Hi there, SLASG gals (well, I guess there could be a guy, too)! My name is Claudia and I write over at Lashes & Beard about things I'm loving - everything from Jesus to funny stories, my husband Josh, to craft projects gone wrong, and my sweet baby boy Isaiah.
I was so honored when Kelli asked me to write a guest post while she's out of town! Kelli and I "met" online through a link-up about date nights. She was doing a project called "A Year of Dates," whereas my husband and I had just decided we needed to be more intentional about dating post-marriage. Josh and I realized this truth: that date night is something to be intentional about, cherished, and thoroughly enjoyed - all to the Glory of God. Just like our marriage.
Now you always hear about people talking about the importance of dating your spouse, but do you know what you don't hear about? How to date your spouse when you've got a screaming, pooping, hungry, little-ball-of-cutesy-flesh newborn (or a child of any age, for that matter). And... dun dun dun... NO BABYSITTER.
You can't go to a movie because the baby is on a 2-hour feeding schedule and you don't feel like whipping out your ta-ta in front of a whole audience. You can't go to a fancy restaurant because your darling toddler has decided he's eating nothing but chicken nuggets until the end of time. You can't go dancing at the local honky tonk because... well, I shouldn't have to finish that sentence. So what do most couples do in an effort to spend time with one another? They simply do things that only cater to the child(ren), which is great, but it doesn't necessarily nurture the marital relationship. Finger paintings and bouncy houses are all fine and good, but for date night with your love? Notsomuch.
In an effort to throw y'all a bone and get date night (with or without kids) back on track, here are my top suggestions for baby/kid-friendly dates!
1. Sometimes we want a really fancy dinner. But like I said earlier, a tantrumy toddler or a colicy baby doesn't necessarily make for the most posh of environments. So stop by your favorite eatery, get your meal to go, and then head on home. Get dressed to the nine's like you'd be going out, then have yourself a fancy dinner right there at home. If your child throws a tantrum there's no one to shoot you the stink-eye, and you won't get any weird looks from the snooty waiter when you try to order a plain hamburger and fries for your little one. Tuck the kids in bed, leave the dishes for tomorrow, and spend the rest of your evening enjoying all the marriage was intended for. Wink wink.
2. I don't know about you, but mine and Josh's first date wasn't at a super-ritzy restaurant. It was a nice, but quaint, Thai place and there were lots of different customers - even babies and kids. So why not recreate your first date and have dinner at that old familiar restaurant? If you mention to the host or hostess that this is where you had your first date, and now you're bringing your child back to the restaurant X years later, they might even throw in a free bottle of wine or dessert!
3. Feel like having a quiet evening at home? Break out your Bible, folks. Take turns reading your favorite scripture aloud to one another and explaining why you like the verse so much. Not only does it allow you both to get a great glimpse at each other's heart for the Lord, but when doing this in front of your children, it shows them a great foundation for what a strong Christian marriage can look like.
Well, there you have it! What dates have you and your honey been on with the kiddos? Any tips or tricks to share with the rest of the blogosphere?
Thanks again, Kelli, for letting me share my two-cents on your million-bucks blog, and to your readers for bearing with me in your absence. :) Feel free to stop on by and visit me at Lashes & Beard, "like" our wee page on Facebook, or join the conversation on Twitter. I'd be glad to have you!