We love supporting local businesses and bloggers. That’s why we’re excited to have Kristina Lough from the blog, “Loughs in Love” and local business, “Painted by the Shore“. You can find her beautiful hand painted totes, glasses and other goodies in shops across Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. We hope you enjoy her fun (and honest) perspective of motherhood and date nights. Make sure to leave her a comment if you’ve enjoyed her post!
About a year before baby, my husband Eric and I instituted Friday date nights. Each week we take turns planning something fun to do together. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just a chance to set aside everything else and enjoy time with one another.
Cue baby Cooper. Our first date night after Coops was born consisted of Chinese food and bedtime for the both of us at 7:30pm. We were exhausted and actually getting that quality time back seemed seriously far fetched. Especially when the next couple of weeks passed with the same, take out food and early to bed.
Until one Friday I announced that I needed a night out. So we called mom to babysit, grabbed a six pack and headed to one of our favorite outdoor restaurants, Lenny and Joe’s. It was perfect and though leaving Cooper at home that first time was harder than I could have imagined, it was necessary for us both to take a breather.
In the couple of months that followed, we took date night to a whole new level; going from drives along the shoreline (in a car without a car seat), trips to the movie theater and romantic dinners to tables for three. We still take turns planning, only now the dates are (usually) more family oriented. Here are a few examples:
Hubs planned this one – we packed up the stroller, ordered a pizza, picked up a bottle of wine and headed to Jacob’s Beach in Guilford, CT where we dined and walked along the water’s edge.
Super Fun Night In
This date night was all me – I grilled pizza (super easy to make, I’ll share the recipe later on Loughs in Love), rented The Big Short (something that led to learning lots of new investment terms) and busted out the glow-in-the-dark ring toss (which turned into less tossing and more watching Coops shake the rings happily in the air).
Ice Cream is Our New Best Friend
When I was pregnant, ice cream was one of my more frequent cravings. It didn’t matter if it was February and on the brink of snowing. When that Ashley’s Ice Cream craving hit, we were headed to the car as fast as I could waddle. It’s a little easier to walk now but the craving still hits once and a while, leading to lots of ice cream visits over the summer.
Fall is Fair Season
Fairs are one of our favorite ways to spend a fall evening – the perfect combination of farm animals, delicious food and games. So we bundled Coops up, loaded the stroller and headed out to the Guilford Fair this past Friday. It was a perfect night filled with together-time and watching our sweet baby meet four-legged friends with kicks and smiles that made it all the more memorable.
Foote Memorial Park in our hometown of Branford, CT is one of our favorite spots, morning or afternoon. It’s filled with playgrounds for all ages, a walking path, marina views and exercise equipment. The perfect area to walk and chat or set up a blanket with baby, a bottle and snacks.
Are date nights less romantic with baby? Occasionally yes, and in particular when you’re having a sunset picnic and he explodes out his pants and into the car seat he’s sitting in (#truestory). But it’s more romantic and special in so many other ways that I treasure setting or asking for a table for three, or two, depending on the night 😉
More About our Guest Blogger
About the author: Hi! I’m Kristina; owner of Painted by the Shore, blogger behind Loughs in Love, wife to Eric and new mom to Cooper. We live in Branford, CT with our 2 Basset Hound mixes and Bobtail. I love all things creative, date nights (obviously) and bonding with other bloggers (like Stacey & Eric) over a shared love for writing.