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How to Date Your Husband When You Can’t Affo...

How to Date Your Husband When You Can’t Afford Dates

As mamas of young children, we tend to focus most of our time and energy on our children. Especially for those mamas who stay home with their children, it’s hard to change this mindset. It is for me anyway. All day every day my attention is on my children. When my husband comes home, I’m done. As my daughter would say, “I don’t even have one energy left.”

date your spouse

You’ve heard you should date your husband, but once those words are said you zone out.

You know it’s important. You know your marriage is struggling because your time is consumed with kids, the house, work, laundry.

So how to you make marriage work when you can’t afford to hire a babysitter once a month, let alone once a week?

It’s easy to turn on the television or hop on Facebook or Pinterest and zone out. To give up and throw up your hands because it’s pointless to plan a date night when you know the babysitter will cancel or a kid will get sick.

But friends, that is not how we feed our marriage. That’s not how we show our spouse that we do love them. That’s not how we make time for ourselves or how we feed our own souls and make time for ourselves for that matter. If that’s what happens every night, you’re going to wake up one day and realize that you don’t know who that man is anymore. Your best friend. Your soulmate. Let’s stop this cycle right now.

Maybe you are like us. We don’t have family around who can watch our children for free. If we go out, we have to get a babysitter. That costs money and isn’t always an option. Here are some practical ideas for how to plan date nights when you can’t afford to date. Affiliate links have been used below.

Date Your Husband

Picnic and a Movie at Home. Go ahead and fix dinner for the kids. You could already have them in bed when your husband comes home, or while one of you is getting the kids ready for bed the other can be setting up the picnic. You could pick out a new release or a movie that brings back memories of when you were dating. We love using Redbox to rent movies. You can’t beat the price. Just remember to take it back on time! Netflix is another great option if you already subscribe. For the picnic, keep it simple. You want to be able to enjoy your time together.

Take an online cooking class together. This isn’t for everyone, but I think it would be fun. Put the kids in bed early and spend the evening in the Kitchen cooking together. I know I’ve heard a lot of good things about America’s Test Kitchen. I also came across Smart Kitchen LLC where you can get a 7 day free trial {just cancel if you aren’t interested in pursuing it further}. There’s also 20 Essential Cooking Techniques (w/ Brendan McDermott) or Craftsy Food and Cooking Classes, which look amazing.

If you didn’t want to take a class together, you could still make a meal together. Making sushi together and then eating your creations. Making his favorite meal together with you. If you got neighbors involved (it would really need to be a next door neighbor since children are sleeping), you could have a cook-off. A stay at home double date!

Phone and/or text him during the day to let him know that you are thinking about him. I am more of a texter, but if you’re not, I’m sure he’d still love to hear your voice. If he immediately answers and asks what’s wrong, you might need to make more contact during the day :).

Leave notes to brighten his day. On the screen of his laptop, in his briefcase, on the steering wheel of his car, on his cell phone, in his lunch if he takes one. Place a note, or multiple notes wherever you looks most.

*If you’re going to write something racy, I would come up with code words together to save everyone from embarrassment. Just sayin’.

Go outside. Sit on your front porch or back porch together. Hold hands. Talk. It’s really the simple things that we forget to do. It doesn’t have to be big and elaborate. Just a way to show your husband that you love him.

And guess what  that also means? Yes, you guessed it. Even though you are so tired you can barely keep your eyes open, and you know the baby is going to wake up in a couple of hours and you were really hoping to get some sleep before that happens, your husband needs you. You need him (even though in this season sleep sometimes feels more important, it’s not. I promise.). I didn’t plan on touching on this subject, but I know I struggle with this in this season of life.

What would life be like if you could flip a switch and be “in the mood”? Okay, maybe there’s no switch. But you can totally change the way you think about sex! Sheila Wray Gregorie just came out with a great course called Boost Your Libido. Um, hello! I would venture to guess that most moms with small children NEED this course. Sheila also has great resources at To Love, Honor and Vacuum Store, as well as her blog with the same name.

Go for a walk as a family and hold hands.

Kiss each other first thing in the morning, before he/you leave for work, when he/you return home, and before you go to sleep at least.

Make a list of what you love about him. If your kids are old enough, ask them what they love about Daddy and write them down.

Talk. I don’t suggest talking about budgets or finances during this time though. Save that conversation for later.

Consider trying the 52 Dates for Two from The Dating Divas. The 52 Dates for Two pack includes:

52 Weekly Date Night Cards – A date night idea for each week of the year.
Blank Date Night Cards – Customizable cards to include a few, more personal dates.
16 Bonus Date Cards – For more weekly date night ideas to choose from.
Steps & Tips for a Photo Album – Create an easy way to track your date night memories.

Everything is right there for you, so no excuses ;).

