They say that parenting is a full-time job. Actually, it is more than a full-time job. In fact, being a parent leaves you very little time for date nights or ‘me’ time. The things which are seen as ‘indulgences’ are often cast by the wayside when it comes to juggling school, work, keeping everyone fed and clean, homework and other activities.

Nurturing a relationship is actually very important and that’s why regular ‘date nights’ are something that couples should endeavour to incorporate into their lives. ‘Easier said than done’, I hear you cry. Well, yes, it is, but it is also not impossible.

So, if you’re a busy parent, here are the top 10 date night ideas that could be perfect for you!

1.  Go for a walk

You don’t have to go out hiking, but if you have a spare hour, why not go for a walk? Make it a rule that phones are banned to give you quality time together. If you have a bit longer you could always make it a round trip to the pub for some lunch or just a lemonade.

2.  Have a romantic meal at home

You don’t need to go out for a fantastic date night, so if you’re having trouble organising a babysitter, or are a bit strapped for cash, you could always have a romantic meal at home. Put the children to bed a bit earlier, cook something that you wouldn’t normally have, get dressed up as if you were going out, put some music on and enjoy some real time together.

3.  Take the day off together

If you are both working, try taking your annual leave on the same days. Even if you are taking leave for a specific reason, if the children are at school, there might be time to go and do something date-like. You could go out for lunch, catch a film or do something fun and exciting.

4.  Go to the theatre

If you have someone that can look after the children, a great way to spend quality time together is to get cultured and watch a play. To push the boat out a little further, there are London theatre packages available if you find a free weekend and are up for something a little more glamorous. Spend the day sightseeing, shopping or visiting a museum, grab some food, see a show and then spend the night in a London hotel. London’s West End is famous worldwide for having some of the best shows around, so why not take advantage of this and try and make a weekend of it?

5.  Plan a picnic

Spend some time outside and plan a picnic. If you know of a place with a great playground that will keep the children entertained, you and your better half can enjoy some quality time for just the two of you.

6.  Have a singalong

Put on some of the old music that you used to listen to together and have a singalong. This can be a great way to spend some fun, nostalgic time together, but can also be great for family bonding if the children and around and want to join in.

7.  Have brunch

Or lunch or dinner, or, well, whatever it might be when you can get together. There’s something bonding about eating together, so whether it is enjoying breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner together, it doesn’t matter what the meal is, just that there is one. Heading down to the local pub to check out their latest grub is always nice every now and again.

8.  Work out together

Date nights are supposed to be fun, yes. But if you are both going to work out, try doing it together. If going for a run together isn’t going to work, try going for a bike ride or to the gym — whatever you both enjoy doing. If you can organise childcare, why not join a badminton or tennis club?

9.  Get a new hobby together

One good way of making sure that you have regular date nights is by getting a new hobby or going to classes together. It is often easy to put date nights aside, so signing up for a course or set of lessons will give you that extra push to keep doing them. Some courses or lessons run at the same time as early evening children’s activities, making childcare easier.

10.  Do some stargazing

There’s not much that is more romantic than gazing up at the stars with the one you love. Plan for a late night (or even have a nap earlier on) and when the children are in bed, head outside and look for some shooting stars. If the light pollution is too much, turn the house lights off, and keep your fingers crossed for a clear night.

It can be tricky to find the time for date nights, but it is important to keep your relationship healthy. It is also a great way to show your children about the importance of nurturing relationships and caring for loved ones.