I’ve been happily married for almost 14 years…and I have five children.

Am I happy in my marriage every second, um no.

Do I look at my husband daily and fell a flutter in my heart, no again.

Does it still make my blood pressure climb every week when I gather armfuls of dirty laundry from the floor next to his side of the bed, yes.

Do I love him with all my heart, enjoy spending time with him, miss him when he’s gone, and is he the first person I want to talk to when something wonderful or terrible happens?

Yes.

Here’s the deal. Marriage is messy, it’s work and just like life, it’s full of good times and bad.

Throw in one, two, three (or more) children and you have a whole lot more of the mess, work and joy and a lot less time.

This is where my marriage has started to slide and crack in the past. Looking back, I wonder why, why didn’t we give into the weariness that comes with this phase of life? What made us different?

I kept coming back to one thing, Date night.

My husband and I go on one date a month. It’s a time to focus on each other and remember why you like the person you’ve been living with. Not to mention, the work that goes into making a date night shows that you are willing to put some effort into your marriage.

Below are a few tips and tricks to help you “save the date”. Try them, I bet in a few months you’ll notice a positive difference in your marriage.

  1. Save the Date

Sit down at the beginning of the month, pick your date night and write it on the calendar. No changing it, no moving it when something “better” comes up. It’s set in stone.

  1. Make Your Plan

The same time you pick your date night, make your plan (time and place) and book your sitter. If you have a nursing baby you can’t leave behind, bring them along. It’s still a date when you only have 1 baby with you instead of 3 kids! Another trick with a nursing baby that won’t take a bottle, is find a friend who can watch them for two hours. You can feed the baby at their home leave and be back in time for the next feeding.

Doing this right away is important, it eliminates the “I thought you called the sitter” fight AND when you know someone is planning to come you’re less likely to cancel.

  1. Get in the Mood

Half the reason I’m not motivated to go out on a date is all the prep that goes into it. Picking an outfit, taking a shower (shaving my legs) and fixing my hair and makeup while trying to keep kids out of my way can be overwhelming! Somewhere along the way, I came up with the genius idea of booking a sitter an hour earlier and/or telling my husband to keep the kids away for an hour. This turned getting ready into a fun pampering time for me and started our date off with me in the right mood.

  1. No Texts, No Tech

When the date starts it’s time to put your phones on vibrate (with kids at home you can’t just turn them off) and leave it in your jacket or face down on the table. The only texts or calls we will answer are from our sitter. I love to take a pic of my husband and I on date night, but I resist the temptation to post it during our actual date…we all know when you pick up the phone it’s hard to put it down!

  1. Talk

Some people have a no talking about the kids rule, not me. Of course we’re going to talk about our kids, it’s the number one thing we have in common lol! I’ve found we always start out the date talking about the kids and catching up and then naturally the conversation will move on to other things…and then back to the kids. It doesn’t matter what you’re talking about, as long as you’re talking.

That’s it, done, you have successfully saved the date, and maybe your marriage!

Cathy Holman is a 30 something mother of 5. Originally born in Milwaukee, this city girl went country all for the love of a Cowboy. Her blog, PrairieWifeInHeels.com is the place to go for heartfelt humorous posts about parenting, health and wellness (including her preventive mastectomy), fashion and beauty tips, product reviews and giveaways.  Read more about her adventures in Wyoming and learn how you can live a life of grit and grace at PrairieWifeInHeels.com.

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