April works full time in higher education balancing her time between her special needs son, handsome husband, elderly mother, and new baby coming in May 2014. She has a background in theatre, film, and television but somehow stumbled into the educational field. She loves spending time with her family, dreaming of the beach and organizing her house.

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Date Night At Home

Parents of special needs children don’t always get a lot of time for themselves.  They often get even less due to the nature of their child’s disability.  I know from experience that you don’t always have the extra funds to not only pay for a babysitter that can handle your child, but to pay for anything extra while you are out.  There are a few ways that we can create a date night and take the time we need to relax a little.

Here are some ideas about how to maximize your time as a couple:

  1. Put your child to bed early and prepare or pick up a late dinner.  Dim the lights, maybe eat on your porch with some romantic music, and just enjoy being with each other.
  2. Put your child to bed early.  Make popcorn or prepare your favorite snack/dessert.  Get a movie from redbox, your collection or swap movies with friends or family.
  3. Find another couple that has a special needs child as well.  Work out in advance what each child needs.  Swap babysitting time and create a babysitting swap.  My parents did this years ago and it was a wonderful advantage.  We got to play with a variety of kids and learned how to interact.  My parents were able to get away without too much financial commitment.
  4. Put your child to bed early.  Break out the board games and snacks.  Challenge the other with your favorite childhood game.
  5. After your child is in bed, break out the picnic blanket and turn your livingroom into a romantic evening at the park.  Feed each other grapes, cheese, and your favorite drink.  Turn the lights down low or light candles to set the mood.  You can even put classical music or your favorite soft music on in the background.
  6. If your husband loves video games, pull up a seat and compete against him.  Races are great fun.  Just don’t wake up the kid(s) with your yelling!
  7. Again after your child is in bed, have a fashion show for your husband.  Pick out your sexiest outfit and let the fun begin!

These are just a few of the many, many dates you can have and still find time to relax.  A date doesn’t have to tax your wallet and you can create your own time together.  As a parent of a special needs child, you need to make time to turn off the parent and become the couple you were before children.  It just takes planning and a little imagination.  Enjoy!

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