Are you with me? I would love for you to share your ideas on how to date your husband in the comments. Marriage is something that we have to work on. Every. Single. Day. We can’t put our marriage in vacation mode or autopilot and expect it to survive. Be intentional. Date your husband. You’ll be glad you took the time.


Best ideas for easy date night!

What are some ways that you can be intentional about dating your husband this week?

Reclaim Your Marriage

It’s no secret that marriages are failing all over the world.

So many marriages fall between the cracks. They are struggling, but not quite so badly that they need the help of a professional therapist yet. BUT, if they continue their habits, divorce is likely.

How do you turn it around? With what resources? The internet is helpful, but they need something more – something with exercises they can do together, questions they can ask each other, goals they can set, intimacy ideas they can try, and even date ideas to liven things up.

…where is that, though?

I recently came across The Reclaim Your Marriage program from the Dating Divas. I have been nothing short of impressed! This program is broken up into 10 week sessions – 1 session per week. Each session hits on a hot-button topic in marriage, like trust, communication, finances, and intimacy.

This program is essentially private, at-home couples counseling that you can do all online. Each session includes a therapy video from Tara (founder of The Dating Divas), tons of exercises, activities, thought-provoking questions, and ways to solve those tricky “bumps in the road” that plague marriages today. They have come up with a simple, effective solution that couples can do together, in the privacy of their own home.

The reviews have been pouring in, and they are impressive! This program has saved dozens of marriages already, and that’s only from the beta testing.

If you are truly needing to put an investment into your relationship – try the Reclaim Your Marriage Program!

The first is week is free, so you’ve got nothing to lose!

Take the first step and reclaim your marriage, today.


The best way to Divorce-proof your marriage!

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  1. Kim

    11 June

    My husband’s schedule is often quite hectic so we make time for each other whenever we can. Some weeks are better than others of course but we do try. Even without kids our time together can be a challenge. It all comes down to priorities. 🙂

    • You are right, Kim! It is all about priorities. My husband doesn’t have a set schedule each week so he comes home at various times. It’s not easy, but we try to make it work. Thanks for stopping by!!

  2. I love this post!

    Hi there! I am co-hosting this week on the Grab A Friend Blog Hop. Thanks for connecting up!
    I host a (Not SO) Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop and a TGIF Link Party over at my place — A Peek Into My Paradise… http://apeekintomyparadise.blogspot.com/ I would love for you to link up and follow if you like what you see. =) I follow back – I love making new friends!

    Have a terrific week!

    Hugs, Cathy

  3. Gabrielle

    12 June

    Love this post! More moms with young kids need to read it. And we totally have code words. 🙂

    • Thanks, Gabby! I agree. I wish I had read something like it 4 year ago. Everything I read told me we should have “date nights” every week or at least once a month. We just couldn’t afford that. We needed to change the way we thought about date nights.

  4. Paige

    15 June

    Those are some great ideas! Thanks for linking up to Weekend Reads

  5. lovebakesgoodcakes

    17 June

    Great tips, Whitney! Sometimes we forget that simple things can mean as much! 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing at All my Bloggy Friends – I can’t wait to see what you share this week!

  6. Brianne

    4 January

    This has been one of my 2014 goals for Christmas I gave my hubby an envelope with 52 dates in it….one for each week of the year…he has a crazy schedule too so we’ll see how well we do….they are colour coded….there are 35 yellow which means stay at home dates ( include baking cookies, becoming utube certified in some thing, teaching each other something, reading together, etc..)15 green which are low or no cost date night out – only expense would be babysitter- (Picnic in park, skating on the pond, walk on the beach, trip down memory lane) and 2 red..more involved/ costly ones…night away at a b&b and a day trip hiking ….for this we recruit family and will take more planning ……so we choose a colour based on what we can afford/arrange that week..I am really looking forward to dating my husband again.

    • That’s an awesome idea, Brianne! I love the color coded system. Money is usually the reason we put dating our husbands on the back burner. Thanks for stopping by!!

      • Viv Sluys

        4 January

        Something I just realized I’ve been ‘guilty’ of that has to do with the money thing is not trusting that my husband knows what he is doing. For example, he wanted to go out to a fancy hotel for our anniversary and I started to object when I saw the prices of the hotels he was looking at but then I felt convicted and told him to book whatever because I need to show that I trust him in our finances. We just got back from our night away (we do have family close to take our kids). I have no idea what it cost but it was wonderful!

        • Sounds like a great getaway! I’m guilty of that too. If my husband mentions going out for a date night, but I know money is tight and we could use that money elsewhere (like clothes for the kids or shoes), then I drop the ball. But you’re right. We do need to trust our husbands.

  7. Eleanor Croy

    4 January

    We play World of Warcraft together, late at night when the Geeklets are asleep, and we find mutually interesting news / pop culture / nerdy stuff that we can geek out about together. 13 years married, 7 kids, and going strong… I love the sticky notes idea. I’m gonna write Post Its on my list. Great blog post!

