I can remember being a young parent and having the simultaneous joy and pressure of having a new baby. And, a toddler, too, for that matter. While I truly loved every moment of being a new mother with a young child, and then two children, I was exhausted all the time. So was my husband. Both of us worked full-time jobs, and the amount of energy it took to get dinner on the table, kids into the bath, and a story read every night was tremendous. The bright spot in our days was the look in our children’s eyes when we came home and the three (or four) of us had time together.
It made it all worthwhile.
Fast forward thirty years, and I’m watching my child parent a toddler. I see that same look in her eyes, the fatigue that I remember all too well, and know that she needs a night out with her husband. There is nothing better for a relationship than time alone to reconnect, sit quietly together or talk, maybe enjoy a meal out, and just relax. We lived far from family and had to arrange for babysitting on these nights out. For our daughter, we’re able to be close by to actively participate in the babysitting efforts and give her some much-needed time alone with her husband.
I can remember that, in those days, the “dates” with my husband became all about where we were going to go to dinner. Each date revolved around a meal rather than an activity. Looking back, I think the reason it was always dinner (or an occasional lunch) was because of decision-fatigue and pure exhaustion. We were both tired and the easiest thing to do was go out for dinner. There was very little thought involved and the activity didn’t require more than sitting and eating. The question on a "date night" was always, “Where do you want to go for dinner?” Usually, it was our favorite restaurant that was close enough in case the babysitter called.
That was then and this is now.
Now, with Instagram feeds and the internet, Yelp reviews, and ratings for everything, I wonder how we ever managed in those days. But we did, and while dinner was always a nice night out, I see how a fun date idea can get a young couple out of their comfort zone and reconnected in ways that dinner doesn’t. Adventure is good for the soul and so is a degree of unpredictability. Adventure, or something that takes us a little bit out of our comfort zone, is good for our mental health. That's the beauty of Date Deck™. It changes up the dating routine so dating doesn't become routine. It gives you ideas for new things to do as a couple.
Studies show that people who engage in a variety of new experiences more often retain positive emotions and minimize negative ones. The reason for this is that the novelty center of the brain responds to new stimuli. Doing or seeing something new can activate this system and trigger dopamine pathways, which make us feel good and rewarded. Another element of trying something new is relatability. In other words, if you and your “date” do something new together, you have an increased sense of shared purpose. This increases connectedness and growth, which can improve your body’s defenses, both mentally and physically. It’s like a boost for your health that’s fun.
For this reason, we have created Date Deck™, part of our line of life Hack Decks™. Life Hack Decks™ are prompt cards that reduce or eliminate decision-fatigue, something that keeps us from trying something new. Our motto: “work smarter, not harder” is about taking the brainwork or brain fatigue out of simple things like what to do on your next date. This saves your energy for something else. And at the same time, you have a wonderful time or experience with your partner and do things you may never have dreamed of doing. (Check out our card on going zip-lining and the Instagram reels from those who actually went to GoApe!). While some feel guilty taking time from our children to have fun as a couple, in truth this helps you be a better parent to your child. Your energy is renewed and you are refreshed to tackle their needs. Inside the box are some of the best date ideas a couple can experience together. We say, Delegate to the Deck™.
When mom and dad are happy and connected, life is easier during this demanding period of life. Sometimes it takes looking back to see that this connection is one of the best gifts you can give to your child and family. Taking care of a little personal time recharges your batteries and gives you the energy you need to get through sleepless nights, the terrible twos, and all the wonderful times in between.
Using Date Deck™, a life hack, takes the pressure off both people in the relationship to figure out how to spend time together. Date Deck™ outsources date ideas. No one feels resentful or pressure for planning a night out. As soon as the babysitter arrives, you’re off to do something fun and different, and will come home happy and mentally restored.
About Date Deck™
Date Deck™ is a wonderful, thoughtful gift to give to new parents and one of the best gifts you can give to a couple with young children. At $19.95, the box contains 52 cards that encourage couples to go a little beyond their comfort zones. Ideas include “Do something that scares you together, like a zip-line or rollercoaster.” Another is, “Go cosmic bowling, play laser tag, or play arcade games.” Other, less adventurous ideas include, “Go to a Farmers Market." "Buy some flowers.” Or “Go wine or beer tasting.” The decision is up to you. And you don't need to have children to enjoy it. As a newlywed couple or those who are dating, it keeps your relationship and romance alive.
Just go out and have some fun together. Do something different. Little tweaks to your relationship can have a huge impact on your happiness. Pick up a Date Deck™ today and do something different with that special someone.