With two young children, not a lot of childcare and increasingly busy work schedules, my husband and I rarely leave the house after 5 pm in each others company these days.
However, we always make the effort when it comes to planning our anniversary. Why? Because it’s important to remember who we are as people, not just ‘mummy and Daddy’. We got married because we love each other as individuals. We’re busy creating a family life at the moment, our focus is very much on our young children – however, our children will one day grow up and we want to still remember why we love each other!
Hence celebrating our marriage, and each other, is super important.
We’ve been together for 10 years, married for 3, so we’ve had time to test drive a few date nights and special anniversaries. Here’s our top 12 ways to celebrate your wedding anniversary (with or without the children!):
- Create an elaborate 3 course menu – pick something totally out of your comfort zone and work it out together! Set the table and wear your finest. The children can either help out or go to bed early!
- Settle in for a box set marathon – no ordinary night in front of the TV, go for a nice but comfy outfit (put the pjs with dubious baby related stains away), stock up on your favourite nibbles, light some candles, pour the wine and snuggle under a lovely throw. This one is all about making the effort!
- Buy some new albums (and some wine), set about sorting through all your photos and mementos – bear with me, this one makes a great night. It takes all of about 3 minutes for the ‘remember this…’ moments to begin. We did this recently and discovered re-living 10 years of memories is one of the most romantic things you can do.
- Plan your next adventure. Maybe you’re staying in because your feeling a bit broke. you don’t have childcare or you’re just shattered from parenting – whatever the reason you won’t always feel this way and your honeymoon shouldn’t be the only romantic holiday you ever take. The act of planning a holiday gives us a proven happiness boost. Is your 5/10/15+ year anniversary coming up? Let’s make it a good one by going all out – spend the evening brainstorming ideas, get on Google, find your hotel/flights, order the brochures, work out a budget and then start planning how you can make it happen. Is it next year? Can you put a deposit down? Could you open a savings account? Make your plan ambitious but achievable for you. Don’t be afraid to take the children – we honeymooned as a family in California and have the best memories!
- Go on a treasure hunt – either create your own or buy one of the many pre-designed hunts available. Finding your way together, figuring out clues and exploring makes for a great day (or evening) out. Add some extra romance with prizes and dinner to celebrate.
- Speaking of treasure huts…have you tried GeoCaching? By downloading the app you have access to literally thousands of ‘caches’ to find around the world – it’s basically one big global treasure hunt. My rather sceptical husband ended up loving this!
- Go to the largest book store you can find, head in separate directions and each choose a book for your partner – something you think they’ll love or perhaps totally random. Head out for lunch/dinner to reveal your choice and talk about it. This works really well if you have the children with you as they get a new book too = an easier eating out experience!
- Do you always end up talking about the children when you get chance to go out? Go to the cinema (no talking allowed!), book a romantic dinner afterwards where you will hopefully now have more to discuss than family issues!
- Night at the museum – did you know you can have a sleepover at the Natural History Museum?? There is stand up comedy, science shows, live music, an all night movie marathon, …and edible insect tasting!! It really is the ultimate sleepover! They also do a child friendly version so no one needs to miss out!
Going ALL out?
- Splash out on a ‘honeymoon’ style hotel for the night – you may not be able to jet off to the Maldives for just one child free night but your nearest 5* can offer you a little slice of honeymoon romance. Head to the spa, lounge in your robe, enjoy the fine dining and drink cocktails at lunch!
- Hire a luxury car for the day – speed along in carefree style, head to a country pub or to the beach. Combine it with that night away if possible and live the life!
- The ultimate luxury for parents with young children (especially those who don’t sleep well)…a weekend away. Yep, the holy grail. Two nights of sleep, sexy time, fun, lie-ins and creating memories. We were lucky enough to go to Paris for my husband’s 40th birthday last year and it made all the difference (mainly due to the 2 nights of uninterrupted sleep!).
Our wedding anniversary is next week – we’ve been very lucky with a last minute babysitting offer so we’re heading to a lovely hotel for some 5* pampering, a cheeky cocktail and a lie-in!
I’m always grateful for some new ideas so please feel free to add your own in the comments below!