    • Thanks, Eleanor! Those are great suggestions too!!

    • Crystal

      5 February

      Eleanor, YES! I was going to totally post that. My husband and I played WoW for 7 years and that was our “date night” every night. Now we play Final Fantasy XIV. Sometimes we scroll through geeky thing and I lean on his shoulder (our PCs are side by side and he has the bigger monitor). We also watch a lot of shows together. We’ve been married 8 years of the 16 we’ve been together… but we have 2 kids.

      p.s. My husband loves your term “geekltes!”

  8. Becky

    4 January

    We are blessed enough to have family here, but my mom is not in the best of health and my mother in law works the weekends. So, we don’t really have the option to go out on dates very often. We make it a point to make sure we go to bed early enough every night to spend time together talking. We make sure my daughter is in the bed and my teenage boys are in their rooms so we can have our special time. This has become one of the best things for our marriage. This is the time that we talk about everything from what is going on in our lives, the kids lives, finances, and anything else that needs to be said. My husband truly is my best friend and we have always made sure that our marriage comes before anything else just as the Bible teaches. We love our kids and they are well taken care of but we know that our kids will be grown and out of the house before we know it, so we want to make sure that we are not strangers when that happens.

    • Such wisdom in your words, Becky. Thanks for sharing!! It is most important to make time for each other because one day the kids will have left the house.

  9. Whitney M

    4 January

    I love this post!! We live in a tri-level house and our kids sleep upstairs so we spend some nights in the basements with a netflix movie and popcorn and a fire in the fireplace while kids are sleeping!! I love dating my husband!!! And some of these ideas will definitely help us keep it up! 🙂

  10. ElizaBeth

    4 January

    I huge help when ours were young was trading childcare with another couple or two. It might take a little planning ahead, who is available, are you going to trade straight time (3 hours for 3 hours or are you going to do it per child/hour 3 hoursx3 kids= 9credits to trade later), feeding the kids: is the watcher feeding all the kids or are you going to send food. It was totally worth it to be able to go out on a “real date,” you know dinner where its served on real plates, once in a while.

  11. Becky

    4 January

    We have recently read the same books and it has given us something to talk about.

  12. Gen

    4 January

    Laugh together. My hubby and I laugh together a lot. It’s really nice. Been together almost 10 years.

  13. Jacqui

    4 January

    We swap babysitting with friends bi monthly. We found we were using our babysitting to go to events, not dates.
    We have had home date nights most of the way through with kids and have done most the suggestions. Our eldest is nearly 8. A really valuable prioroty! It is a challenge to keep them fresh. We have played board games, developed photo albums. Last year we bought a chiminea and have had evenings by the fire. I like the idea of an online cooking course. Something to research for this year!

  14. Katy

    4 January

    Wow.. This post couldn’t have come at a better time for me. I have neglected my husband so much this past year. I work full time and give whatever energy I have left, to my 5 yr old daughter. I really want this year to be more about “us”.

    • That is a great goal, Katy! It is so easy to neglect our husbands and put our children first. I’m definitely guilty of that. Let’s resolve to change that this year! It can be the year of our husbands :).

  15. We play video games together when the kids are asleep. Right not it is Path of Exile which is like World of warcraft only free which is a plus. We also switch off with a neighbor I take her kids some nights and she takes mine and we don’t charge each other. we also DVR our favorite shows every night and watch a marathon on the one day off we have each week. I work 8-4 he works 3:30-12 plus he goes to college full time during the day so it is a struggle. I am going to do the text thing I think he will like that

  16. Salena Lee

    4 January

    These are such great ideas! We haven’t been on a date in so long because we can’t afford it and don’t have a sitter. It has really been affecting our relationship. I just found your blog through facebook by clicking on this post on someone elses feed. I love the name of your blog and your design!

    • Thank you, Salena! It is so easy to let money be our excuse. I am so guilty of that! But it does take a toll on your relationship. We need to fight for our marriages! Thanks for stopping by!!

  17. anonymous

    4 January

    For the past 27 years we put the kids to bed at 6pm on sundays, (we have 7) they had to stay in bed and read til lights out, as they got to be teens and young adults, they knew they are out of sight by 6. we have a steak dinner (cheaper than going out) and talk about the week or watch a movie. I am also learning, for you younger wives, something I wish i would of known. Husbands dont need to be shown love, they need to be shown respect. Check out Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerichs, reading it now and its a real eye opener, Its very important for a happy and healthy marriage. Blessings to you all.

  18. Rebekah

    4 January

    We have a dessert date night and a movie date night. We use to do dinner too but our diet changed and finding a meal I can make once and cook two seperate times was difficult and we dropped that night. Byways, dessert night is fun because I make something special that is not everyday desserts. And movie night is so fun! We eat popcorn, drink kombucha and eat dessert from the other night! So much fun!

