Mommy blogging is the new pink

February 10, 2011 · 27 comments

Hi PDITF Readers,

I am a dear friend of the Ninja Household, and can proudly own 50% credit for their union. My husband (the other 50% responsible for the Ninja union) and I are here in San Diego visiting the Ninjas before they make the ever-so-exciting journey up to the Motherland….Seattle.  Yes, I was one of the 0.00005% who voted that the Ninjas abandon the “adventure” and take the safe route – home to the rain.

The hubby and I decided a mid-February, pre-Valentines, Ninjas-are-moving-to-Seattle-so-we-won’t-have-a-free-place-to-sleep-in-San-Diego mini vacation was a must.  Blake is escaping his fulltime job in the finance world, and I’m enjoying a much-needed break from being a full time stay-at-home-mom.  This is our first vacation without the little man, and it’s pure bliss. Does that make me a bad mom for saying that?

If you wanna know more about me, I chronicle most of my daily antics on my blog,  One in the SAHM. Read it. There’s a little bit of everything on there – home decorating, budgeting, baby woes, a little of this and a little of that, and even weird stick figure drawings.  Oh wait.  Nope, I’ll leave the stick figures to Ninja.  Really, it’s mostly just my ramblings.  I digress…

This trip comes with more purpose than just sunshine and California burritos, or even a free place to stay. What it really is, is a big investment in our marriage. We dropped our baby boy off with Grandma & Grandpa, so we can have five days in San Diego kiddo-free.  No naps.  No diapers.  What more do we need? Well, a pedicure would be nice, but I’ll take what I can get.

We’ve made it a line-item in our budget to PURPOSEFULLY spend money on each other. Sounds weird right?  Trust me, it makes life SOOOOO much more fun. This trip is just one example of how we’ve decided to spend that money.

On top of annual cheapo burrito trips to San Diego, we’ve also made the full-fledged investment in, and commitment to, a weekly date night.  Especially being new parents, we’ve really come to appreciate our date night time together.  Don’t worry though, to save some pennies (both on activities and babysitting), we’ve adopted an every other week Date Night In, Date Night Out strategy.

Date nights out are an adventure.  We attempt to paint the town red.  Sometimes limos are involved (okay, maybe once they’ve been involved), and lots of times dinner/dessert is involved.

And always some good….conversation.  :)

Red Box and some classic board games regularly make appearances on Date Night In evenings.

Coupled with a little bit of takeout (not cooking is heavenly),

Add these things together and we’ve got ourselves a great evening.

At least, that’s how we roll.  Purposefully spending money on the investment of our marriage: (at least) one trip a year sans baby, an every week rotating date night in, date night out strategy, and lots of hang out times with Ninja and GN.  I can guarantee this recipe is one of success.  No matter HOW you spend the money, if you are spending it on activities and events that will build your marriage – I promise you bliss.  Okay, maybe not bliss.  But at least a happy wife.  And we all know that a happy wife equals a happy life.

Ninja’s comments: Take a minute y’all to to say hey to my girl Ashley in the comments below. She is a faithful PDITF reader, and has just recently decided to get serious about this blogging gig. I’ve never thought of the date night in, date night out strategy. I like it. Do you guys have any dating systems that you utilize in your marriages/relationships? How do you keep things fun and exciting? How do you invest in your relationship?

{ 27 comments }

1 Kristia@Family Balance Sheet

After 10 years of marriage and 2 preschoolers, my husband and I only recently realized how important date night is to our marriage. It is so easy for a marriage to get kind of lost in the busy-ness of family and work life. Once a month, we take the kids to grandmas to spend the night and we go out to a nicer restaurant, one that you wouldn’t want to take two loud (but sweet) kids to. On the off weeks, we might watch a movie together and just UNPLUG. That has been huge too.

2 Eboo

We have date night in and date night out as well. Every 4-6 weeks we have double date night with another married couple who we enjoy spending time with for dinner and a movie. Hubby and I realised that making time to reconnect with one another is extremely important to us. It gives us the opportunity to reflect on why we do all that we do, and what we’re doing it for. I don’t want to end up one of those couples who, after the kids are out of the house, look at each other and think, who are you?

3 Mo D.

Hubby and I are DINKs, so we are lucky to have a little more free time than couples that have young children, but we do make it a point to spend quality time together, especially on the weekends; even if it’s just a drive to the next city’s waterfront, getting a coffee, and a leisurely walk by the lake… actually, that’s one of my favourite things to do.

