Dating When you Have Young Kids: How to Make a Date Jar

Here’s a little secret… marriage is hard! After a long day of wrangling kids, doing the ever mounting dishes, folding the Leaning Tower of Pisa laundry, you may collapse on the couch wondering, is there really time or energy for your spouse? I am here to let you know the answer is no. Just kidding. It is possible; it just takes some planning and creativity.

Realistically, you can’t just drop everything and go to the movies. Your ten year old is not quite old enough to watch the kids. However, there is an alternative that has worked great for my family, and it may work for yours as well. Drum roll please… a date jar! A date jar is a container full of ideas to do with your spouse. This breaks up the usual routine of “go-to” ideas, and spices things up a bit.

Dates don’t have to be expensive and don’t have to take a lot of time.

Here are some suggestions to incorporate dates back into your marriage. So there is no more excuses for not spending quality time together. :) 

  1. Set predefined rules: No skipping out if you aren’t in the mood.
  2. If you can, plan a week ahead of time so that your calendars are cleared, and you can gather any supplies you may need.
  3. Have kids go in their room by a set time. We choose 8:00, but whatever time works for you.
  4. It is fun to plan a date once a week, because there is something to look forward to, and also is not too overwhelming with planning. 
  5. Plan some activities specifically for each spouse. A relationship isn’t all about one person. The majority of dates should be ones that you can both agree on, and both look forward to doing. 
  6. Plan events that are possible in your house or backyard. 
  7. It’s fun to include a bunch of throwback pictures in the date jar, because it reminds you of the fun memories you’ve had. 

Here are some possible date ideas that you could use:

  • Have a pillow fight
  • Decorate ceramic mugs
  • Order favorite takeout
  • Buy a favorite dessert
  • Read corny jokes and try to crack each other up
  • Watch a wedding video
  • Buy a small treat for the other person to pamper them
  • Have a tasting party
  • Have a theme night complete with themed meals, drinks and decor
  • Fondue for two
  • Play pool
  • Play card game
  • Play ping pong
  • Movie night
  • Have a throwback night! Watch some old videos or look through old pictures
  • Share goals for at least 1 year ahead, 5 years ahead, and 10 years ahead
  • Play air hockey
  • Play 20 questions
  • Paint and sip: Grab your favorite type of canvas and beverage and spend time together
  • Play a board game
  • Have a video game tournament
  • Watch funny YouTube videos together
  • Sit outside and watch the stars
  • Have a bonfire
  • Make a puzzle

I hope these ideas will make your date night a little easier and more manageable. My husband and I have been planning date nights for about a year now, and we have had a lot of great laughs and memories to show for it. May your relationship not only survive, but thrive!

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

Here is how to get started

  • Find a fancy jar/basket
  • Make your list, and print it
  • Then cut ideas into individual strips
  • Pick out weekly or however often you decide
  • Enjoy each other! :)