  19. Hi there! I enjoyed reading your helpful article. I’m a member of the Happy Wives Club. Join us.

  20. jenn

    4 January

    Grea article! We do date night every Friday, it’s on our calendar and we have to mutually agree to move it or do something with friends(like bunco or going to visit friends). We get creative, making homemade mozzarella together, playing video games, playing catch phrase with friends, having a pic-nik on our bed with the door closed is fun, gazing at the stars and talking over goals dreams and visions for the new year, watching (Netflix) our favorite comedians (Brian Regan & Tim Hawkins) laughing till it hurts, going to the shooting range and learning to shoot together has been one of the best things we have done! We have now taken shooting classes on the outdoor range (neither of of us had shot a gun prior to going to an indoor range and renting guns, we are hooked now!) Blessings!

    • Excellent ideas, Jenn! That is so great that you guys are able to have a date night every Friday!! It’s definitely important to schedule dates. If not, life tends to get in the way.

  21. Krystal

    4 January

    We put together a jar of things he likes to do and I like to do cut them in strips, folded them, and we alternate each of us picking one to do. We do whatever we pick whether we feel in the mood for it or not. it ranges from, give each other a massage, watch a movie of his choice/watch a movie of her choice, play a game of his/her choice, go for a walk, guitar lesson (my husband is bent on teaching me to play lol). this ensures we are both doing things we both like and never doing just what one person wants to. and it forces closeness making ourselves engage even if we aren’t feeling it.

  22. Dani Grant

    4 January

    For my husbands birthday I created a year of dates for free to give him. We are on a tight budget that excludes restaurants and entertainment, but we need to keep our sanity. Last month we had a cookie baking Christmas movie watching marathon. The month before we created this rap http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84hwYiB-tmo that was a ton of fun! This coming month we are having a camp out in our living room with tin foil dinners.

  23. My husband and I go on “car dates” where we put a video on for the kids where they use head phones. We can turn the radio to our favorite tunes and rock out or talk, hold hands, laugh with each other. We can grab a $5 pizza and the whole clan is happy. This started when our oldest was a baby and we needed to get out of the house. Now it’s still a great solution for us seven years later.

  24. Hannah T.

    4 January

    Wow some really great ideas in the post and in the comment. My hubby and I are also geeks, married going on 7 years with 4(and 1/2 ;P) kids it’s hard to find someone to watch all of our babies together and we don’t want to split them up (Safety in numbers) So we game together, and with our children, we also find mutually interesting games to play together in the evenings. One thing I might suggest that I don’t see anywhere else is watching free online educational videos such as those from TedTalks video or take a Coursera or Khan academy class together. Also a really big thing for us is finding interest in each other’s interests. Although our tastes don’t always agree we are usually willing to do something that may not be to our best tastes because we are enjoying it together with our spouse who loves it. I think enjoying the joy that the other takes in something is as great (or better) than your own enjoyment

    • I agree! There are some excellent ideas in the comments! I love your idea of “finding interest in each other’s interests.” That is so true! Thanks for sharing!!

  25. Tracy M

    5 January

    I would like any suggestions for those of us who have husbands who have over-the-road jobs. I, personally, have not seen my husband since Thanksgiving and that was for 24 hours which was consumed by the holiday. We talk on the phone daily and that’s about it. ANY OTHER SUGGESTIONS?!?!

    • Kimberly

      5 January

      Skype, read or listen to the same book, make a special gift box that you slip in his suitcase that he can find and open once he is away either put in a gift or a note telling him what you plan on doing to him when he gets home, make him a playlist of song, start a notebook with a story have him write a line or paragraph while he is gone and you write one when he returns and just keep going back and forth let your imagination run wild, keep an I thought about you today journal and write down different times you thought about him and why then pack it with his things on the next trip…. It’s the little things!

      • Those are excellent ideas, Kimberly! Thanks for sharing!!

      • Nenna

        4 February

        You could do the notebook thing online so it’s real time and each write something each day. Online trivia, chess, etc. I did a long distance relationship once and we did that kind of stuff. Even easier these days with smart phones.

    • It’s tough, Tracy. My FIL is a truck driver so he left my MIL with the kids at home while he traveled. I love Kimberly’s suggestions! Would writing notes and sticking them in different places in the truck or his luggage be possible? It would be a fun surprise for him knowing that you are thinking about him.

  26. faye

    5 January

    Our favorite dates are walks. Wild life sanctuaries. National parks. Local trails. Cemetery’s. Farmers Market. Water front. Local shops. Museum’s. Yes babysitters are required, but if the date is cheap we can afford the sitter when necessary. We do employ our adult teen to babysit now more than we could in the past. We used to hold up in a room at home and read magazine articles together and talk about them, that was fun.

    • Walks are great! So many times we think dates have to include dinner and movie. That’s just not true! The best conversations are going too happen when your intentionally spending quality time together. Conversations don’t happen in movie theaters!

