Shaun and I recently finished watching a sermon of Mark Driscoll in which he counseled couples on the importance of a biblical marriage. One of the practical suggestions he had for couples without a large income is to try to have regular date nights by using a co-op with other couples. In a co-op, all the couples involved exchange the trade of babysitting instead of cash. Though you may already have a babysitter, here is a suggestion about a frugal alternative. Here’s how it works: approach a couple of families with whom your kids interact well and you enjoy their parenting styles. Then, consider the following layout:

Every friday from 4pm-7pm (assuming that the families’ email each other during the week if there is an exception like sickness, etc. [in which case the date night will be throw off for all families for that particular week]) one family watches all of the kids. For example:

August 20th, family A watches all the kids at her house
August 27th, family B watches all the kids at her house
September 4th, family C watches all the kids at her house.

It is ok if you drop your kids off later than 4pm, but you must (at least in our co-op) return at 7pm (that way no family gets stuck with kids at their house while they are trying to put down their own kids to bed). This way everybody’s kids still are able to make their bedtimes.  It is a great option for each of the families to have a regular time of the week to look forward to spending time with their spouses. A family can certainly still have additional date nights (reverting to your current method of babysitting), but this might be a nice option to save some money. As you can see, two weeks you get a free date night, and every third week you get kids.

I would suggest, allowing the moms you approach to both pray about it, and talk to their husbands before you responding.  For us, it has certainly been a good resource for this season of our lives in Scotland.

This past week I had my night of keeping the kiddos of  our date night co-op. I’ve been wanting to share pictures of the park outside our home anyhow, so below are a few snapshots of our fun night.

Look forward to hearing about your date nights! If you are looking for date night suggestions on a co-op date, check out this link.

Thanks for reading!