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10 Date Night Ideas for Tired Parents

Updated: Apr 11

When was the last time you and your partner actually had a date night since the kids were born? If you are anything like me and my husband, we are tired parents! It takes a lot to mustering up the energy to get out of the house for a date night after a long day of working and parenting feels impossible even if you have child care.  

In the Gottman's research around healthy relationships, they see that couples that have 2 hours a week for a date night feel more connected, supported and like they are a team! It is especially important to find this time for each other when we are in this tough stage of life! If we go too long without date nights, we can start feeling like you are just ships passing in the night. So, this week, I'm going to share with you some simple date night ideas for tired parents that you can do at home in your pjs if you want after the kids go down so that you can still feel connected to each other!

10 date night ideas for tired parents

10 Date Night Ideas for Tired Parents!

  1. Update your love maps

    1. Download the Gottman Card Decks app on your phone and click on the love maps card deck. This will take you through questions about each other that we tend to forget to ask! Things like, what is your favorite book right now, favorite musician, current hobbies... It is easy to have an outdated love map of your partner so be easy if your partner gets a question wrong. It is about updating each other, not getting mad if your partner doesn't know the answer to a question.

  2. Write short poems about your current life

    1. It does not take long to write a haiku. It is a 3 line poem that can be silly, heart felt, sad, frustration outlet or romantic. Here is a haiku me and my husband wrote about us being pregnant. Little baby bump Take your time cooking in momma Daddy needs a nap Nothing special, doesn't need to be the best poem in the world, but is fun, light hearted and we were able to laugh about the acknowlegement that we are going to be very sleep deprived soon!

  3. Share 3-5 positive adjectives with each other

    1. This is another activity from the Gottmans research. We might say things like "thank you" and "I love you" but do we ever stop and give a reason for why we say these things? Doing this activity gives you a chance to really stop and show your partner how much you appreciate them. Pick an adjective and the a time in the recent past that your partner has displayed this adjective. Make it detailed and heart felt!

      1. ex: Before dinner tonight when I was making dinner and you were on the floor singing with our baby, you were so gentle and in tune with her. It looked like you were really soaking in the moment and she was so engaged with you. It really lit up my heart to see such a special moment with the two most important people in my life.

  4. Create a watch list on your favorite streaming platform

    1. We all know that there are night where we just want to turn on a show or movie and zone out. We also know that on those nights it can take just as long to agree on what to watch as it takes to watch it. Having a dedicated date night to just watch trailers, talk about if it is worth watching and then adding it to the watch list can not only be fun, but time saving when you have a night where you just want to zone.

  5. Draw portraits of each other

    1. No, you do not have to be an artist to do this date night. It can just be silly and something to do. If you do not want to draw portraits of each other, you can also just draw something that reminds you of your partner and then talk about why you picked that thing to draw.

  6. Surprise your partner with their favorite late night snack and talk about your life dreams.

    1. Take a few minutes out of your day to run to the store or gas station and pick up a fun snack that you know your partner enjoys. Share the snack/s after the kids go down for bed and talk about all your goals and dreams for your future selves.

  7. Do a blind taste test of different brands of your favorite drink / food

    1. This one takes a little more effort because you have to spend some time in setting up. Going to the store, taking the drinks/ food out of their packages. It takes way less effort than going out at night though! ex: Go get a few different brands of cream soda and have your partner guess what brand goes to what drink.

  8. Make food for the kids and then order take out from your favorite restaurant and eat it without any technology to distract your from each other.

    1. Eating out with the whole family can be expensive and also exhausting trying to manage and feed children in a public place. It can also get pretty expensive to buy dinner and a babysitter. Rather than never going out to dinner, bring the restaurant to your house. Order take out, set the table, light some candles turn on soft music in the background, and put away your phones, turn of the tv and just be with each other!

  9. Find a podcast / book to listen to together and pause after 30 minutes to talk about it.

    1. Sometimes, reading can even be a chore when you are so tired! It can also be really hard to come up with things to talk about if you are not doing anything besides work and child rearing. Find something you both like, listen to it and then chat about it later. This not only is low energy, but can give you something fun to talk about!

  10.  Massage each others shoulders / feet while sharing your highlights of the year

    1. Who doesn't like a nice massage! You might not be comfortable touching each others feet, but pick a body part that you are comfortable touching and give each other a nice massage. Yes, a nice massage, not one of those "can you give me a massage?" and then it only lasts for like 3 seconds. While you are touching each other, talk about all the good things that have happened during the year. Weekend trips that were taken, funny moments with each other or with your children, family visits, moments with friends, fun dates you had...

Remember, you are not alone is being the only tired parent. We are in this together and we want for you both to feel connected and supported. Taking the time out to be with each other can be really difficult, but so worth it!! If you are struggling feeling connected please feel free to reach out for couples therapy! Being in a relationship is hard during this time and sometimes, reaching out for outside support is the best thing for you and your relationship!


Hi, I’m Kristina Anzell, I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker dedicated to helping you prepare for and navigate the challenges of growing your family through specialized and compassionate mental health support. My mission is to empower you to find balance and to thrive in your role as a a new parent. If you enjoyed this blog post, check out my blog here! If you want more information or are seeking treatment, feel free to reach out!

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