  27. Kimberly

    5 January

    I am an older Mom, so I have to worry about babysitting and such anymore, but I can say that I’m so glad we took the time to date each other when the kids where small. Yes money was always tight, but the most fun we had generally where the free dates. I would encorage you to read The Five Love Languages, I read it every few years just to keep our “tanks full”. Just want those of you who are in the trenches right now to know it’s worth it and babies grow up faster than you think. I am also a military wife, so throw in deployments and moves and you really have to work at keeping your marriage a priority.

    • Great suggestion, Kimberly! I continually tell myself that although it seems like forever, the days are long but the years are short. Thanks for stopping by!

  28. Thank you for this post! It’s such an excellent reminder…it is so easy to just get in a rhythm and forget the relationship. Great post!

    • Thank you, Jaime! It is so easy to let our marriages slide to the back burner – not even intentionally.Thanks for stopping by!

  29. Carmen

    5 January

    My husband and i just recently started dating again. I was a single mom of 3 kids,( now 17, 17, and 10), when we met. We’ve been married 3 years and have spent those years having two more kids (now ages 2.5 and 10mos). It has been CRAZY to say the least. My husband doesn’t have a typical job where he works away from home 40hrs per week. He mostly works from home so it has been a challenge for us to have the opportunity to miss each other 🙁 sometimes he works away from home for a week at a time which also causes tensions since I’m home with the 5 kids and a terrible, exhausted mess by the end of the night. I realize that i have to make time for him. I’m soooo exhausted by the end of each day that i DONT want to. I’ll be honest. I have children on me 24/7 wanting to be held, nagging, fighting, needing help with homework that i feel like “me time”us the only sanity i get. I wouldn’t mind spending time with my husband in the evenings just talking our watching a movie, but just like any other husband, he wants to be physical. I’m still nursing so my libido is at nearly a 0. I’m still waking up at night. I just can’t wait till this phase is over because it had really taken a toll on us! :((

    • I so understand! It’s hard to make yourself “go there” when you’re exhausted and would rather sleep. Can you talk about that? I know sometimes those conversations are uncomfortable, but if we can’t be real with our spouses, who can we be real with? It’s a tough season with littles. Especially nursing with littles. Maybe you can schedule time to be intimate and make it a point to prepare yourself mentally and rest so you can be present in the moment. Hang in there, mama!

    • Carley

      7 December

      I totally hear you! That was us after my baby (now 18 months old) was born, I had a rough pregnancy, our physical intimacy was ZERO, and we were in serious trouble with our marriage. I was also struggling with Post partum anxiety, which didn’t help. The biggest thing that helped was breakfast dates. It literally saved our marriage. Obviously when my baby was littler, we didn’t always just jump to the physical things. In fact, if we did, i think i would have resented my husband more. We weren’t at that place at the moment. BUT we did open our communication lines. It took sacrifice for me (I am NOT a morning person) but I wasn’t exhausted like i was every night. We’d eat breakfast, read a book, snuggle on the couch, ect. until we got to the point where intimacy could step up a little. We also made a “pact” that we each had to initiate SOMETHING once a week. Whether it be a shower together, massage, watch a movie…whatever. Our marriage was hurting so badly, that we literally needed anything! Maybe this might help? Kids are hard, and exhausting, especially when hubby’s are gone a lot! You just gotta find what works for you best. This is what has worked for us 🙂

  30. Janice Greer

    5 January

    My kids.are older now, but when I had many preschoolers, I took a nap in the afternoon when we had a late-night. When the kids went down to sleep, I did, too. After the nap, I drank a cup of coffee, yes, late afternoon. That way, I could stay up late and enjoy time with my husband. You can only function with exhaustion for so long. He NEVER cared that the laundry/ dishes didn’t get done that day. We did lots of stay at home dates.

    • Those are great pointers, Janice! Thanks for sharing!! A nap and caffeine are sometimes the only things that get me through so I can be present and alert when my husband gets home from work. Thanks for stopping by!

  31. Christine

    6 January

    I work from home or go in later than he does. I wake up every morning early with him, before the kids. We may do nothing but read the paper and drink our coffee silently but we have grown to need that quiet time together. When I was sick he didn’t let me get up with him 🙂 but wow did we miss it and were glad to get back on track!

  32. Sarah MSM

    10 January

    You posted some GREAT ideas! We are always looking for new and fun ways to “date” even if it’s after the kids go to bed and we stay home!

  33. Annette W

    10 January

    My husband isn’t a big fan of dates at home. 🙁 But we do enjoy one another’s company.

    Thanks for joining the WWDParty!

  34. The online cooking class is a great idea!

  35. DeDivahDeals

    11 January

    Great post and I can honestly admit that after 23 years of marriage, hubby and I only date once or twice per year – lol!

