How to Date Your Significant Other After Kids

Ah the early days of dating and marriage – the date night world was our oyster! An impromptu overnight trip? Why not! Late night tickets to a show we had been dying to see? You know it! Taking a staycation that involved pajamas, too much ice cream + takeout and not leaving our couch? That’s what delivery is for!

Fast forward to a few months ago when I realized that it had been nearly 6 months since JD and I had a proper date night and since before Isla was born that we took an entire night away. The thing about making time for your partner with kids is that it takes some serious planning, logistics, and effort – LOTS of effort.

Photo credit goes to Brody for this one!

Photo credit goes to Brody for this one!

It’s so easy to make excuses for why you don’t have the time for a date night – you can’t find a babysitter, you’re still nursing, you feel guilty about asking grandparents to babysit, you’re too busy or tired. You put all of your effort and energy into your kids that you start to forget about yourself and your spouse.

At the end of 2018 JD and I took an anniversary trip to Charleston and left Brody + Isla with my parents. After all, now that we live in the same city as my parents, shouldn’t we take advantage of their offer to watch the kids?  And of course, the kids were absolutely FINE without out—heck they didn’t even want us to come home! We got to spend the weekend sleeping in, using names other than mom or dad, and returned feeling like our marriage (and maybe our energy levels, too) had been refreshed. And we vowed to make our relationship a priority this year.

Excited to start planning out a few dates, I began doing a little research online when I stumbled across an old Reddit post that outlined something called the 2/2/2 dating plan. If you’ve been on my Instagram, you’ve seen me talk about it in my stories, but I got such amazing feedback from all of you that I wanted to write a longer post explaining the plan + sharing some of our date night ideas with you!

So what is the 2/2/2 Dating Plan?

The plan itself is pretty straightforward: every two weeks, you and your significant other go out for a night, every two months you go out  of town for a weekend (or a night if that’s all you  can swing), and every two years go out of town for an entire week together.

When I first read the description, I was a little intimidated of the plan. Every two weeks feels like such a commitment! But if we can commit our lives, bodies, and hairlines (I’m looking at you, postpartum hair loss) to our babies, we can commit one night every two weeks to our partners.

Making the 2/2/2 plan work for US

Every family is different which means every adaptation of this plan will look a little different, too.  JD and I decided that we are going to take turns planning the dates, so we’ll both get to be a little creative. We’re planning to use a babysitter once a month and hopefully enlist my parents’ help for the other night out to help save a little money on babysitters.

Instead of planning on an entire weekend away, every two months we’ll go on an overnight date. That could be a night out of town, a staycation without the kids, or maybe a weekend or two when we can squeeze it in.

Every two years we’re planning to go on a week-long trip without the kids. I like the two year time frame because it gives us plenty of time to plan, save, and arrange childcare and gives us plenty of time between the trips to make each one really meaningful.

2/2/2 Ideas + Details

Just because you’re planning a night or a weekend away does not mean you need to spend a lot in order to have a great time! JD and I have already started to throw some ideas around for each category and I wanted to share our list with you to help jumpstart your planning!

Date Night Ideas

  • Dinner from one of the restaurants in town we’ve been wanting to try

  • Cooking Class

  • Comedy Club

  • Ice Skating

  • Bowling

  • Couples Massage

  • Cooking a Meal at Home (using HelloFresh or another meal kit)

  • Going Out to see Live Music

  • Escape Room

  • Mini-golf

A lot of these date ideas can be done during the day, too! If you have a fussy sleeper or your schedules won’t allow for a night out, go out for a morning or daytime date.

Overnight Date Ideas

Check sites like Groupon for big savings on things to do wherever you’ll be for your night or weekend away!

We have a lot of fun cities within a few hours’ drive, so we want to check out:

  • Asheville

  • Atlanta

  • Charleston

  • Savannah

  • Anywhere on the South Carolina Coast

  • Some other ideas for staying in town or near home:

  • Camping

  • Stay the night in a boutique hotel or AirBnB

  • Staying the night with friends

  • Staycation at home

Week-long Date Ideas

If you want to fly somewhere for your week long dates, follow Scott’s Cheap Flights and Spirit’s Dollar Flight Club to monitor deals!

  • Week-long road trip

  • Visit and national park

  • Take a trip to the beach

  • Visit one of your “bucket list” locations

Now that you have the roadmap, you can start planning 2/2/2 date ideas of your own! Like a garden, the only way to make a relationship work is to nurture it. So bookmark this page, email it to your spouse, and give it a try. Under the diapers, cardboard books, and snack cups, you’re still the same fun loving couple from way back when.

If you have any 2/2/2 dates coming up soon, leave a comment below or tag @MommaSociety on social media to share your ideas with us. Happy dating, mommas!