Ladies Guide To Cheap Dates For New Parents
IMPORTANT NOTE: This is the “Ladies Guide To Cheap Dates For New Parents”. If you are not the lady in your particular relationship, you should forward this to the lady who is, and then you can just move along to the Guys Guide.
Congratulations on the recent edition to your family. And, it is totally ok, if by “recent” you mean 14 years ago; you definitely still qualify. In fact, to qualify, all you really need are one or more kid(s), a complete and total lack of time, and a low to negative amount of cash. And if you are in the Nashville area, odds are that you are at least newish to the area AND you might not have very much, if any, family in the area. Add all of that together, and that means you could definitely use a date night. Fortunately ThriftSmart has you covered for not one but two date nights!
As previously mentioned, there is a Guys Guide. But as a lady, there isn’t much that you are allowed to know about that for two reasons. First of all, you should stay in the dark because making it a surprise is half the fun. And secondly, it will probably help you set your expectations at a realistic level. In fact, realistic expectations are an important part of both date nights. This is meant to be something you can enjoy as a couple… a couple that now has kids. You aren’t the younger you, with free time and nothing but love to fill your home. You have kids, you don’t have have time. Everything is sticky and you don’t even know what clothes are cool right now, let alone own any of them.. You aren’t the younger you – you’re better!
You are married (congrats!), you have a family, and a husband that loves you enough to go try to make some special time for your relationship! For people with no kids, that’s easy. It doesn’t mean that much. Now your husband is climbing mountains to be with you… mountains of dirty laundry… that are mostly his. He is walking on burning coals… or at least legos which might be worse. And you are able to do bigger and better things than ever before! You are raising human beings to be bright, loving, successful adults, assuming you don’t send them to camp and move away first. You regularly provide for your family in a hundred ways and now you are are going to do more than just survive, you’re going the extra mile to show your husband just how much he means to you, and how much you care for him! Just don’t expect him to magically turn into someone who looks like George Clooney but is richer and has more free time. He’s still the same guy who thinks all radio should be sports talk radio.
Stay At Home
The Ladies Guide is basically a guide to a stay-at-home date. (Spoiler Alert) The Guys Guide is all about plans where you get to go out. So don’t give in to your constant low-grade cabin fever just yet. Inside is great… and manageable! Plus your kid(s) probably won’t kill themselves or anyone else. Instead, staying at home means that you get to lean into your strengths! You cook* dinner every night, you’re good at this! You handle your family while cooking and cleaning, you entertain small people with even smaller attention spans on a regular basis. This is what you are good at!
Set The Mood
We are going to be cooking in a moment, but before we do, let’s make sure that we have the correct ambiance prepared for the rest of the evening. First you need a theme. Not because you’re husband needs a theme, but because you do. And you want the theme of the evening to be neutral. Nothing too divisive or a favorite of one of the spouses (that’s despised by the other). That’s why you’re going to set a Latin Bohemian mood. This is perfect because it covers everything from cheap Mexican restaurant to fancy Salsa dancing. Also because it is very easy. Grab as many candles as you can find. Place them anywhere that won’t burn down the house, and put on this playlist. Bonus points if you head to a ThriftSmart and get something Latin-ish and flowy to wear for the evening. Any extras you want to do are up to you and your children’s capabilities.
As a new mom, you probably don’t have time to read much about cooking so instead, here is a New Mom Cooking Guide For A Romantic Meal:
Following dinner, you are going to keep the conversation going. Tonight isn’t movie night. Turning on Netflix means that you and your spouse won’t be talking with each and you both will be on your phones in 5 to 10 minutes anyway. TV is only for the kids if you want them neutralized. Otherwise they can join you for the next segment.
It is time for game night! If you have a family favorite game, great! If you want to find an old classic, we recommend swinging by ThriftSmart ahead of time and checking out one of our games. That way you aren’t spending a ton of money on a board game now that they are trendy again.
But if you don’t have time to pick up a game ahead of time, there are a few great games you can play on your phone as a group. Most are for two or more people, so your kids might be able to join you, depending on their respective ages. Sing! is basically at-home karaoke, which is always a blast, and being in the comfort of your own home surrounded by people are bound to you for life in the eyes of God and man means you can really shamelessly sing your heart out.
If you are looking for something even crazier, then you might want to check out Spaceteam. Each person in the room is on the crew of a spaceship and you need to shout instructions to everyone else to prevent your ship from crashing. This fun and hilarious game is a lot like parenting because everyone is shouting gibberish at everyone else and everyone’s lives hang in the balance. It is very relaxing.
At this point in the evening, many of you will have to pause the romance to put the kids to bed. Once they are bathed, pajamaed, teeth-brushed, etc, be sure to read them a few good bedtime stories and tuck them in. Because now it is time to just enjoy the company of your husband.
The best way to get started with the post-bedtime portion of the evening is to pour yourselves a drink and enjoy each other’s presence for a few moments. It doesn’t even have to be alcoholic. In fact, a great suggestion is this recipe that spices up (literally) a cup of hot chocolate. If you’re too cheap or don’t have time to get that fancy with your hot chocolate, sprinkling some chili powder, cinnamon, and a small splash of vanilla extract in your powder mix hot chocolate works almost as well.
After relaxing and conversing for a bit, a great way to wrap up the evening is by having your own bedtime story! Have your husband find a good book and read a chapter or two while sitting in front of the fire or even with both of you tucked in bed. If you don’t have anything in mind, here is a great free classic that is often forgotten about. You might even start a new bedtime tradition.