Recently, when a panel of work at home moms were interviewed on Momversation, an editorial feed and online women’s community, about the role that date night played in their marriages, all the work at home moms on the panel unanimously agreed that date night was vital for maintaining a healthy marriage and family.

Asha Dornfest, web publisher and work at home mom of two, described her weekly date night as “crucial,” stressing, “I don’t even think it’s a nice thing to do.  I think it is absolutely essential if you can possibly swing it.”  Dornfest is the co-founder of Parent Hacks, an online resource for parents and her advice comes straight off the pages of her blog.  “It’s just impossible to maintain the kind of bond you need for a really strong family and a strong marriage without giving it regular, positive attention.”  In the spirit of Dornfest’s advice for fellow work at home moms, here are the top 10 romantic date ideas for working couples who need a break.

1)  Remember the good old days

A surefire way for a work at home mom to rekindle the romance with her spouse is to remember what caused the original sparks to fly.  Take a trip to your favorite haunt from way back when and see if you still get those first date jitters.

2)  Rethink the blind date

Plan separate trips to the hair dresser and barber and consider investing in a few new additions to your wardrobe.  Then, meet your spouse in a designated spot for a married twist on the old blind date.  For the busy, work at home mom, a simple haircut can feel like a makeover.  When both partners feel attractive and confident in their own bodies, they are likely to feel attracted to one another as well.

3)  Pump up the adrenaline

Embarking on a physical challenge that raises your heart rate and pumps up your adrenaline can actually reproduce the same hormones in your body that you felt during your initial courtship with your spouse.  Plan a skydive or a bungee date and re-live the jittery excitement of butterflies in the stomach.

4)  Stay out past your bedtime

Take a lesson from frisky, young lovers and stay out later than usual.  Many a work at home mom is quick to forget the laundry and the dirty bathroom when she is dancing into the wee hours of the morning.  Leave your troubles at home for a few extra  hours and lose yourself on a late night date.

5)  Spend a kid-free night at home

Enlist a family member or friend to babysit the kids off-site and then curl up in your favorite spot and enjoy some quality time together without having to leave the house.  Sometimes, the last thing a work at home mom wants to do is dash out the door, even if the special occasion is the opposite of an errand.  Couples tend to agree that sometimes a quiet evening at home be worlds more romantic than an exciting night on the town.

6)  Steal away for a clandestine rendezvous

Make a few phony excuses about meetings or coffee dates and steal away together instead.  Sharing a secret is a surprisingly powerful way to fortify the bond between a work at home mom and her husband.  Stealing a half hour with her spouse from time to time enlivens a work at home mom’s routines with spontaneity while reminding her husband of the excitement they freely enjoyed before starting a family.

7)  Make a difference together

Consider donating the couple time you designate for each other to those in need.  Giving to others can be powerfully redemptive for a marriage and especially empowering for a work at home mom because it offers her an opportunity to give back and participate in community life as a citizen instead of simply a business bank account.

8)  Surprise each other

The element of surprise is a key way to keep a marriage fresh and exciting.  A surprise date is sure to break the monotony of a work at home mom’s routine, with the underlying potential to completely sweep her off her feet.  Pam Young is a work at home mom that has been happily married to her business partner for over 22 years.  Although the couple is nearing their silver anniversary, romance is still a regular part of their relationship.  When describing her husband’s romantic side, Young recalls, “Well, like tomorrow, he had a surprise for me tomorrow…when he told me what [it] was, it was just so romantic to me…so, I think surprises, as far as women go, are romantic.”

9) Organize a play date

Clowning around with your spouse can be more romantic that it sounds.  Says Young, “I think what makes me romantic more than anything is to be laughing together and playful together and having fun and enjoying his company.”  Forget candles and roses, a new breed of work at home mom is wooed by comedy, not poetry.  Buy tickets to a show at a comedy club or sign up for a beginner’s improv class to gauge the potency of this trendy aphrodisiac.

10)  Plan an evening “away” with a hotel stay

You don’t need to go far to feel like you’re a million miles away.  Look into local hotels or bed and breakfasts and plan a little hometown vacation for your next free weekend.  Just eight hours in a hotel bed (even if it is only a few miles away from her own) can do wonders for the work at home mom’s stress level while simultaneously working miracles for her marriage’s romance level.

Though dating one’s husband may seem like an oxymoron, for many work at home moms, a weekly date night is a great way to nurture one’s marriage, family, and personal sense of work-life balance in one fell swoop.  If your marriage could use a pick-me-up, bookmark this list to help you brainstorm your next great date.

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