Friday Night Is Date Night

Date Night KidsOne of the things that has probably helped our marriage more than anything is something very simple – Friday Night Date Night! If you’ve got kids, it’s important – no, it’s necessary – to have some alone time with your husband or wife. Unfortunately, that’s not always the easiest thing in the world – with the cost of going out on a date, plus having to pay a babysitter. Here’s the solution we’ve come up with, and it’s worked for us for many years.

We have five kids, ranging from 15 down to 9 years of age. We also happen to have some friends in a similar situation – they’ve got five also, though their range is a little younger. That’s the key to this whole system – friends in the same boat as you.

How’s it work?

What we do is quite simple – every Friday, one couple or the other has a date night. We alternate Fridays, and believe me, we very rarely miss. This is the way it works: On our date night, Julie will take the kids over to our friends’ house at 5:30. Kathlyn feeds the kids dinner – a big pot of spaghetti or something. After that, the kids will play with each other until about 9 when Kat brings them home to our house and puts them to bed, while Jeff puts their kids to bed. Then, Kathlyn will stay at our house until we get home, which is basically whenever we want to. When we get home, Kat goes home. The next week, we switch and they get their date night.

What’s the big deal?

This might seem really simple, but there is genius and beauty in the whole plan. Sometimes the best things are simple, right? Here are the reasons it works so well:

  • You don’t have the problem of the babysitter bailing at the last minute – we never bail, because we know that our date night the next week depends on us taking them this week!
  • You don’t have to pay the babysitter. 6 hours for 5 kids can run into some serious change.
  • You don’t have to worry about having super-nanny for a babysitter – it’s pretty tough for a 13-year-old to handle 5 kids – but when you put the 2 families together they kind of babysit each other, and it’s not nearly as hard as it seems. Plus, we’ve got the experience to do it!
  • Your babysitter doesn’t grow up and stop babysitting. Nothing worse than training a babysitter, only to have her get a boyfriend, or a life, and decide she’s out of the business.
  • You don’t have to worry about phone calls. Stressing about what’s going on at home can suck the fun out of a date faster than you can say “Help!!!!”.
  • You don’t have to take the babysitter home, or worse yet go get the kids at midnight, bring them home and put them to bed. Don’t I love looking forward to that when I’m having that romantic dinner with Julie!
  • The house is always clean when we get here, since the kids weren’t here all night. So no getting up on Saturday to throw away pizza boxes and pop cans.
  • Here’s a perk for the other mom – once Kat puts the kids to bed, she gets a little alone time – the chance to brew a big cup of tea and read a book or watch her favorite show.

So what now?

It’s getting to the point where the older ones can babysit the younger ones, but there are still the inevitable “Mom! Bobby won’t let me play Wii” phone calls, so we’ve stuck with our plan. Personally, I hope it goes on forever – at least until that last little monster (I mean bundle of joy) is out of the house!

So if you’re looking for a way to have some alone time with your honey, find another couple that’s as desperate as you and have them read this article!

About the author: By

Matt is the parent (along with his wife Julie) to five wonderful kids. He has been self-employed for 25+ years and is the owner of the How To Fix My Marriage website.

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  1. couldn’t agree more!! Date Nights are SO important!

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Disclaimer: We are not psychologists, counselors, or therapists. We are a married couple that has had their share of challenges, and the techniques, tools, and programs we recommend on this site have worked for us on our journey.

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