the night to be tended to by a stranger and having a complete meltdown, not good for anyone involved.
The above four tips have been useful for my Wife and I and hopefully it’ll give you a good starting point too. If you guys have any other useful tips then please share.
Written by James Roach – Married and father of 18 month old Teddy