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Episode #25: How to Have AND Prioritize Date Night During Stay Home with Amberly Lambertsen

By April 14, 2020 May 3rd, 2020 Love, Lust

Episode #25: How to Have AND Prioritize Date Night During Stay Home with Amberly Lambertsen

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What You’ll Discover in this Episode:

  • How to identify your own needs and your spouse’s needs during the time you are staying home together.
  • Modifying regular date nights to add a new flare!
  • How to get creative within your home.
  • Ideas for actual date nights to try with your husband.
  • Tips for supporting one another during such a bizarre time!

The Micro Version…you know, like the version of the story you wish your seven year old would tell you about the Lego creation they made:

Having date night at home has always been an option, but now it’s our ONLY option! Today, I’m talking to Amberley Lambertsen of A Prioritized Marriage, who is giving us all her date night tips when it comes to getting through this period of stay home. It’s essential that we remain on a united front with our spouse so we can not only prioritize our marriage, but thrive through a really difficult time!

Rather read it while sitting in the carpool line? Read the full transcript below.

Rachel Ballard:

Hey guys, welcome back to another episode of How to Like Your Husband. This is an episode and put together pretty much on the fly kind of quickly because I would needed to get this out to you guys. I needed you to have resources to appreciate, figure out, execute, prioritize all the things date night during stay home. Obviously, I think you should be pursuing date night with your husband every single week, all the time, but even more importantly now when we are in each other’s business constantly, when we don’t have a lot of breaks and we just need to find a point of connection and that is why I asked Amberley Lambertsen to come on the podcast today. She is with A Prioritized Marriage and she’s just always had a passion for relationships. And that passion grew to what she decided to study in college. So she has a BS in family studies and as a provisionally certified life educator, Amberley feels like every part of family is important, but her specific passion is marriage.

And since marriage is the foundation of the family, Amberly believes that too many couples wait until their marriage is in trouble before they put intentional effort into it. So the goal of her website, A Prioritized Marriage is to inspire couples to put that effort into their marriage from day one so that they can create a strong marriage that will last a lifetime. In her nine years of marriage, her and her husband have learned just how important it is to put constant effort into making time for their marriage, no matter what stage, season or situation, life brings your way. And I think Coronavirus definitely counts in, I don’t know what life’s going to bring your way. The more you focus on creating a strong relationship with each other, the better you’ll be able to face the challenges that come your way together. So without further ado, Amberley is here to talk to us today.

I want to ask her so many questions, but specifically, we’re going to dig into how to have an amazing date night even during stay home. You’re ready for it? Here we go. 

Hey, Amberley, thank you so much for taking the time out of your Saturday to be on How to Like your Husband today. I appreciate it and can’t wait to chat you more. 

Amberly Lambertsen:

Yeah, I’m really excited to be here. Thanks, Rachel. 

Rachel Ballard:

Sure, sure. Okay, so I want to dig into this. I’ve already told everyone in the intro like that we are going to get this episode out fast and get them ideas cause so much conversation is going on in my Facebook group right now about staying home and how to still have date night and all that stuff. And I know that you are the expert in all those things, so I want to have you share with them. But first, um, can you tell my listeners a little bit about you, your family, your marriage story, just who you’re staying home with and all that good stuff?

Amberly Lambertsen:

Yeah, so I mean I’m really obviously, and my husband is Joe. We’ve been married for nine years, coming up in June, that’s like two months away. Right? Um, so we’ve been married for nine years. We’ve went together for like nine and a half years. Um, we have two kids. They are turning five this coming week and almost four, so they’re 16 months apart. They keep us very, very busy. And um, right now my staying home situation is I’m home with the kids and my dog all day and my husband is working. I’m still, he’s considered an essential employee. So even though his work hours are cut a little bit, he gone, um, throughout the day. So it’s me and the kids staying home and then him, he is home with us on the weekend and at nights, so situation.

