Recharge and Reconnect With Date Nights

After having our daughter, date night has become even more important to us. We live for our nights out and are always looking for new and exciting things to do. Securing this time with each other takes preparation and requires time and effort from both of us. For us, we recharge and reconnect with date nights. 
Recharge and Reconnec With Summer Date Nights
Recharge and Reconnect With Summer Date Nights
Before we had our daughter we used to go out on dates weekly, sometimes multiple times a week. They varied from nice dinners to hikes or walks by the ocean. Things look different now with a seven month old, but date night is still a priority. We create two date night experiences per month. The event varies and we’ve even been known to simply go out and get ice cream or take a long drive.

The activity matters less, date nights provide time for us to reconnect with each other.

Asking For Help

We sit down with the calendar on a quarterly basis and plan out all of the date nights for the next three months. Once we have the date nights secured, we reach out to our childcare helpers. We typically start with our parents, we are extremely grateful to have three sets of grandparents (my parents are divorced) within an hour from us. With enough notice, babysitting for the evening is something they look forward to. Even with so much help from grandparents, there are times when they are not available.

When my daughter was first born, I felt hesitant to ask friends to help me with her. Our society trains us to think we should be able to handle everything ourselves.

The truth is, we can’t. Not everyone has parents that are local or willing to help. When that’s the case, it’s important we find others we can rely on. I have a few friends who do not have children of their own, but love them. It took time, but I mustered up the courage to have a conversation with each of them to gauge their interest in babysitting. Every single one of them said they would be honored to help us. If I had not asked, they would not have thought to offer up the help. It was hard to ask, but each conversation was critical in making me feel comfortable to lean on them if needed.
Between grandparents and friends we have a number of people we can ask, but I still wanted to find someone extremely local to ask. To find this person I used the Facebook Group, Seacoast Sitters. This group is helpful if you’re looking for any kind of childcare assistance from a sporadic babysitter to a full time nanny!

What do we do?

Having a child is expensive. Between diapers, formula and childcare there are lots of expenses. It’s important we create date night experiences that are budget friendly. Below are a few of our favorite ideas.
Our new favorite spot is TideLine Public House in Durham, NH. This new venue is filled with food truck and craft beer. You can order from one truck or try a bunch of cuisine from a few. We absolutely love spending a few hours here eating, drinking and enjoying the people!
Evening hikes (so many to choose from) are extremely fun in the summer time. Adams Point in Durham is a hidden gem. It’s never overcrowded and has trails with a view of the bay! There are little paths that go down to the water for a quick rest or to skip stones. Hours can pass without us even realizing it here.
There’s nothing like a little wine and cheese on the beach. Jenness Beach is our top pick for evening beach picnics but there are so many good Seacoast beaches. Additionally, later in the day we never have trouble finding parking and there’s plenty of room to lay out a nice blanket and enjoy.

Ditching the Guilt

I’d be lying if I said I never felt guilty before a date night, especially if my daughter has had a hard day. However, I remind myself, the benefits far outweigh the guilt.
She gets the chance to bond with other people who love her. Getting exposure to other people has been great for her development. It also has helped us feel confident bringing her to busy places like parks and shopping centers.
It’s critical for us. We need time and space to recharge. Most days we start our day at 5:30 or 6 AM when she wakes up and we don’t stop until we put her down at 7:30 PM. Between caring for her, working full time and needing to keep our house running, it’s a lot (which I know you know). We recharge and reconnect with date nights. 

Creating these moments helps us become stronger parents and partners.

Whenever I start to feel guilt creep in, I remind myself that nothing works on an empty battery. Date nights bring me back up to a full charge!