Tim and I chose to pursue an opportunity for a new life, in hopes it would better our children’s future. But with that came a huge sacrifice: moving far away from any and all family.
It wasn’t an easy decision. But we were accustomed to moving a lot already and knew that with time, the loneliness would wear off.
The hardest part about moving to a city, where you know absolutely no one, is having to rely solely on each other.
You don’t have a backup plan if something goes wrong. If one of your kids gets sick, chances are you’re dragging every one of your kids with you to urgent care or the ER because your husband has a brand new job and can’t get off work easily. Date nights out are impossible because finding someone you can trust doesn’t just happen overnight. Plus I’m sort of a total control freak when it comes to that aspect of parenting, so I have a hard time ever wanting to leave my kids.
AND we have five children. It’s not that easy to ask people to watch all five of your children.
So we had to improvise. We had to find things we could do for ourselves, at home, without having our children around. Even with our super busy lives, we HAVE to find time to spend together. It’s so important to keep our relationship stable, loving, and happy. It’s not always easy, but it’s always necessary. So whenever we want to have a date-night-in or spend a little bit of time together, we usually wait until our kids are in bed.
One of the things we really love is a board game called Sequence. It’s a little strategy game with cards and chips that my cousin Lauren introduced me to. It’s actually a ton of fun! I hardly ever win because Tim has a puzzle-solving brain that definitely overrides my go-with-the-flow brain. But I still enjoy playing defense the whole time, throwing off his plan as much as I can. We’re both pretty competitive people so it allows us to bond on that level.
I recently got Tim cornhole boards for his birthday as well as a washer’s set. Some nights we will turn on a brand new movie the kids have never seen, to keep their attention, while we sneak out to the yard to play the games alone. The dogs usually enjoy the extra attention we give them while playing ;
Another thing we find to bond over is a TV show. In the past it’s been Game of Thrones (cannot wait until the last season!) but lately it’s been Deadliest Catch. We watch the episodes together while we snuggle up and enjoy each other’s embrace. It may seem so silly but we really get into the episodes and talk through the crazy situations: Can you believe Sig is training his daughter to become the captain? I can’t believe that guy fell overboard on the Summer Bay!
If we’re not watching a TV show, we love documentaries!
It’s not easy to make time for these date-nights since most of the time we just want to go to bed. But it’s so important, especially for us since we can’t go out into public every weekend or even every month. We now have friends we would trust with our kids’ lives and they have allowed us to go out alone. The longest stretch we had between date night out was 6 months.
Honestly, it’s nice not having to spend money to spend time together. In raising such a big family on one income, it really is a puzzle in figuring out expenses and budget. I think this way of date-nights-in has worked so well for us that going out is almost stressful. We both are such homebodies and we both enjoy our little (big!) family so much that it’s hard for us to go away. We joke all of the time that we won’t be able to go on vacations alone until all of our kids are in college because we would be too stressed out with them in someone else’s care!
I hope this inspires some of you to find something that you and your significant other can do alone at home together. Like I said, you don’t have to spend a ton of money to spend time together. You just have to figure out a designated time to do so.
Let me know if you have any other suggestions for date nights in that we could try! We’re up for new things to do together!