Menu

Parents go about 2 months on average without a date night out, says study

But what’s good for you as a couple is good for your kids, so don’t feel bad about prioritizing your marriage. 

Parents go about 2 months on average without a date night out, says study

For years, we imagine a future, a family, a lifetime of happiness with our partner. Then, when the day arrives that two become three, everything changes. And while this often means seeing your partner through adoring eyes as they thrive in parenthood, it can also mean seeing your partner less—period—as the demands of a baby can feel overwhelming.


Statistics prove it: 41% of parents with a baby younger than one reported they “can’t remember” the last time they had kid-free time together, according to a new survey by Plum Organics. On average, parents go two months without connecting as a couple outside of the house.

FEATURED VIDEO

While much of this is natural, it doesn’t mean we should passively accept the demotion of our romantic relationship, says Esther Perel, author of Mating in Captivity and an expert for Plum Organic’s “Keeping it Together” campaign.

“A child enters the system and a child needs to integrate into the system. The system needs to adapt to the fact that there is a new child, but the system doesn’t have to stop existing,” Perel tells Motherly. “This is the way I tell it to parents: I say, ‘You adore your baby... But, today, the only reason your family will survive is because the couple is happy.’”

And if intimacy—both physical and emotional—seems to be a bigger priority for one partner than the other, Perel says that’s okay.

“If your partner wants to remain intimate with you, instead of telling them, ‘How can you think about this right now? I’m so not interested,’ actually thank them for thinking about something that you’re not able to think about,” Perel says. “What the other person is holding up is probably a piece that you’re not holding up, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not needed.”

Rather than worrying you aren’t on the same page, Perel suggests leaning on your individual strengths by having one person plan the details of a date and the other one shore up the logistics—because this is a partnership, after all.

“One person is attending more to the provider needs and the other one is attending also to the belonging needs of the couple and you straddle that ladder,” Perel says. “Since the resources are more thin, you can’t attend to everything.”

What else can you do to bond as a couple? Here are some ideas:

1. Don’t take it too seriously

Working together, make that effort to break out of the roles of parents and back into the roles of two fun-loving people.

While dinner and a movie may be the old standard, Perel says to look for ways to move, whether with dancing, hiking, biking or whatever else that is “actually more playful.” This, she says, allows you to engage “with each other around something else than just the two of you.” (And, chances are, you won’t be as preoccupied with thoughts of what baby is doing when you’re focused on getting the footing right for the rumba.)

2. Look for little opportunities to connect

As important as these grounding moments are to the health of your relationship, there are dozens more small ways to connect on a daily basis: It can be something as simple as having coffee together in the morning or asking a friend to watch an evening television show at your house while you and your partner sneak out for a post-bedtime ice cream date.

3. Leave baby talk out of check-ins

On a daily basis, Perel says to do a deliberate check-in—where you don’t answer the question “How are you?” with a description of how the baby is doing. Rather, allow yourself to open up and give your partner the space to do the same. As she says, “It’s very interesting what starts to happen because people start to feel like they’re not taken for granted.”

Remember, making an effort to spend quality, one-on-one time together helps you to enjoy the best of both worlds: The love that brought you and your partner together in the first place plus a deeper sense of gratitude for the partner you get to experience parenthood alongside.

You might also like:

14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

Shop

Sorry, you can’t meet our baby yet

Thank you for understanding. ❤️

In just over three weeks, we will become parents. From then on, our hearts will live outside of our bodies. We will finally understand what everyone tells you about bringing a child into the world.

Lately, the range of emotions and hormones has left me feeling nothing short of my new favorite mom word, "hormotional." I'm sure that's normal though, and something most people start to feel as everything suddenly becomes real.

Our bags are mostly packed, diaper bag ready, and birth plan in place. Now it's essentially a waiting game. We're finishing up our online childbirth classes which I must say are quite informational and sometimes entertaining. But in between the waiting and the classes, we've had to think about how we're going to handle life after baby's birth.

FEATURED VIDEO

I don't mean thinking and planning about the lack of sleep, feeding schedule, or just the overall changes a new baby is going to bring. I'm talking about how we're going to handle excited family members and friends who've waited just as long as we have to meet our child. That sentence sounds so bizarre, right? How we're going to handle family and friends? That sentence shouldn't even have to exist.

Keep reading Show less
Life
International Network for Aid, Relief and Assistance (INARA)

It's 2020. The world is changing. It's hard to believe but the old decade is over, the new one is here and it is bringing a lot of new life with it. The babies born this year are members of Generation Alpha and the world is waiting for them.

We're only a few months into the new year and there are already some new celebrity arrivals making headlines while making their new parents proud.

If your little one arrived (or is due to arrive) in 2020, they've got plenty of high profile company.

Here are all the celebrity babies born in 2020 (so far):

Keep reading Show less
News