Mix six children, no family close by, crazy schedules, and baby sitters living 40 minutes away and there is a recipe for a marriage going stale. For me it is easier not to go on a date. Going out most of the time adds more work and is logistically difficult for me to accomplish. I still need to connect with Luke (my husband) so we “date” at home much more often than we go out.
We do go out.
For several years now we have made it a habit to take a walk around our yard with a cup of coffee and chat. Sometimes the children will tag along, but most of the time we simple tell them this is our time. Our marriage has grown stronger since we implemented this time together. We have a time to talk about the children, what is going on in each of our lives when we are not together, world events and dreams for the future. The children have commented on our desire to be alone together and how we choose each other! That is one benefit I did not think about when we implemented this time alone. Our children can see that our marriage is important and something that does not include them, but does benefit them greatly. They see mom and dad laughing and talking. Enjoying time together.
How is this practical? Our older children oversee the younger ones, if we can not see them, otherwise they are playing. When we have a new baby, we take our walks while baby is sleeping.
Couple of other ideas for dates at home:
Movie and popcorn in the living room
Dinner by candlelight (put the children to bed first–when you have an 11 year old daughter she will love t0 help prepare this)
Work on a project (We enjoyed staining the boys beds together)
Whatever “date” you and your spouse like to do, choose time together. The benefits are amazing!