Rachel Ballard:

Yeah, that’s the same life I’m leading. Mike is essential and I am a not. I am very essential to this household, but not out in the rest of the world. Right. Um, okay. Cool. Well that is, that makes for an interesting dynamic. What, what have you guys struggled with as far as that? Like you have you having to be home, which your home anyway, like I am right?  But it’s different now for me at least because no library, no play dates, no co-op. My kids are homeschooled, you know, no co-op. Um, so no extracurriculars. So it’s like when Mike walks in the door, I want to attack him for adult conversation. So how has it been for you guys? How is Joe showing up for you? Or have you had to ask for support in this or is it been just fine? No, no change.

Amberly Lambertsen:

I think in anything, like I have to ask for the support that I want. You know, and I’ve talked about this a little bit on my Instagram throughout the time, is that, we can think that our spouse knows what we need. We can think that they know, Oh, they’ve been home all day and they need me to do, you know, but they’re thinking I’ve been out with people all day and it’s been stressful because they’re with the people. Right? And so they come home and they’re looking for that break and we’re looking for that break. So it’s definitely been something we’ve had to communicate about and express both of our needs. Like what are we, what are we meeting at the end of the day? And I think it’s a hard, like it’s hard for him. That’s hard for me. For me it’s been a hard balance of what? Like I don’t even know how to explain it, of like wanting to go off and be by myself after he gets home and be like, okay, I need my time to get some stuff done because I don’t get anything done with my two home all day. And I’m wanting to have that family time and wanting to have that time with him. So it’s definitely when something we had to communicate about and adjust to almost on a daily basis as it’s as it’s happened and we’ve seen how the dynamic has changed.

Rachel Ballard:

Yeah. I feel like we are fluctuating each day with what I need. If I want him to come home and go for a walk with me so I can talk to an adult. I mean, because I get talked to all day, probably like you. I mean my children never stopped talking ever. So I, there’s that. But then there’s the other days where I’m like, okay, and now if you could make dinner, I’m going to need to leave by myself. I’m just going to, just going to go for a walk alone for a little while. But it’s, it’s different every single day based on how your day has gone or not gone that well.

Being Aware of Your Needs

Amberly Lambertsen:

Yeah, exactly. Well, and I started to see Joe’s actually started noticing those needs for me that I’m not noticing for myself. Right. So like I’ve had a migraine from like stress and allergies and kids screaming all day long because that’s their favorite thing. It’s just screaming and, um, he’ll come home and I’m like, I just can’t. And he’s like, why don’t you just go for a walk outside? And he’ll tell me like, don’t turn on your podcasts. Just turn on some music so you can be a totally like, not, not thinking, you know what I mean? Not stressed, not thinking of more things to do. And so he’ll almost anticipate that for me.

Rachel Ballard:

Yes, that’s awesome. Mike will sometimes I’m in the midst of the, like four to six o’clock chaos that can happen. Um, say, did you, did you get a run in today? Do you, do you need to go? Which is code for, you’re acting like a crazy person and maybe you should go outside.

Amberly Lambertsen:

Yes, exactly. That’s what it is. They’re like, life is crazy. How can I fix it?

Rachel Ballard:

How can I, how can I make it stop? How can I save all the other humans in the house from that? Yeah. Um, you know, I think it’s great when they can anticipate it, but I hundred percent agree with you that you were just, we have to tell them what we need. I feel like at this point I like send emojis when I know when Mike is on his way home, that pretty much clarify for him exactly what kind of day we’re having here. Like make it fun a little bit. Right.

Amberly Lambertsen:

Let me make it feel like you’re here with me. Let me share.

Rachel Ballard:

Yes. All right, so I want to dig in for everybody. We’ve been having a lot of conversation in my Facebook group about stay home date night ideas and I know that you have those because I listened to your stories on Instagram and to my listeners, if you are not following A Prioritized Marriage on Instagram, you need to go do that right away because she has tons of value for you there. In thinking through so many different aspects of your marriage, but specifically on date nights. So maybe tell us why you think date night is so important, especially right now during this.

