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Don’t let your Marriage take a Back Seat to Diaper Duty

26 August 2010 31 Comments

By Toni Anderson

We’ve all been there, a child is sick, you get a call from the teacher regarding Johny’s behavior in school, the dog got out again, and the baby is happily playing in the toilet! Motherhood can be an exhausting job with little time off and little appreciation.

It is important during this time of babies and toddlers that you don’t let your marriage take a back seat to motherhood. One day soon all those babies will leave the nest, leaving you and your husband wondering where the last 20 years has gone. There are simple things you can do to help keep your marriage a top priority even when the kids are small!

While you might not be able to afford or feel comfortable with a baby sitter, you can still have date nights at home. Here are a few fun and frugal ideas for date nights that don’t involve a babysitter or leaving the house! Put the kids to bed early and try one of these date night ideas.

Dinner and a Movie

Check out movie from the library (or get one for a dollar from Redbox) and order take out. Put the kids to bed and have a dinner and a movie date night at home.

Fireside Chat

Many people have an outdoor fireplace. Build a fire and snuggle up outside under the stars. If you are like me s’mores are a definitely part of this date night!

Movie Marathon

Have you noticed that most movies have a sequel? Pop some popcorn, pour yourself a glass of soda and watch some of your favorite movies all in a row. If my husband was choosing we would be watching the Bourne movies, or maybe Star Wars.

Go Dancing (in your living room)

Remember how much fun you had dancing at your wedding? Push the furniture out of the way and put on your wedding song, along with a few other favorites. You can dance the night away without 250 of your friends and family watching. :)

Read a Book Together

I know many couples who love to read out loud to each other. Pick an interesting book and start reading. You can take turns reading, or the reader in your family can read the whole thing.

Play a Game

Remember those things sitting in cardboard boxes in your hall closet? Those games are just waiting for someone to play them. When my husband and I were first married and didn’t have any money we played scrabble and backgammon all the time. It was really fun, well at least it was for me because I won most of the games!

Watch the Game

I know not all women are sports fans (or men for that matter) but if your husband LOVES to watch his favorite game on tv, spend a night watching the game with him. You never know, you might end up liking it!

What you do is not important, it’s actually making the time to make your marriage a priority. If you keep marriage at the top of your “to do” list, the transition from “mommy” to empty nester will be a bit smoother. 

Toni Anderson is a blogger and member of the BornFree Mom Panel.

In the comments below, share your favorite (PG 13) thing to do with your significant other when the kids aren’t around. Movies? Talking and laughing? One person who comments will win a BornFree Tote Bag and Formula/Snack Dispenser!

The winner is Nicole with the email address: omarni***********@gmail.com

View the prize here: http://www.newbornfree.com/Accessories/Formula-Dispenser-142557/5144032-BPA-Free-Formula/ProductInfo.aspx

Good luck!


  • Megs M said:

    A movie and take-out are a favourite “date night” for us.

  • Felicity B said:

    We love movie nights at home, thanks to netflix! We throw out a blanket on the floor, set up a picnic and watch movies and talk! Now that fall is coming, we will be able to get away with earlier bedtimes thanks to the earlier darkness- and date nights can begin a little earlier!!!

  • Adrienne D said:

    We usually stick with movie and a pizza.

  • Jen Northrup said:

    Dinner and a movie. Usually something the kids won’t eat and a movie they can’t watch. :)

  • Elizabeth Keller said:

    We love househunting – even though we’re not in the market! It’s interesting to see how other people have decorated their house or planned a layout. We got some great ideas and it’s a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon while the kids are at the grandparents. BONUS: Open houses usually have snacks and cookies out for you! Woooo! Free date!

  • Elizabeth Keller said:

    I shared on my FB profile!

  • Joyce Purcell said:

    My husband is a gamer and me not so much, but I have found that there are a few games that I enjoy watching him play (and giving my two cents how he should play them) and some are even enjoyable for me to play with him. Sometimes we have a couple drinks while playing and we spend time on the couch doing the things we used to be able to do pre-baby.

  • Joyce Purcell said:

    I shared on FB and I didn’t mean for my original comment to be dirty, but it came out sounding a little that way. Oh well, no offense.

  • angela tuttle said:

    we take time out for each other by sticking to a strict bedtime routine for both of our children, we have them both in bed by 8pm and make the rest of the night our time, sometimes we go outside and enjoy the night air 9and the silence) other nights we watch a show together, really simple stuff that is easy to stick with!

