The Rumley Family

Loving Jesus, Loving Life

How We Do: Date Night

Once again, I’m participating in Lora Lynn’s “How We Do” series.

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Our subtitle will be “Babywise and Budgeting.”

I’ve mentioned before that Luke and I are pretty passionate about maintaining a healthy marriage. So how do you maintain a healthy relationship without spending quality time together? (Hint: you don’t.)

I know that On Becoming Baby Wise is a controversial book, but let me tell you, friends…I read it, used my own brain in interpreting how it could help our family, and implemented a plan. And our kids are still (at ages 9, 7, 6, and 4) AWESOME about going to bed, staying in bed, and sleeping all night. (And just for you naysayers: They are completely well-adjusted, happy, loved individuals. So there.)

What does that have to do with Date Night, you ask?

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Well, quality time in the Rumley marriage often happens between the hours of 8pm and midnight (ish). Because we trained our children to go to bed and stay in bed, we don’t have to worry about our at-home date nights (if you want to call them that) being interrupted by the pitter patter of little feet.

Bedtime is the 1st pillar of Date Nights in our marriage.

This quality time is very laid back. We often choose a movie to watch together or sit next to each other while we’re doing other activities (reading a book [me], web designing [Luke], etc). Sometimes we’ll snuggle up in bed and watch an episode or two of the Cosby Show on YouTube.

We like to be together. A lot. He’s my BFF. So whatever we choose to do together is fine, as long as we’re together.

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The 2nd pillar of Date Nights is budgeting.

Hello, Dave Ramsey! Welcome to our marriage!

When we laid out our first budget years ago, we didn’t have room in it for Date Nights. But I was a young stay-at-home mom, with many small children always begging for my attention, and – let’s face it – I NEEDED some time away from them in order to maintain my sanity. Sometimes at-home date nights don’t cut it.

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So we made a commitment to do once-a-month date nights outside of the home. It might not be necessary for Luke’s sanity, but it’s been a lifesaver for me many times.

Down to the nitty-gritty: We budget $50/month for date nights, and a majority of that goes to the babysitter. If we can swap babysitting with a friend, that obviously helps our budget. But if we are paying a babysitter, we don’t have a whole lot left over for activities…

Sometimes we go out to eat (and split a meal, which we would normally do anyway). OR we watch a movie at the cheap seats. OR occasionally we go to a home improvement store or furniture store to window shop for needs/wants. We often use a coupon for whatever we do.

Sometimes we like to check out this site to see what’s happening around GR.

Every so often, we are also able to travel together (for business trips and/or missions trips), which is like the ultimate in Date Nights. A whole bunch of date nights in a row, in a nice place! Woo-hoo!

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For all you married couples out there, I highly recommend making Date Nights a priority. Figure out your own schedule, and your own budget…but definitely prioritize building into your marriage by spending quality time together!

Now it’s your turn to tell me – how do YOU do Date Nights?

8 Comments

  1. *fist bump* to the smart people who prioritize date night! Love it!

  2. Darby Williams-Terpstra

    February 18, 2014 at 11:30 am

    Awesome! We pretty much do the same thing! The kids go to bed, stay in bed and we pick out a movie, grab our books and read next to each other or sit and talk. Or all of the above in one night. As far as going out, that doesn’t necessarily fit into our budget always so we pick low cost to no cost things to do like living room floor picnics, building a snowman, bon fire etc. We are blessed though to live close to my parents and my aunt and uncle for free babysitting but my friends will babysit too for their favorite pies or cookies in return. In fact my Christmas gift to my husband this year was my time. I picked an activity that he would enjoy, pre-paid if necessary and put them in 12 envelopes to open at the beginning of each month. It’s been fun! Thanks for all your tips and knowledge, they’ve given myself some ideas!

  3. We did a lot better at date nights before our first baby (now 9 months old). Between caring for her and me spending more evenings working (at events or managing projects), date nights have sadly decreased. Lately we’ve been trying to be more deliberate about date nights, using many of the methods you use. One difference: there are very few restaurant meals I could split; I have quite an appetite!

    • Trust me – I understand how parenting changes the landscape of Date Nights. But I’d wager to say that they’re even MORE important to your marriage now that you’re sharing your time with Sidney!

      Talking about restaurants is making me hungry…. 🙂

  4. Thanks for your post! This prompted a great discussion for us last night. We decided to be more intentional about picking a date night each week (even if it’s a simple night in). We decided to take turns once a month planning a fun night out. Earlier this season we made a list of people we wanted to get together with, local places we wanted to visit, and activities we wanted to do. It’s up on our fridge and we’ve been crossing them off as we do them. It’s been fun, and we will probably make a new one in the spring.

    • I like the idea of taking turns planning nights out. I also like the idea of making a “bucket list” of sorts for date nights…You seem like very organized, intentional people.

  5. If the budget doesn’t allow for a restaurant meal, you could either just go & split a dessert, or go for appetizers… Applebees for example, does 1/2 off after 9. In the summer On The Border has 1/2 off at certain times of the day.

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