Having Date Night at Home

Amberly Lambertsen:

Okay. I‘ve been super excited like over the top excited the people are talking about at home date night because I feel like so many people, and this is something that I’m always like do date night at home when you can’t go out, people are like, Oh yeah, I haven’t been able to go out and date, I am such and such number of months, you know, we haven’t had a date. And I’m like, well what about at home? And now I feel like people are like, Oh, we can’t go out. So now we have to find a way to make it happen.

Rachel Ballard:

Right. All of a sudden it’s a priority that wasn’t there before. Yeah.

Amberly Lambertsen:

Made me so excited. I’m like giddy inside. Like I would want to get out too. But I’m excited that people are going to do date night at home. And I feel like date night is important in any stage of life. But I think especially right now, because it takes us back away from, for me, date night is the time to get away from the responsibilities and the adulting, um, that my husband and I do on a regular basis and get back to that, like that daily, like that dating stage that we went through. And I don’t know about you, but I sometimes reminisce from like, oh, remember when we were dating and we did this thing and this thing and it was so fun. I was so giddy. But like, you’re not going to have necessarily the same butterflies. Butterflies, love is different, you know, once you’re married.

Get Back to the Basics of Dating

But you can get back to that fun, like that carefree. And that’s what I think date night does for us because as married couples were so we can get so focused on, like I said, adulting, the kids, you know, how are we showing up as parenting partners? Um, what needs to be done around the house. I know tons of people are doing house projects right now, which are fun. Um, the finances, so many of us are going through reduced income for one reason or another. You know, even though my husband’s essential, um, his hours are still reduced and so like reduced income and all the things that come with being an adult and that’s a huge part of your marriage. But it can be easy to forget that our marriage started and like the foundation of our marriage is that romance, that fun, that lighthearted, how much we enjoy being together. Um, yes, yes, we work well as a team together and that was a huge part of it. But a lot of it is how much we enjoy being together. And so I think date night takes you back to that. So for me, date night is important at any time, but I think especially when you’re going through something stressful because it takes you back and it kind of grounds you as a couple. 

Rachel Ballard:

So for you guys, how often do you guys do date night?

Amberly Lambertsen:

We are weekly date night people. I tell people we only go out once or twice a month. You know, I wish we had the unlimited resources that we can pay for a babysitter every week and go out every week. And that was, you know, a possibility. But we still date each other every single week. We have a set-aside date night and we do something at home if we aren’t able to get out.

Rachel Ballard:

I love it. Okay. So you’ve been doing at home date nights since before it became a trending hashtag. So that’s why I wanted to chat with you about this. So, I say the same thing. We have a weekly date night we go on at whether we like each other that particular night or not to remember like, hey, this is, oh yeah, this is why we do this together and why we and, and to help us rebuild that connection that may get lost in the logistics of the week. And, weekly is definitely our thing as well. And sometimes that looks like going out and sometimes that looks like staying in. Sometimes it looks like a hike and like no money spent and all that stuff. So what do you have right now as far as ideas and resources and stuff for stay home date nights?

At Home Date Night Ideas

Amberly Lambertsen:

Oh, I have so many. So I actually put together a highlight bubble in my, um, Instagram profile that has at home date ideas and that’s what I’m sharing. So I usually share a date night idea every single week. And right now I am sticking to at home. So I kind of went through my archives and pulled the ones that can be strictly done at home and throw them into this highlight bottle, bubble. That’s a hard word right now. And then I’m sharing new things to that every week. I also have on my website I have an actual dropdown. So I have date night ideas is one of my menus. And if you drop it down you can click on “at home” and anything that’s tagged with at home date night will pop up for you. So it’s got all of my ideas. I also have a book that I wrote that has over 300 date night ideas.

Amberly Lambertsen:

And I know lots of people aren’t wanting to get a physical copy, you know, they’re not wanting to get packages in the mail. I’m not wanting to necessarily go to the post office. Right. But there’s a downloadable version and they can download like the whole ebook. You always had some tricks for making date night happen and making it intentional. But also, I just have just the date night ideas and so you can download them and I have free ideas and date nights on a budget and splurging ideas and every single section has at home ideas. So I would say probably half of those, more than half of those 300 date night ideas can be done at home. So I have all the ideas for sure.

