Monday, March 14, 2011

Monday Matrimony

Your weekly bit of [unsolicited] advice...

Tip of the Week: Schedule consistent, intentional alone time

Anyone who knows the Wood family knows that Date Nights are a high value around here. I am of the belief that the words "Date Night" should always be in capital letters because it is a proper (and perhaps even sacred) noun. I am forever trying to "sell" my friends, couples at South Bay, and virtually anyone who will listen on the idea of having a consistent Date Night. It doesn't seem like it would be a very difficult thing to sell. But, I've found there are a lot of excuses floating around out there. Here's some common excuses and my 2 cents on each...

     1- "We don't have a babysitter. (or) Babysitters are so expensive."
Find another couple who you trust and flip flop babysitting with them. They don't even have to be your very best friends nor does it have to be the same couple every time. Look around at your church, in your Life Group, other families from your kids' school or sports team. If you look hard enough, I'm sure God will provide some type of solution for you. This provide free & guilt-free babysitting because you know you're going to return the favor.

     2- "We don't have extra money to go out on dates."
Plan a $10 date night or try one for free like my friend, Mary Lu did. Ask for gift cards to restaurants as birthday/Christmas presents that you can enjoy on Date Nights. Put a line item in your budget called Date Night. Even if you just walk through the park or snuggle on your couch while watching a movie, time alone together is good!

     3- "We feel bad leaving our kids. We'd rather spend time as a family."
Your kids NEED to see you spending time alone with your spouse. I cannot emphasize this enough! There is something subconscious that happens in the mind of child when they see their parents prioritizing their marriage. It gives them a true sense of security knowing that Mommy & Daddy love each other. If they feel like they are the center of the family or that they are able to drive a wedge in between Mom & Dad, it creates insecurity in them because somehow they know that is not the way things are intended to be. They may pitch a fit at first, but when Date Night becomes an expected part of their routine they don't even question it anymore.

     4- "We're just too busy right now."
We are ALL too busy right now. Get out in front of yourself. Get it on the calendar. And say "No" to something else, not your marriage!

     5- "We're always together. Why would we need to schedule a Date Night?"
There is something special about knowing that this is our night to focus on each other and our marriage. We're not just stopping by a restaurant because we don't want to cook. We're planning this and looking forward to it. One of my friends said to me after going out on a date with her husband for the first time in a long time, "Now I remember why I like him." Isn't that so true? In the hustle and bustle of life, we tend to co-habitate and become very 'functional' in our roles. Date Night reminds us that there is a love relationship and the attraction level is heightened.

I would love to hear if you and your spouse have a regular Date Night (or if you are starting one)! Post a comment to let us all know if you have any creative or inexpensive date ideas.


Adrienne said...

I love date nights and love how you stress the importance of them :) the hubby and i don't have a specified day/night of the week to go out, but we do have "dates" regularly. I suspect this will be much more challenging to keep up when we have kids...

Jennifer Beeman said...

i think that is awesome and that is exactly how Rick and I plan to approach our relationship once our children start arriving.
Its so true that the best sense of security you can give your children is for them to know how much mommy loves daddy and vice versa!
dates are not that expensive! parks are free and so is window shopping :)
i love reading your blog