Plan a Weekly Date Night. Relationship Advice for Special Need Parents.
Updated: Feb 27, 2021
Often times as a parent of a child with special needs we push are relationship to the side and make our child the main focus. We are juggling life and therapies. We forget about this part of our lives we signed up for, our relationships. In this article we are discussing tips to kindle the relationship with a date night.
Pick the day.
So looking over your schedule and picking a day that suits everyone is important. We chose Wednesday it being hump day and all. Just kidding . It's mid week and Shay doesn't do any therapy on Wednesday so less chance of a meltdown during our time and we just wasn't getting much time together during the week. My man works Monday-Friday. So we spent time together on the weekend.
Arrange care of your child.
This often times is how we have set in our mind of why we can't do anything. We feel bad asking people to watch our special child and we are afraid to trust anyone with their care. So getting your self comfortable with this is important. Also things to consider are your child's actually need. Like for example I would never use a playtime drop in for Shay but I would have with my son who is also on the spectrum.
Some care ideas
Family or Friend - Someone your child is already got a special bond with is always the best pick for the night to go with no hitches.
Playtime Drop In - This is only a good choice for a child that will be able to handle the sensory environment and not have any separation anxiety
A Trusted Teenager- Is a great choice for in home date night. They are affordable. They are still connected with their inner child so it will be easy for them to build a relationship with your child. Do a few supervised visits to prep them for caring for child and to build the relationship for them to bond with each other. In the event of a going out night have the teenager watch them under the supervision of parents.
If it comes down to just not having anyone. Plan an earlier bedtime for your child and overlook your exhaustion and stay up a little longer. This idea works great for small children that can't tell time yet.
Decide where home or out.
Another thing we face as parents of a special needs child is financial burden. So going out weekly to dinner and paying for child care just might not be in our budget. We do a lot of in home dates. We only go out for special occasions. This is also where I found my comfort zone. My daughter who is 15 watches her a few hours every Wednesday. This is a good pick for using a trusted teenager .
Make it the routine.
Often times our children function by a very set routine. Disrupting that routine can lead to meltdowns and sleep issues . I plan date night ahead it's part of our routine. I plan an easy meal or pick up something. I get dressed up even though we do most date nights at home. It's date night I put just as much thought into it as I would a real date before kids.
Setting ground rules.
This may seem silly but it is a must do. We decided on certain topics to not discuss during date night.
autism or anything related. Nothing about therapy. Nothing about something I learned or read about.
Financial problems is the number one cause of divorce. Don't talk about it on date night. One night a week don't think about money.
The kids. We love our children dearly but from birth they consume us. Spending date night talking about the kids is not romantic. You want it to be about you and your partner.
I hope this is helpful and you got a chance to read it. Leave a comment below. I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas for date nights.