We are so excited today to feature a guest post from the lovely mama of two, Erin Ziering! Erin and her husband Ian, along with their two little ladies, are the adorable family behind the wonderful lifestyle blog, At Home With the Zierings. Erin is here today to discuss how parents can have date night at home, even with sleeping kiddos upstairs!
We need more date nights. Any typical night, after the kids are asleep at 7pm, I am sitting on the couch with a fresh glass of wine and turn on one of the 4 shows we are currently watching. Ian is on his phone finishing up emails and texts from his day. I am wearing old sweats and my hair is in a top knot. I shower the girls before they go to bed, so I usually will have jumped in with them. My makeup is off. Ian is most likely in his boxers. He just fully retires from his clothes at the end of the day. We are most likely exhausted. We have been exhausted since my first pregnancy. Some times we hardly talk at night. We sit quietly looking at the television until I finally say I am going to bed. (Usually around 9pm) Does this sound familiar? (Editor’s note: Uh, yes!)
I hope we are not alone.
I worry sometimes about keeping our marriage fresh. I worry that I am not the girl he used to date. The fun spunky, spontaneous girl that was always ready for a date. (I also look at him and remember he is not the same as well.) I want the love to still be exciting. I want the sparks that we feel when we are away from the kids and out of the house. Our date nights out are so romantic. I have rules. No movies, because we already sit and ignore each other enough in front of our TV. No place that stinks because it just loses the romance. A place where we can dress up. It is always nice to still impress the one you love. It also has to have music. We love to dance.
After about 6 months of having a new baby I realized I needed to find a way to mimic this at home. To create a space in our home where we could be engaged and feel passionate. With a few added outdoor lights, some cozy blankets and being away from the TV we have found ways to engage. Since sitters are expensive and not always possible we have set aside date nights at home to truly enjoy each others time. Think about when you were first dating and he would invite you over in the evening. You would do your hair and get ready to have fun and enjoy each others company. Our date nights at home we treat just like going out! Here are some of my favorite date night at home tips.
Recreate your favorite bar: Ian and I love going to a dark, cozy pub. I recreate this setting at home by pulling out some of our favorite game boards and placing some nuts on the table. With some candles lit for ambiance, and a couple of dark beers we enjoy our night laughing and playing games.
Patio romance: Sometimes we just need to completely remove ourselves from technology. When I notice we have both had a lot of work I set up our outdoor patio with some cozy blankets where we can watch the sun set and the stars. Without our phones or TV we can enjoy conversation. We catch up on our days and just talk about everything going on in our lives and what we hope to happen. There is something about laying under the stars that often encourages us to talk about our dreams.
More than hair and makeup, more than a pretty dress, being engaged is the most important part of the evening. Find a way to communicate as adults. It may just be about the baby, it may be about the house. Whatever it is, you have to be engaged. We so often go about our daily life, walking past each other and moving through the parenting depths. Finding a way to stop and communicate will remind you why you are in love. Slowing down and putting the electronics down can make such a difference for a night in. I hope you find a way to enjoy your new world at home, with the little one quietly sleeping upstairs remember to still set aside a few nights just for each other.