We also make it a point to do a weekend away (rather local, no more than an hour away from home) once every 3 months. Hubby still has connections in the hotel industry, so we can cop some pretty sweet weekend rates. We live right in the middle of the Golden Horseshoe of Ontario… 45 min. North East is Toronto… 45 South East is Niagara Falls… we’re lucky to live in an area that provides so much fun stuff to do. Our jobs can be stressful, and Hubby’s is physically-demanding, so having that time to recharge the battteries is a necessity in our marriage. It also helps that Hubby’s my favourite person to hang with :-)

Hey Ashley! Great to meet you!! I’ll be checking out your blog PRONTO!

4 Laura

Great post! I’m getting married next weekend, and my fiance and I have talked extensively how we want to continue “dating” even when we have kids and we’re busy—we WILL make it a priority. I’ve told a few people that and they say that will “change” once we have kids. Glad to see a couple who is actually making it happen!

5 Ashley @ One in the SAHM

Congrats on getting married – what an exciting season! I think it’s a great goal to keep dating, no matter how long you’ve been married!

6 Makky's Mom

Sadly, our date nights have been lacking over these 11 yrs since we became parents. With no family nearby to babysit, that leaves only a teenage babysitter, which doubles the cost of a date night out. Swapping babysitting with other mothers works when you only have one or two kidlets, but I don’t have a line up of mothers wanting to babysit *3* children, and quite frankly, I don’t have the time to return the favour so it just doesn’t happen.

There IS a light at the end of the tunnel and that comes in the form of “THE PASSAGE OF TIME”. My oldest is turning 11 next week and with that comes the possibilities of having HIM babysit his younger sisters while we go out alone… it’s still a good year away, but it’s coming!!! I can almost taste it!

7 Ashley @ One in the SAHM

You’re right, we are very grateful to our family that is nearby and know that we’d have a much harder time carving out the time together without them. AND, I also know that with more munchkins running around it will be an additional variable in planning our date nights, but maybe even a date night in for you guys regularly would work? Send the little ones to bed early, and set up an inside picnic or something? Sounds like babysitting hope is just on the horizon for you guys either way though!

8 Will @ HackingTheBank.com

Man, I really need to implement something like this. Since the beginning of January I’ve been working 7am to 10pm at work and I can tell it’s getting to my girlfriend. Unfortunately, the times I’m home (Sunday), she’s usually working at least half the day. These won’t be my long time hours, but while they’re happening, I think that designating a “date night” would really do wonders in this department. It’s great to see that it’s working out well for you Ashley.

9 Ashley @ One in the SAHM

Wow Will – those are some serious long hours! I agree that your girlfriend would prob appreciate a “designated” time. We found it necessary to carve out specific time for a date night, otherwise we’d get caught up in life’s busyness and many a week/month would pass by before we’d hung out alone.

10 Melanie

We do have date night, but not as regularly as once a week. But I think we may want to insert this more often. Even if we only go out one date night out of four, and spend the rest at home, I would be good with that. This past week my husband called me after work and found a babysitter in record time so that we could get out and enjoy a nice dinner together. It was wonderful.
I like your blog, and I’ve added you to my reader. Keep up the good work.

11 Ashley @ One in the SAHM

Thanks Melanie. Yes, even just one of our four is a GREAT step and great idea. Establishing these type of habits, we’ve found (in our short 5 years of marriage) have been crucial to our happiness and ensuring that BOTH of us are making deposits into one another’s love banks. :) Thanks for stopping by my blog!

12 Trina

I love your blog! I actually clicked on it a couple weeks ago when you left a comment as ‘carbmom’…I thought maybe it was a mommy diet blog (carb like carbohydrate…not realizing it was your name:). Anyhoo, love the crafting posts and your photography tips!
Like Makkysmom said, finding alone time with 3 kids (ages 3 and under) is a bit tricky. We make do by having an in home date after the kids go to bed. Another idea is to have a date day at the gym…our local gym has child care (for 6 month olds and up), so we drop of the baby with a friend, take the twins to they gym and get to get our workout on together. Not necessarily romantic…but it is some ‘kid free’ time!