  36. I love taking time for your spouse! You are so right that we don’t give them our energy. I love the idea in the comments about a date 52 times a year! How cool is that! Thanks for linking at Pintastic PInteresting Party!

  37. Jacki Porter

    22 January

    I almost lost my husband around our twenty-year mark because I wasn’t making spending time with him a priority. Now, I DID always ask his permission if I could stay late at work or go with the kids here or there or whatever, but he was telling me to go ahead because that’s what he thought he SHOULD do to be a good husband. Once that came out in a couple of therapy sessions, it changed everything. We just celebrated our 26th anniversary!

  38. I really enjoyed this post. Many of these things I do, but I like the cooking class idea. That sounds fun. My husband and I are on a ‘date’ this morning. He works the evening shift and I work during the day all week. So weekends are the only time we get to hang, or even eat a meal together. So here we sit in Panera. Not even talking (clearly, since I”m all online and such) but he really doesn’t want to talk anyway – this is still early morning for him!

    • Thanks for stopping by, Jonna! Sometimes it’s just as important to just be in each other’s presence. That’s a tough schedule to worth through, but it sounds like you guys are making the most of it! Blessings!

  39. I’m always on top of free events or places to go. We’ve done everything from hikes in state parks to nights at the museum of modern art for free.

  40. Just hopped over here from SITS Sharefest- such a great post. It’s too easy to get complacent about being romantic when you’ve largely moved into the ‘companions’ phase. I used to do cute things for my husband when we were dating- stuff like making a list of what I love about him, such a good idea to do now! Thanks for this- who couldn’t use these tips? 🙂

  41. We like to have at home cooking challenges, where we make something using a certain ingredient we’ve never used before!

  42. April Tuell

    29 January

    Great list! My husband and I do many of these things. It’s the little things like this that keep a marriage strong. Thank you so much for linking this up at the Shine a Spotlight Saturday Link Party on Angels Homestead this week!

    April

  43. Nicole Nenninger

    31 January

    I am a remarried mother of 4. One of the hardest things I had to go through was splitting custody. After 14 years of being a 24/7 stay-at-home mother to them, it was really hard initially to get used to not having them around as much. At first I filled the time with school, friends, family, and running. Now that I’m remarried, I have the time to spend with my husband without kids around (I try to look at it positively). Being remarried has afforded me the gift of being with someone who is compatible with me and whose relationship I cherish and am 100% committed to. I don’t want to take this for granted–I get a second chance at love. So…most if not all my time with my guy feels like a date!

  44. Erica Day

    31 January

    These are great ideas. Mr.Day and I practice a lot of these because….well…we hardly ever have extra money!

  45. Pam

    31 January

    These are great tips. When our kids were little, my husband and I would sit out on the deck with our coffee on the weekends, before the kids woke up. Enjoy your SITS Day!

  46. anotherjennifer

    31 January

    These are simple, but important tips. It’s too easy to forget about your relationship with your husband when you have kids. Thanks for sharing!

  47. Rabia Lieber

    31 January

    This is a great post! My husband works odd hours and there are many nights when I am already in bed when he gets home. I work full time too, but with a more regular schedule, so bedtime is important for me. On the nights he is home, we try to watch some TV or a movie together on the couch. And some nights when he’s home we go to bed early too. 😉

  48. Holly

    31 January

    I am always looking for new ways to do date nights at home so this is great! We’ve never tried doing an online class together so we might have to try that one! One date night we really love as a couple is watching TED talks and then discussing our own perspectives on the issue that we heard about. We absolutely LOVE learning together and it had made us so much stronger as a couple over the years! My husband and met in college and have similar passions for academics, philosophy, and politics so it works for us. 🙂

    I hope your SITS Day is awesome!! Also, I connected with you through G+, FB, Pinterest, and Twitter! I hope you’ll decide to join me in those places too! 🙂

  49. Great post! The online cooking class is something I have never heard of – I will check that out.

  50. Hi Whitney! Happy SITS day ) I love this post. Wonderful ideas, cooking with my husband is always fun but I never thought about having a picnic inside too or even taking a cooking class together ( we would definitely enjoy that). Thanks for sharing and have a great day!
    P.S. – have you tried a white chocolate mocha with white coffee yet? SO good if you like your coffee on the sweeter side 🙂

  51. Svetlana

    31 January

    Hi Whitney.
    Love the name of your blog. What else can inspire change if not a mess? My husband and I in a long distance relationship which makes it very easy to live in “separated” worlds as easy as if we live in different worlds when the husband spends the whole day at work and the wife – at home with children. I like an idea with texting to remind “I’m here and appreciate you to be in my world”. Your husband is very lucky having you.

  52. Wilma Jones

    31 January

    Good tips to use whether you have small children or you don’t. The simple things are often the most important in the long run.

  53. My husband and I enjoy snuggling up to a movie that we stream online once our daughter goes to bed!

    Thanks for sharing and linking up with Good Tips Tuesday! Pinned!

