I am the first to say to any new parents “make sure you make time for each other”, I mean, how annoying is that? Time for yourself, let alone each other, falls to the bottom of the ‘To Do’ list once children are in the equation. BUT, 4.5 months in to being parents of 2 children, we did it!! We had a date night for our anniversary! On our own!
Here are my 5 rules of a successful date night when you are a parent…
1 . Talk to each other – The amount of times I see couples on a ‘date’ and they’re on their phones or just not talking, it makes me so sad. I know its the 21st century and all that, but its actually quite nice to put your phone away sometimes! And yes, we talked about the girls for the majority of the time, but we also talked about how far we had come in the 10 years of being together, and our aims for the future (near and far).
2. Keep it fun! Who wants to talk about serious ‘issues’ or concerns on a date? Not me! Keep it fun and light, avoid everyday conversations. Get to know each other again! You could even pretend it was your first date, that’s definitely one way to make you giggle!
3. Forget the routine – We were lucky to have grandparents babysit, and they know the girls so well. We decided to go for pre-drinks before our meal which meant leaving during the bedtime routine, eek. I had talked myself round all day to not worry about whether the girls were in bed when we left (which they weren’t), and to just go out anyway (which we did). Bar a few tears from Lyla, all was fine. And if it had of been a later night for them? So what. Its just one night – don’t forget that!
4. Treat yourselves – If your date nights are as few and far between as ours then just go for it. Don’t hold back! We are both worriers when it comes to spending money but for one night only we treated ourselves. Don’t get me wrong, in the back of my head I still worried, but I didn’t let it stop me. I even went for an accompanying wine taster menu alongside my meal – oooer! Yes, this was the first time I had drank alcohol in quiiiite a while. No, I couldn’t walk in a straight line afterwards. You don’t have to be extravagant all the time though, date nights don’t have to cost the earth!
5. Make the effort – You might have been together for a while, but there is something really nice about getting dressed up. We all get comfortable with our partners, wearing clothes with sick on them because its past 3pm in the afternoon and you can’t be bothered to change, so sometimes its nice to get glammed up and make each others heart skip a beat every now and again. Don’t worry, you can change straight back into your PJ’s when you get home! Such a romantic, me.
It may take a lot of forward planning and the organisation of babysitters, but it is honestly worth it and is so important for your partnership so get ‘dating’!!
Where we went
Whilst you’re here, I just want to mention where we went as I can’t recommend either place highly enough!
We live on the border of Leicestershire and Northamptonshire in a town called Market Harborough. And we love it. It is so incredibly family friendly, and has everything you could want, whatever age you are. This includes trendy bars and restaurants – which we got to sample, wahoo! And considering I had turned 30 a couple of days earlier, doing something to make me feel young again was just what I needed!
We had our pre-drinks at a relatively new pub called The Freemasons Arms. A very ‘hip’ (that’s what the kids say these days right?) pub in the centre of town, and a popular spot for nights out, whilst also being really family friendly. I love the decor in here, lots of quirky fixtures and fittings. And did I mention their cocktails are delicious? And they serve a speciality metre-pizza? Yep, a metre. Of Pizza. Oh my!
Our meal was at an amazing bistro called Ascoughs, which is very renowned amongst the locals. If you are local – you have to try it. If you aren’t local – you have to try it. The quality of the food is insane, and for a ridiculously good price too. We did the 8-course taster menu which changes every month dependent on local produce available (see here) and there was not one bit that didn’t taste AMAZING. I mean, even Jude Law has been here, why I wasn’t aware of this beforehand I will never know! So, so good.
All the love,