Are you a new parent and banking on a date night soon? If you’re as busy as we are, your chances are probably limited. Not only do you have to find and pay a babysitter, but you have to look presentable (ya know, take a shower and maybe clean the spit-up off of your shoulder.)

We haven’t had too many date nights, but our most recent one was fantastic. So here are a few of my date night tips:

  1. Plan! We planned our date night a few weeks out: found a baby sitter (Luke’s paternal Grandma & Grandpa) who I knew he would be happy and safe with for a few hours and then figured out the logistics of the when and where.toddybs_food.jpg
  2. Do what you WANT and not what you think you SHOULD do. We went out to dinner and definitely wanted somewhere both local and small/locally owned. Usually, these places make for a better setting and you don’t have to wait in the long lines of chain restaurants on a weekend. (If you’re local to Northeast Ohio, we really loved Toddy B’s in North Canton!) After our date, we decided to forgo a movie (as much as we love movies, you can’t really talk in them) and instead went to Lowes. I know, it sounds crazy, but we’ve had all these house projects lately and we had a good time picking different things out for our home.
  3. If you want to buy a new outfit, DO IT! I rarely buy new clothes. Sometimes it’s just nice to have something new. Because I am on a budget, I ordered a dress from ACEVOG on Amazon. Generally, I totally avoid Amazon clothing be416k9mz-aeL._SY445_cause I don’t think it’s the greatest. However, this dress was a great price, flattering and well-made. It looks like a lot of their dresses are pretty flattering. I’d say they run just a little big, so if you’re on the fence of which size you should order, pick the lower size. But it arrived quickly, and I love it! (And, if you’re a Prime member, free two-day shipping!)
  4. When you’re out, talk about fun stuff. Avoid talking about the bills, obligations and how bad work has sucked lately.
  5. Pick up a bottle of wine for when you get home! My FAVORITE wines are from Mon Ami Winery here in Ohio. Not only have we been there, but most of our local grocery stores carry it! If yours doesn’t, you can order it online, too. 2009-04-11 11.jpg
  6. Grab a RedBox or find a good movie to stream when you get home. If you’re like us, we want to be home early. We like putting our son to bed and also don’t usually stay up much past 10 (because Lucas gets up at 5:30 AM nearly every morning.) We both like our sleep. So after a date night out, it’s really nice to just come home and put on PJs and watch something good. If you’re like us, you probably just want to binge watch The Office or Parks and Rec again… but if not, here is a list of other movies that are recommended on Netflix.
  7. Don’t be afraid to check in with your sitter: I had everything ready for Luke’s grandparents so that the night went smoothly. His dinner was ready in the fridge, extra diapers and wipes were stocked, medical cards and info was on the fridge, and all of his favorite toys were in the living room. Still, you might wonder how your little one is doing, and it’s totally okay to check in! (Cue Snapchat! My mom sends me SnapChats of my guy all day long when I’m at work and it seriously makes me SO happy just to see my guy hanging out and content with life.)
  8. Don’t overdo it… Seriously. If you don’t typically drink, don’t go on some kind of psychotic parent bender. You’ll regret it in the morning. Know your limitations and remember that you still have to take care of a tiny human come morning. If you’re drinking, make sure the other parent is sober or have transportation lined up.

Date nights definitely help to refocus a relationship and we’re hoping we can get into the groove of having date night more often!

– Katie