Who says romance is dead? Guest Blogger and Founder of A Year Of Dates, Kate Greenalgh, gives us some pointers for keeping the love alive post kids! With Valentine's Day on the horizon, there's all the inspiration you need for a romantic night, if not year, with your partner! Mr Lover Man, eat your heart out!
Hi, I’m Kate AKA A Year of Dates, mum to Phoebe (2) and - more importantly right now - wife to John.
In 2014 my very romantic and annoyingly good at getting the perfect gift (while managing to be SO tricky to buy for himself!) husband gave me a date jar. In it were 70+ envelopes containing date activities for us to do – he’d aimed for 52 but kept thinking of better ideas as he went along! Being newly married and child free at this point a date a week was do-able. It made us make time away from work emails, house work and TV, and actually talk to each other!
Everyone I told about it loved the idea and during my maternity leave A Year of Dates was born!
A Year of Dates provides you with 51 date ideas, there is an empty envelope for a week off, 5 blank cards to add your own personal ideas, and a dice to stop any arguments! So you can enjoy your precious free time with the decisions made for you!
Once you have kids it is so important to make time for each other, whether it’s once the little darlings are in bed (I never said you had to leave the house!) or during the day when you can arrange a solo visit to see Grandma; hopefully these ideas will spur you on to make time for each other.
To help you further we offer a colour coded set (we’re delighted to say the Box Of Dates is now available to buy from Burble Baby!) aimed at parents which allows you to plan your dates around life. As a large number of the cards don’t involve leaving the house you don’t need to worry about babysitters; although you will need one if you choose a night out yellow envelope!
The key thing to remember is, it doesn’t have to be a big effort, call it quality time rather than date night. Set aside half an hour with the TV off and phones away to give each other a foot rub/eat cake/listen to music – I bet after half an hour (if you are still awake!) then you won’t stop what you’re doing and hey presto – date night!
I’ve included a few ideas below, that might give you some inspiration for Valentines day, or just for tonight! All the suggestions use the cards from the Box Of Dates pack, to show you it can be as easy as you make it to have a date night with kids:
Choose each other a bottle of wine
If you don’t like wine it could be a spirit, beer or even a soft drink! The point of this activity isn’t to get drunk (honest!), it is to think about the bottle you choose and match it to your partner. You can be cute and romantic (the wine we drank on our first date – that would be impressive if you remembered!) or funny and a little bit cheeky (maybe one with peachy flavours as it reminds you of their best asset!).
If you want to make this a learning experience (or just a night out) go one step further and find a wine/gin /beer tasting night, they’re great fun – and you do get drunk!
One to store for warmer days! Obviously it has to be a clear night for this but once the kids are in bed you can do it in your own back garden with a blanket and hot chocolate (although you’ll get better results away from the light polluted streets). The Google Sky Map App is a great tool to help you identify the shiny lights and check it isn’t an aeroplane!
In July and August there are meteor showers visible over the UK so why not make a date night and wish upon a shooting star?
Now this one might not get a great response, but for research purposes (!) we went and had a great time! It does fall under the ‘night out’ category but one Instagram follower (@ayearofdates / #ayearofdates) played at home watching TV, with a downloaded game. You can watch your favourite programme and use your dabber every time Paul Hollywood makes a contestant cry in Bake Off, or when a character in Eastenders storms off! You can make it fun making your own or use a website such as: https://www.stuckinthetree.com/treehouse/ to generate a card.
Make a playlist together
Sounds simple – because it is!
We made a playlist that was background music at our wedding, we still use it now when friends come over and it is always a conversation starter. Sit down together, with a glass of wine, and reminisce about holidays, special occasions, when you first met… Songs have such a way of conjuring up memories it will lead to plenty of laughs and ‘remember when’ stories – and once it’s created you can put it on in the car, over breakfast or while you do the ironing and share a smile together.
2018 is the year I plan to actually practise what I preach and John and I make time for each other again, with both of us working, running the business and having a toddler to contend with – oh and we moved house! – it’s been tricky. Maybe we’ll finish our date jar…
A Box Of Dates can now be purchased from Burble Baby, why not head over and buy your partner and you some inspirational date time together! Plus, check out our competition on Instagram to WIN yourself a box of dates! Now that would be a cheap date!
Competition starts 29th Jan to 12th Feb 2018