  54. Cindy

    6 February

    I would be interested, please, in the resources/advice you mention about how we/our husbands ‘need’ each other . . . I am in the season of young kids and definitely want to make sure our relationship is a top priority! Thank you!

  55. nailcentric

    12 February

    These are some great tips for n issue that is so true…

  56. Heather P

    26 April

    I actually am the one that works out of the home and my husband is the stay-at-home Dad. I sometimes struggle with making sure he knows just how much I appreciate everything that he does and that he has given up to stay home with our LO. He does miss the adult interaction but would never give up his time with his little man. They are like two peas in the proverbial pod. Everything Daddy does so does LO. Our other son is almost 16 so we get the mix of terrible twos and moody teen…lots of love in the house right now. This is a great reminder of the little ways that I can make sure that he knows I love him and everything he tries to do for the family. Thank you for the pick me up!!!

    • I’m so glad you found it helpful, Heather! I know I’m guilty of trying to plan big elaborate date nights which never pan out. Sometimes it’s the little things that mean the most. Blessings to you and your family, mama!!

  57. Caryn

    20 May

    If I may add to your wonderful list, a fun cheap date is geocaching! Geocaching requires a GPS and walking, it’s just treasure hunting for nerd basically!!! Look it up, it’s really fun, gets you out in nature and you explore places you’ve never been before!

  58. Laura

    12 July

    This is really good! Aside from date nights (in or out) we have started making a point of finding a 15-20 minute time frame to spend time together which doesn’t sound like much but it is so refreshing and often ends up being longer! Plus a lot easier to fit in!

  59. Miriam

    26 August

    We have four children under the age of four and my husband works 12+ hour days. So we are both always exhausted. But one thing we have found that we love to do after the kids go to bed is to take a bubble bath together. Nothing racy… Or it can be sometimes:) But we put on music have a bath and then usually enjoy dessert together once a week. It really helps!

    • LOL. Yes! Sometimes it’s the little things that we can do that recharge us and can keep us connecting with one another. This is a super hard season with littles, but it’s just that, a season. One day our children will be grown and we will be left with our husband. I pray that we aren’t strangers when that day comes. Thank you for sharing!!

  60. Cheri

    27 August

    We kiss everyday no matter what! Even if it’s a quick peck on the lips and when we get more time we kiss longer! I think it’s completely ok to gross your kiddos out this way my parents did it and I have a baby boy on the way and I will kiss my husband in front of him and our future kids too! I loved seeing my parents kiss growing up because I always heard of so many of my friends parents fighting and it really made me sad. Showing your kids how much you love and respect one another I believe gets them to respect you.

    • I love that, Cheri! I completely agree. We do need to gross our kids out by kissing and hugging our husbands. While our children may seem grossed out on the outside, they will be secure knowing that their Mommy and Daddy love each other. We need to model that for our children. They will live out what they see. Thank you for sharing!!

  61. Cynthia

    29 August

    My most memorable “date” was about 20 years ago when our girls were 3 and 5 yrs. old. We all went to a local fast food restaurant that had a playground. My husband and I ate (from the $1.00 menu) and talked while the girls played for hours. We sat next to the window so we could see the playground. There was another older couple (grandparents) who were doing the same. One funny thing happened…our youngest daughter wouldn’t come down the enclosed slide so my husband crawled up and helped her down. We took our que from the grandparents…we left when they did; and they weren’t in a hurry.

    • That is an awesome idea, Cynthia! Even on a tight budget with small children, it’s possible to stay connected with our spouses. Love that idea!

  62. Dede

    11 September

    Beautiful and practical suggestions
    I have been married to my beautiful man for almost 20 years. We have 6 children from kindergarten to college. We have always lived very frugally out of necessity. The suggestions you listed were things we have been doing for years. Now we have the luxury of leaving older siblings in charge if we want to go out of the house on a real date. It really doesn’t require a lot of money to connect with your spouse in the messy and chaotic times of our marriages! Just a little time and attention goes a long way in keeping your married love in tact!

  63. Stefany Hiatt

    17 September

    Found your post through the Manic Mondays blog hop! Just wanted to say thanks so much for sharing! My husband and I are having a baby in less than a month and so I know our “dating” lives are really about to change! Something that we love to do together (which is very lazy of us but fun) is we like to get into shows on netflix together. Right now it’s breaking bad!

  64. Mette

    21 September

    Thanks for sharing. So many things, you dont think about / have forgot to do in long time 🙂

  65. Cindy

    2 November

    I’m over 50, but remember well trying to sneak in time for each other in between five kids. Just wanted to chime in and say to all you young mothers, make time for intimacy. Not just holding hands and snuggling. I mean the real deal. It was designed by God, to create an emotional and spritual bond. It’s so much more than physical. Make it special!

