Leaving your baby is something that puts many of us (like me!) into a panic. You probably already know I’m a very anxious person. So going out? Not my top priority.
If I’m being honest, I was a complete wreck after I had my son. If you’re following me on Instagram, you might have seen my post discussing my irrational terror of having cats anywhere near me after I gave birth.
I’m sad to say that that’s not the only thing my anxiety did to me. It took me AGES to leave the house with my baby. And leaving the house without my baby? Ha. You’re joking, right?
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But then one day, I thought about my marriage. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happily married and my husband seems content with how things are now. But we haven’t been on a date in god knows how long.
I began to miss my husband. The man that was sitting right next to me started seeming incredibly far away. I felt like we were business partners: working together toward the same goal, but without the passion a marriage needs.
So, I told my husband I wanted to go on a date. At first, he laughed (no, seriously, he did). Our son is very attached to me (and my boobs). But I was determined.
So the planning began.
Related: Why I Love Breastfeeding
Deciding Where to Go
Remember how I said I have some serious anxiety? Well, this was my idea for a “first date” (something to warm us up for a “real date” later down the road).
We would have his sister watch our little one in a different room while we ate a home-cooked dinner and relaxed and talked about things other than the baby. Note: different room but still the same house.
Trust me, I’m well aware of how insane I sound.
But I figured, if that went well, I’d feel better about going out out.
I would suggest something similar if you have anxiety about leaving your little one. It doesn’t need to be a family member, you could test out a babysitter and be just a room away in case there are any issues.
The First Date
My advice is to keep baby talk to an absolute minimum, and have the baby being watched nearby, but out of eyesight and earshot.
While it’s natural to want to talk all things baby (especially as a SAHM, sometimes I forget there’s a world beyond my baby), I think it’s important to focus on other things during this time.
If you’re like me and feel like you have nothing to talk about, try to dig back in your memory to the last actual first date you had. What things did you talk about?
- News and current events (although I try to avoid the news…)
- TV, movies, music, or books
- The future
I know it seems silly to think about what to say to your spouse, but it helped me!
Also, just because it’s not a “real” date, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t treat it like a real date. Do your makeup, wear a dress, hell, put on those gorgeous, strappy heels. If it’s in the budget, buy something new (clothes, jewelry, perfume) for the special occasion.
I know you rarely (if ever) put yourself first anymore, but do it tonight. I promise you that it will be worth it and make a world of difference!
Round Two: The Actual Date
Okay, so you’re feeling better about leaving your little one for a few hours, right? Perfect. Now it’s time for a “real” date.
Obviously, the preparation for this date will vary depending on who is watching the baby, where they’re watching him, and how old he is. But make sure you cover the basics (if nothing else, it will make you feel better).
- Have plenty of food, formula, or expressed milk on hand (you may want to include instructions on how to prepare these)
- Have a baby first aid kit on hand and accessible (with a Nose Frida, thermometer, and anything else your baby might need– I put my favorite picks down below)
- Leave a copy of Emergency Information with the sitter. I made this for myself and thought I’d share it with all of you. I covered all the bases I could think of, but if you think of anything else, shoot me an email and I’ll update it.
My advice for this date is to try to make rules for yourself. Things like, “I’ll only check my phone every half hour” (I know that might still seem like a lot, but hey, it’s better than every five minutes, right?!). You may want to gently remind yourself that you’re only allowed to mention the baby three times. You get the idea.
And hey, since you already “practiced”, this date should be a bit easier.
If possible, you might want to have the sitter come early and watch the baby while you get ready for your hot date. That just depends, though. I know some babies are perfectly content to bounce in their jumper while mommy gets dolled up (I just wasn’t blessed with one haha!).
Now go out, enjoy your night on the town. Do something a little wild! (You know, like eating a meal while it’s actually hot)
Have you gone on a date since your LO was born? Are you planning on using these tips soon? Don’t forget to grab your free printable to leave with the sitter!