Between work life, home life and housework, and the children, it can be hard for busy parents to find time for each other, let alone maintain a social life. While couples may once have enjoyed nights out with each other – perhaps a fancy dinner, a night at the cinema or theatre, or a cheeky weekend away – the arrival of children can often spell the end of “us time”; after all, money may be tighter, and babysitters aren’t always forthcoming. However, there is absolutely no reason why you can’t rediscover each other’s company in the comfort of your own home. Welcome to your new date night.
As the evenings get longer, darker, colder and, invariably, wetter, the idea of a night in may actually become much more appealing than heading out somewhere. Luckily, the Internet is full of inspiration for enjoying a stylish night in, and most ideas are considerably cheaper, and even more fun, than the real thing. After all, staying in is the new going out.
Just the two of us
It is important for couples to spend quality time with each other. With everything else that goes on, you can sometimes forget that you exist as a couple as well as “Mummy and Daddy”. Rather than catching up on work emails or housework once the children are in bed, be sure to set aside one day a week, or even a month, for that all-important date night.
There are no limitations to how you spend your evenings in; date nights can be as simple, or as intricate, as you wish. Perhaps you want to order a takeaway and enjoy your favourite film or television show (finally, TV that isn’t introduced by a stuffed animal), cook a meal together, or enjoy a relaxing bath together. Other date night ideas include spoiling each other with sensual massages, enjoying a cosy camp-out in your living room with blankets, pillows, PJs and chocolate; a games or karaoke evening, or catching up with your wedding video or old home movies. Your night in could be as simple as taking the time just to talk, forgetting the distractions of everyday life and just enjoying each other.
Catching up with the guys and girls
While it’s important for couples to be able to enjoy a quiet night in, it’s also a great idea for parents to reconnect with their friends too; having children shouldn’t mean the end of your social life and, with everything else that you have to fit into your week, seeing friends and letting your hair down can seem pretty low on your list of priorities. Learning how to switch off is essential to surviving those fraught first years; was there ever a better excuse for a night in?!
So, how will you spend your evening? When it comes to organising a night in, the sky is the limit. Perhaps you and your friends fancy a film or games night; pop open the bubbly, make some popcorn and test each other’s trivia knowledge. Other popular nights in include makeovers and DIY photo shoots, craft nights, book clubs, and spa evenings; it’s time to feel pampered. You and your friends may even wish to organise a wine-tasting evening, drinking from posh champagne flutes and sampling some exotic drinks and dishes; why not dress up for the occasion?
The guys needn’t feel left out either. How about a poker evening, board game tournament, or beer-tasting evening? It’s just as important for men to reconnect with their friends, even if all it involves is a simple takeaway and a few cans.
Your stylish night in
While nights out may seem a thing of the past now that the children have landed, you may find that you actually prefer your new night in; there are no limits to how you spend your date night, and you might discover a whole new side to yourself and those you choose to relax with.