Having a little baby is stressful and exhausting. I feel you. I have one. There were some evenings in which a newborn was on my body for the entire time between my dinner and bedtime. Now that he is about five months old, however, he reliably goes to bed before 8 pm and he stays asleep for a good chunk of the night.
I’m here to tell you that there are other things to do than zone out in front of the TV together.* I would like to offer you five tried-and-true better activities to do with your partner.
- Do a drive-in movie. I hope there are still drive-ins where you live, but this is a terrific activity for a baby not on a very good sleep schedule. See a current run movie (or a classic) in the comfort of your own vehicle. Pack the snacks you love and a comfy outfit for easy baby snuggling. Don’t forget to snuggle your date, too! (Locate the nearest drive-in.)
- Eat with the early birds (and the baby). Choose a nice restaurant you’ve been meaning to try and hit it right at the opening. You’ll be in and out faster with fewer patrons to, um, annoy than if you go later.
- Make dinner after bedtime. I cherish my memories of candle-lit dinners at home before baby made three (then four and now five!). My husband and I would cook together in a well-choreographed kitchen dance. Whenever we linger over cooking and eating after the kids are in bed, it feels so decadent.
- Go out for just dessert. Speaking of decadent, what if you asked a friend or two to hang out on your couch so you and your partner can sneak out for a yummy treat? Walk for ice cream, split a molten lava cake, or just eat a cookie on the back steps.
- Play games. You may still be sitting in your well-worn dents in the couch, but playing together is more interactive than TV-watching or laptopping. I don’t care if you prefer video games or analog as long as you’re both having fun. My husband and I played a LOT of Rock Band (baby optional) and had a blast.
Bonus tip: If you are comfortable, go ahead and put your babysitter on retainer so you can have a regular date night out. You deserve a chance to enjoy yourselves without your little sidekick every so often.
* Binge TV, as I like to call it, certainly has its place in the lives of new parents. I have slurped up entire seasons and even series in the first few weeks of a new baby.