For those times when this:
due to not having a babysitter available, or not having one who will still talk to you after spending a few hours being constantly tested by your kids.
Here is what you do:
1. Forgo the nice restaurant dinner. (You’ll save money to boot.)
2. Find a coffee shop with a small room and a table that seats more than 2. Even better, one with a table right next to the couch that does seat only two.
3. Explain that this is a date for Daddy and Mommy. That means only Daddy and Mommy get to enjoy the date treat. (They can do their own dates and treats when they get married. If you are feeling a bit guilty, maybe buy some hot cocoa or tea for them to enjoy.)
4. Sit the kids on the same side of the table or at the table while you are on the couch. Clearly define the “kids’ area” and the “date area”. Little hands shall not cross the magical line.
5. Give the kids something to do to occupy them – My husband saved the day by giving them his phone and letting them watch a movie … in the middle of the day!
6. Have grown-up conversation, reminding those who might interrupt that if they can’t enjoy their privilege (of a movie, game, toy, etc.), then they are allowed to sit quietly in their seats with nothing.
It may not have been the most romantic date ever, but it was a nice moment when much needed. Sometimes that is all it takes.
Next date night: front porch swing after kids’ bed times, with watermelon slices and coffee. (No one says you have to have the same thing.)