  • Daniel Purcell said:

    Not only does my wife play video games together. We have our weekly shows that we watch together too! So we get a “date night” in at least once a week.

  • Daniel Purcell said:

    I shared on FB too!

  • Amelia Thompson said:

    We LOVE to play board games!

  • Nicole Surjit said:

    Our date night is buying some steamed crabs, sitting on the back porch, turning on the radio and just enjoying the soft music and the dark. (its usually after 9 or 10 when we finnally have the time.)

  • stacie said:

    Every sunday my parents watch our 2 boys while hubby and i go back to the house and do a good house cleaning, not the normal day to day but a good deep down one. While we talk and laugh and just catch up without any crying babies or non stop talking 5 year olds. After that we like to eat at outback and enjoy a nice steak dinner again without the kiddos. We drag it out as long as we can, till we start to miss there cute little crys and there 4 million questions. Then we go to Nonnie and Papas to walk in the door to “mommy” “daddy” Then look forward to next sunday LOL

  • stacie said:

    I shared on FB

  • Ashley Z said:

    When our son goes to bed we try to enjoy the couple hours we have alone together… even if it means doing dishes or folding laundry, we just do it together while chatting and enjoying each other’s company. Talking about our days makes the chores go faster too! If the house isn’t a mess and/or we just don’t feel like chores for a night we usually poor a glass of wine and snuggle on the couch and watch TV. I find that it is the little things that keep us close… like remembering to say good morning to eachother, kiss before you leave (and at least once in a while actually take the time to kiss like you mean it), text “I love you” in the middle of the day. The last really important thing that I think we do to make sure our feelings for each other don’t get burried under the dirty diapers is to take the time to sit down together and play with our baby and we comment on how amazing it is that WE made him and how much we love him and the fact that he is an extension of our love for each other. That thought always gets us thinking about having another one… and then when we laugh because one is definately enough for now… but by then we are both at least thinking about practicing :)

  • Heather Smith said:

    My husband and I have been known to log onto Yahoo games (on seperate computers in the same room) and play games together.

  • Toni said:

    We are simple – pizza, wine and a movie or catching up on our DVR.

  • Kendra said:

    We love to play video games together. He usually wins every time but I’ll get a win in occasionally :)

  • Nikki said:

    I shared on FB!

  • Sarah said:

    We use our outdoor projector in our backyard and have a “drive-in” type of movie night!

  • Natalia said:

    We love cooking and then have dinners together

  • Irene said:

    When our daughter goes to sleep my husband and I eat our dinner together and talk about our days and watch our favorite tv shows together before heading to bed for our early start of the next day.

  • Andrea said:

    To be frank, the only time we ever get to be alone is when the kids are in bed. We sit down and talk about our day, watch a movie/sit at the kitchen dining table (our fav place) and unwind from the hustle bustle of the day and just relax together. I think whats important is that it gives us time to connect with each other rather than just get carried about doing other things all the time. Of course this doesnt happen everyday, but we try to make the most of it.

  • Kathryn said:

    We like to get some take out and enjoy dinner and a movie on the couch! :)

  • Andrea said:

    I shared on Facebook

  • Summer said:

    We will watch football games together. I don’t like it so much so the rule is I get a little foot massage while he watches the game :) We also love to do takeout and movie nights :)

  • Christine McKenzie said:

    My husband and I always spend time together with the kids once they are in bed. Regardless of how tired we are, we always make it a point to catch up if we haven’t already. We also pray together before we go to bed, making a point to pray for specific needs that are in our lives. Also, we make it a point to let each other keep a hobby; for example, I took my horse on a trail ride yesterday after he got home, and tomorrow he is going fishing with his friends. It’s important to do things together, but also important to have some time alone or with friends separately.

  • Elizabeth Snow said:

    I love to just hang out and catch a good movie and dinner with my husband….I love being able to be away from the kids and to just be able to talk about our day and what is going on with us….plus it does not hurt that I like to eat a good meal and popcorn is always an added bonus :)

  • Amanda Cruz said:

    We love to play Scrabble and eat junk food ;-)

  • Eric Steffen said:

    We like to pretend like it is our very first date. I ask her out, then I take her somewhere to eat that we have never been before. After dinner we take a nice walk in the park or along the lake and just talk. It’s very nice and relaxing.

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