13 Ashley @ One in the SAHM

That’s a great idea Trina! As soon as we add a few more kids to the mix, I do know that finding a babysitter, and time alone, will become more difficult so that’s awesome that you guys have found a way that works for you! Thanks for stopping by my blog. :)

14 krantcents

We always had a date night (42 yrs of marriage)! Maybe that is why we lasted so long. Although there are no kids at home, we are going out for dinner tonight. When we had kids at home, we would go for walks together (just us) for 30 minutes. Alone time is important and can be free. Keep it up!

15 Ashley @ One in the SAHM

Walks together are a great idea. If we didn’t live in a state that was cold and rainy 350 days a year, I know that we would take advantage of that activity a lot more too!

16 Makky's Mom

You just reminded me… Oooh, I can hardly wait for this coming summer, because even though my oldest (turning 11 this week) isn’t quite old enough to babysit for longer than 30 minutes, we can FINALLY FINALLY FINALLY go for walks together ALL ALONE, holding hands and just talking about whatever we want without being interrupted. Of course, cell phone in hand, there’s always a chance our son will call with a mini-emergency that would cut our walk short, but it just sounds absolutely delicious to think we can finally start walking alone, even just for 20-30 minutes – a bit of alone time, a bit of exercise, a bit of experience for our young babysitter – it’s a win-win-win! Yippeeee! This is something I’ve been looking forward to for the last few years and now, just a few short months from now, it will be reality!

17 Michelle

Yay, Ashley – great post! DH & I take our daughter (who’s 4) to grandma’s house for the occasional adults-only weekend. Yes, DD comes home with more koolaid than blood in her veins and you don’t want to know how I know she likely eats her weight in oreos while she’s there, but it is so worth it!

18 Ashley @ One in the SAHM

I know, I used to worry about the “Grandma hangover” too, but now I’ve just come to terms with it knowing that it’s a must for our marriage! Thanks for commenting!

19 Makky's Mom

This is something I really am jealous of… we don’t have anyone close by and healthy enough to babysit our 3 kids for a weekend. In fact, since becoming parents 11 years ago, we have only spent 1 night away alone. Crazy, eh?

20 This Guy

Date night in, date night out is ridiculously sound advice. What a rock star concept. Need to get on something like that….. the only problem is the misses. I love this about her, don’t get me wrong, but she could not handle being away from out daughter that much. We probably go on dates or to events w/o the baby (14 months) once a month… and she dies. I’m not worried about out daughters separation anxiety, I’m worried her mom will have a heart attack. The longest we’ve been away was 13 hours for Ninja’s wedding.

Maybe Ninja and Girl Ninja have to give my wife a talking to. I’ve tried, but she just isn’t interested in a weekend away or more frequent nights out (once a week would be crazy).

Our marriage is fine. We’re happy, in love, and still find ways to make each other smile, get intimate, and fall in love over and over. But a little more one on one time would help with the preservation of that.

Ashley…… you’ve motivated me about as much befriending Ninja motivated me about personal finance.

21 Jenna

I’m not a big fan of surprises, however, being flexible enough to have impromptu dates is a must for me. Being able to make time to escape to a sporting event or grabbing dinner and renting a movie on a random night for no reason is a great investment in my eyes.

22 momninja

Ashley and Blake, thanks again for getting the Ninja household to happen! We love GN!
Date nights are important and I am glad you are taking time to do that, hey you could
always bootcamp date night.(inside joke)

Enjoy your time as I am there next week for my “Ninjas-are-moving-to-Seattle-so-we-won’t-have-a-free-place-to-sleep-in-San-Diego mini vacation”

23 Ashley @ One in the SAHM

Oh man, I was so sore after bootcamp, I have done everything in my power to stay away from there ever since. :) Have so much fun though next week! The sun feels SO good!

24 First Gen American

My husband and I both work and also both travel, so some weeks I feel like we hardly see each other. You reminded me to make it a priority again. I don’t think I could leave my kids and go on vacation without them though. I don’t feel like I get enough time with them as it is so I love our vacation time.Thank you.

25 Anonymous

Hi Ashley–great post! I will check out your blog. Your husband/wife should always be the priority. If I’m not mistaken, that’s a Bible mandate, too. I think one of the main reasons my parents are divorced is that they totally forgot about each other once they had kids and they never recovered from that.

26 youngandthrifty

MMMM is that a bowl of PHO take out???

It’s 1 in the morning and now I have a pho craving. lol, thanks!

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