  66. Michelle

    25 January

    My husband and I have been setting up the telescope at night when the sky is clear, and spend a couple hours looking at stars. It’s something we both enjoy, and since we have started doing that as often as we can- I can really feel that it’s made us feel more together and happy. We also play old video games on the Nintendo, and just have a blast together whenever we can. I love this post!

  67. Amanda

    5 February

    I have a babysitter solution if it is not brought up somewhere I have missed. I know several families that swap off babysitting for each other’s kids and that way you can go on a date and not pay babysitting. Seems to work well. My kids are much older now and wish I would have done that. Maybe start one in your area if it doesn’t exist.

  68. Rajean

    5 February

    I love the cooking class together idea! I do enjoy leaving love notes, in his underware drawer, on the bathroom mirror, on the driver’s seat in the car, etc. I love that when he posts a photo on Facebook of a meal while we’re out or that I made, he always says ‘out with my girlfriend.’

  69. NYC Single Mom

    5 February

    This is an amazing list of ideas and very creative. You definitely don’t need $$ to show how much you care.

  70. Jennifer (Savor)

    5 February

    It is expensive to go out – just the sitter $10 an hour. We sometimes make sandwiches and go walk and picnic on the beach…..warm months only.

  71. Amberly

    5 February

    I’ve come across this post a few times and I love it! 🙂

  72. Kara

    5 February

    We finally have older kids who can babysit, so we can now afford a date every week, but I still love this list. We’ve learned that you don’t have to spend money to have fun together. Thanks for sharing all these ideas!!

  73. It’s so important to take time for your spouse. We currently have four kiddo’s and it’s much harder, but essential .We are part of a marriage building team and used to host free date nights for families with babysitting so husbands and wives could take time for each other. Love your tips!

  74. I love the ideas. My fave is taking an online cooking class together. I can see many fun times with that. Great list. Happy V-Day!!

  75. This is so great! I love these ideas.

  76. Sunny

    6 February

    Love doesn’t cost a dime and these are some great ideas to celebrate that! love it!

  77. Kristin

    6 February

    I love these ideas. My husband and I try very hard to keep connected since having our daughter. It is incredible how one little person can change your relationship so dramatically! Great post this is something more couples need to keep in the fore front of their minds.

  78. Jennifer Clay

    8 February

    I love having movie nights with my finance! During my first marriage, we lost our sense of togetherness. We did not take the time for each other and in the end that is one of the things that tore us apart. I refuse to make the same mistakes twice. And that is why my relationship now is 100 times better.

  79. Debbie

    14 February

    When I got married 20 years ago, my mom had me choose a number between 1 and 30. I picked 2. She told me every month on the 2nd of the month I needed to do something thoughtful for my hubby. A shoulder rub, favorite meal, movie he likes etc…. Because the day of the week varies he has never figured out my plan, and it keeps me thinking of something free but thoughtful to do for him. He in turn feels appreciated 🙂

  80. kimberly

    10 April

    After the birth of our son, I was quite surprised by how neglected husbands can feel! I just took it for granted that he understood that the baby needed me for now. But, in truth I found out that I actually had 2 babies on my hand!! 😛
    Truly we mamas focus most of our time and energy on our children. But, It is really important to make time for that “oldest child” – our husbands! Thanks for this post. There are some things here I could use. 🙂

    • YES! I had no idea. I was so focused on our new little bundle and trying to figure out what to do with her, plus recovering from all the childbirth stuff. I thought my husband and I were on the same page and he understood, but alas, no. I’m glad you found it helpful!!

  81. Jc

    12 April

    My hubby and I don’t have much time to date but I made him a gift (got the idea off of Pinterest) where I printed a paper that said “I love you because…” And I put a line under it. I also wrote in the word “respect” so it reads “I love and respect you because…” And I put the paper in a frame. Whenever I think of something To write I use a dry erase marker and write why I love and respect him. It can be something silly like “because you go get me cocoa puffs to satisfy my chocolate craving” or it could be “because you always put others first” etc. the other day my husband told me how much it means to him and that it encourages and inspires him

  82. Gina Valley

    27 June

    All great ideas! Thank you!

  83. Holly

    29 July

    Great ideas. We have a sticky note pad on the shelf beside the toilet. Odd place you say? I leave him a note and guess what…he sees it first thing the next morning while getting ready for work and with the pen that’s laying there he writes me back! Also…another idea. We send each other on treasure hunts to get ready for our date nights. We each make up an envelope with little cutouts of a shirt skirt pants etc. Each one leads to the other leading us to what each wants the other to wear etc. Kinda scary sometimes but I know that whatever he picks out he must like. 😉

  84. Vilma Daily

    20 October

    Picnic at home is a good idea., or better yet prepare a candle light dinner at home then prepare his favorite food that you can share together.

  85. Diana

    21 December

    Wow! I didn’t know there were online cooking classes. I have to try one with my husband.

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