I don’t know about you, but as a mom of littles it can be hard to find time for my spouse—let alone myself! The only time we get is in the wee hours of the morning (and I’m NOT a morning person to say the very least), or in the evening after the kids have gone to bed and the endless list of to-dos gets done.
That is, unless we hire a sitter or plead with a parent to watch our brood while we escape for just a few hours.
I know that I’m preaching to the choir here… can I get an amen? But honestly, being creative with how to get quality time with my husband is something I’ve grown to love! And this summer I’m doubling down and upping the ante! Here are some of my ideas for those summer nights (well-a-well-a-well-a, tell me more!)
1. Have a progressive dinner (babysitter required).
Have a few favorite places in town where you love to eat? Go to all of them! Start with appetizers one place, go somewhere else for the main course, then dessert, and finally end with coffee or a cocktail. You’ll have time between each course to digest all the goodness, and it ensures you spend plenty of quality time together!
For me, sometimes going to a restaurant can feel hurried. By embarking on a culinary cruise around town, I know that I’m going to get all my favorite things from each of my favorite places and spend lots of precious time with the hubs.
2. Make a special meal at home!
My kids eat early. Like, 5:00 sharp. Any later and meltdowns ensue. I wish I were joking. A lot of nights my spouse doesn’t get home until 5:30 or later. So family meals together are rare, as much as I hate to admit it.
However, I’ve begun to see this as an opportunity to really enjoy meals at home with him. Since the kids have usually already eaten by the time he gets home, he’s able to play and enjoy time with them while I prepare our dinner. This allows us to be more adventurous than we would be if I were cooking the same thing for everyone in the house. I’ve never tried making sushi before, but that’s something a few kitchen tools and YouTube could remedy! Plus, no sitter required.
3. Visit a local festival – sans kids.
It’s no secret that food truck and arts festivals are a summer staple around the metro! Have a sitter or grandparent put the kids down for bed and sneak away for a couple hours to enjoy getting lost in a crowd without kids! The thrill of not pushing a stroller through a busy street… little things, y’all.
These types of outings always make me nostalgic for those first years of dating, since my husband and I began our relationship at the beginning of the summer between high school and college. It’s sweet to remember and relive the things that formed our friendship without chasing down toddlers.
4. Have a movie night.
This can be done at a theater or in the living room, indoors or out! The options here really are endless. We usually choose to watch a movie in bed, but this summer I’m determined to get creative! I’d like to set up a tent in the backyard (because mosquitoes in OK don’t play!) and watch a movie on an air mattress, keeping a baby monitor handy to listen/look for the kiddos.
5. Meet up for lunch.
Some of my favorite times recently have been catching my hubby in the middle of the day, whether that’s making lunch at home for us or meeting near the office for a quick bite.
Again, slowing down to share a meal together is just one of those things that makes a difference in my marriage. And by default, I’m a better wife and mom for it. Whether you both work or one of you stays home, this is a great option!
6. Finally, spend a night (or two) away.
Every year since we started having kids, we have left them with family for a night or two to get away and recharge. Whether it’s to Tulsa or Texas, our annual getaway is something we really look forward to!
Maybe you don’t have family close by, but I bet if you asked close friends they’d agree to do a kid-swap for a night! Find a hotel, B&B, or a campsite if you’re into that (indoor girl here!), where you can relax and unwind with your spouse. Your marriage will thank you for it!
So, that’s my summer marriage bucket list. How do you spend those summer nights?