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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Date Nights-Do You Get Enough?

JuiceBoxJungle wants to know how often you and your spouse get out for date nights. There is a poll box on my right sidebar in the JuiceBoxJungle widget. Click your answer to see the poll results. If you're reading through an email or RSS subscription, you'll have to click through to my blog to take the poll.

I'm guessing a lot of you wish you could have more date nights with your spouse. What are your reasons for not going out more? Is it money to pay for dinner or lack of a sitter? Restaurants.com is co-sponsoring the poll and wants to help you out with discounts to restaurants. Have you used Restaurants.com before? They also have a promotion going on where you can "Feed it Forward" and give other people $10 certificates for FREE, up to 30 per day until Christmas!

I ask for gift cards to restaurants for Christmas, which helps with the food cost of dates out. Unfortunately, it's the babysitter cost that makes it hard for us to go out alone. We don't have any family in the area, and paying a babysitter for a couple of hours for 4 (soon-to-be 5!) young kids is not cheap! We already get a babysitter twice a month for our couple's small group, so adding another night gets expensive. But it's something we know is important, so we do try to go out. We aim for once a month, but it's realistically more like once every 2-3 months. One thing we've done is get a babysitter for a weekend lunch out, where we run to a nearby restaurant and are only gone for one hour, which helps to keep the cost lower.

Leave a comment below with how often you and your spouse get out for dates. What do you do to get out alone with your spouse?


8 comments:

Cap said...

Though I'm not married or have kids, since you likely have a lot of friends with kids, why not do a trade? That is, volunteer to take your friends' kids for one night (for their spouse date) for a trade of them taking yours for one night for likewise? The kids get a playdate and you guys get some well deserved time alone.

Kerri

Jessica-MomForHim said...

In theory this is a great idea for most people, but for us it just doesn't seem to work very well (though we have done it before). Since we have 4 (going on 5) kids, and most of our friends have less, it doesn't feel like a fair trade, and we don't want to take advantage of friends. Know what I mean?

Angela said...

I never like to trade either. Somehow it always ends up unfair or something.

My biggest issue with trading is that we end up with extra kids during trades so the extra stress pretty much negates the calm of going out. Maybe it's just our trading options. LOL

I've found a great babysitter, but we can't agree on what to do if we go out. Neither of us want to eat out (for yuckness more than $) and a movie seems like such a waste when we can redbox for free. Any non eating or movie date ideas?

Jennie said...

Besides, who in their right mind would want to watch eight kids or something! :-)

Anyway... we like to go out to breakfast on a Saturday when my mom is visiting. We're usually up early feeding a baby anyway, so once we get the baby back to sleep, we can leave for an hour or two. Nathan can watch TV when he wakes up, and we're usually back before the babies need breakfast.

We went to a concert a couple of weeks ago and hired a babysitter to help my mom (who was visiting) until the kids went down to bed. One of our kids' needs are a bit more complicated than most, so when we have a chance to go out, we take it (doesn't happen often).

Jessica-MomForHim said...

Jennie-
I'm so glad you guys get out now and then, too. You make a good point--when my parents are visiting or when we are visiting them, they are good about letting us go out--like when we had our ALONE vacation last summer! I used to feel bad about "making" them babysit while visiting, but my mom says they come to see the kids anyway! :-) My in-laws are not quite as into babysitting 4 kids. Really, who can blame them--our house can be quite a zoo sometimes!

Jessica-MomForHim said...

Angela-
I can think of a few non-eating or movie ideas (we never go out to movies, either--But I LOVE to go out to eat!). One of our favorite dates is to go to Barnes & Noble or Half Price Books and browse books for an hour. It's nice and quiet, not like at home!

Another idea is something more active, like ice skating or sledding, or in warmer weather, going for a bike ride or walk on some nice trails (even if you have to drive there to get a change of scenery). Bowling is fun all year round (gotta love the smoke-free bowling alleys!).

A more expensive idea, but maybe for special occasions, is to get tickets to a concert or show you'd both enjoy. It could even be a high school production, to save a little cash.

Think out of the box--maybe do something that you would normally do with the kids (like an arcade or mini-golfing), but do it with just the two of you instead--ride the bumper cars, buy cheesy prizes for each other, just focus on feeling young and having fun!

Jill said...

Our Sunday school class has worked out a deal with the church youth group. One evening a month, the class goes out to dinner while the youth watches the kids at the church for $2/kid/hr. (That's $8 a month for our two little boys.) Generally, we are gone for two hours. So no big fancy restaurants or far away, but a great way to grab some dinner out with friends. We do it early in the evening so the youth can still go out after us. The money they raise goes towards their mission trip. We have really loved having the chance to get out on a tight budget.

Jessica-MomForHim said...

Jill-
That's an awesome idea!

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