How to Date Your Spouse When You Have a Supersized Family

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Having a supersized family doesn’t mean you have to cancel date night.

In fact, it’s important to maintain a regular date night BECAUSE you have a large family.

With the increasing amount of children in our family, I’ve had to learn how to adapt dating depending on the season I’m in.

The unfortunate truth about dating your spouse when you have a supersized family is that there is a messy middle between having an average number of children that doesn’t overwhelm the average babysitter and having an older child who doesn’t mind babysitting when you go on a date.

I’ve been on both ends of the spectrum. I’m here to say:

Date nights CAN BE HAD even when you don’t have a “built-in babysitter.”


It WILL get easier!

Find a Sitter

In order to leave the house without kids, you need to ensure they have proper supervision.

We pay our oldest child to babysit when we go on date nights. I think that payment for services rendered for “fun” outings, like date nights, is important to give to older children. I think it helps them have a better attitude towards the younger children.

We don’t pay her for every outing, like when I go grocery shopping sans kiddos, because some babysitting (just like chores) is part of being a part of our family. That said, usually, when she babysits for free, she doesn’t have to complete her regularly scheduled chores for the day. At least usually.

I think most teenage babysitters (or those teen sitters without large families) can handle three children alone sufficiently, after three kids you might want to consider hiring more than one teenage babysitter or opt for hiring an adult. Beware that having two teenagers babysitting can turn into a social meeting, so make provisions as such.

Family members make great babysitters, but don’t overuse family if you sense they are put out by your date nights.

Personally, I don’t often use non-immediate-family babysitters due to the risk of childhood molestation, but each family has to make their own decision on this topic. This is especially true when you have very small children that can’t speak for themselves. Obviously, even family members can molest siblings, so please always be watchful.

Stay Close to Home

Depending on the ages of your children, you might consider staying closer to home when you have a very large family.

Being within 10-15 minutes drive of your house can make it less stressful to return home in case of emergency or hiccup on the night of your date.

Staying closer to home is especially important when you are using your older children for their first adventures in babysitting. This is for your peace of mind and theirs.

Have an Emergency Backup

Letting someone else, other than your children and their babysitter, know that you’ve decided to have a date night can be useful if you have a large family.

Give your children and their babysitter an emergency backup number to call if anything should arise that requires attention that you and your spouse are unable to render quickly.

My sister lives across the street and is my children’s go-to when there are situations that they cannot handle on their own.

I can also call my sister and have her check in if I sense something needs checking on.

Set Expectations

Tell your kids what is expected of them while you’re gone. Especially if it’s different from their normal routine.

  • Can they stay up until you come back home?
  • Are they allowed to watch TV?
  • Do they need to eat at certain times?
  • Did you buy any special snacks?

Laying down all the ground rules beforehand helps for a smooth transition between kids and date night.

Plan Something Fun for Them

My favorite tip for going out on a date night is to make sure to provide something super fun for those I’m leaving at home.

We’ll rent a Redbox movie, set out the popcorn, and get a pizza.

By making the time we are away from kids fun, they actually look forward to us leaving each week/month.

Keep Trying

Just like the old adage says, “If at first, you don’t succeed, try try again.”

It’s the same with date nights when you have a supersized family. You just have to keep trying until you find the groove that works for your specific family.

Too Many Kids? Too Many Chores? Too Little Time?

Me, too!

How to Get Things Done with A Supersized Family ebook and Worksheet

Download this ebook and worksheet that's saved my sanity!

Due to the sheer number of people, your marriage can easily be put on the back burner. Date nights need to become more regular, not less, as you add more children to your family.

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Too Many Kids? Too Many Chores? Too Little Time?

Me, too!

How to Get Things Done with A Supersized Family ebook and Worksheet

Download this ebook and worksheet that's saved my sanity!