Rachel Ballard:

Awesome! Okay, perfect. Can you give us an example?

Amberly Lambertsen:

Yeah. So one that I suggested this week on my Instagram that we’re actually going to be doing. Um, we’re going to be going through all of our home videos and not just like sitting and watching, but like I, and I’m sure a lot of people have this where like I just dumped stuff from my phone onto a hard drive every month and I need to organize them. So we’re going to organize them together for date nights or like crafting something off the to do list, but making it a thing like activity. Um, so we’re going to watch them all and like give them a title and put them into folders or whatever. But I think it’ll be so fun to watch. We have nine years of marriage worth of videos to watch together.

Rachel Ballard:

Yeah. I wish, I wonder if I could get Mike to help me put together the family photo albums, like on Snap Fish.  I have like 10 years to catch up on.  What’s another, um, stay home date night idea that you have? Like would do you know what your husband’s favorite would be?

Amberly Lambertsen:

Well, anything that’s relaxing for him. He loves like takeout and a movie, you know the classic. Um, and that’s a good one right now cause if you’re trying to, if you’re wanting to support local you can do that if you’re staying at home completely staying at home. I have a lot of fun recipes on my website but I think even cooking together can be super fun. You can do like an at home pizza night where you create your own pizza dough or use like roll dough to make pizzas. There’s so many different ideas. And I have a post on my website about like and doing like a competition for pizza and then sitting down and watching a movie together so you can take like your classic dinner and a movie and do it at home and spice it up a little bit.

How to Change Up Date Night

Amberly Lambertsen:

And with the movies, we like to do things like setting it up on our deck, or um, taking the laptop outside and watching something on Netflix from the back of the truck, you know, and a pile of blankets. Or we’ll bring an air mattress downstairs and watch it in front of the TV and just, you know, change, change where we would normally watch the movie or how we would watch it. Or another fun thing for a movie is doing like a double feature. So creating like your own at home drive-in. Um, but choosing like maybe you watch, um, like one of our things that’s right now is Jumanji the original and Jumanji next level just came out. So you can do like a double feature or doing one. Each of you pick a movie and you each do, you know, don’t triple feature that way. So I think there’s fun ways that you can take like your classic date night idea and change it up a little bit at home.

Rachel Ballard:

Absolutely. I am, I am jealous that your husband stays a week through a whole movie. My husband gets up at 3:30 in the morning. So, um, first of all, our date tend to happen at like three from three to five in the afternoon. And second of all, I honestly cannot remember the last time he stayed up through a movie. It may be the movie that we watched while I was in labor with my daughter who’s 11, like that. I actually be the same the last time that he’s been awake through a whole movie. So we don’t tend to lean towards anything that requires Mike to sit down cause then he tends to fall asleep. But, um, I love it. These are really great ideas. I think that’s why sometimes I can struggle with giving, um, ideas like that because I’m like, well he wouldn’t be awake for that.

Rachel Ballard:

Okay, well that might not work, you know, different things. But I am really good at daytime date nights like that. 

Amberly Lambertsen:

And I think that’s the other thing is like thinking about, I always say this in general, but thinking about a date, my outside of the box, right, right. Whether it’s at home instead of out and about, or a free date night instead of spending $100 or the time of day that you do it. So some people just do like a brunch, you know, brunch, date night, like watch the sunrise together. I’m not awake for the sunrise, so that would be my issue.

Um, but doing things like that, um, and shifting it to a different time of day is totally fine. And so I think that’s something as you have to get outside your like preconceived idea of what date night you should be, you know, it has no limits. Absolutely. For sure. What works for you. 

Rachel Ballard:

So I want to ask you, thank you so much for the ideas and for the resources that I’m going to obviously link to all of that in the show notes. So I want everybody to be able to go grab your book and get your resources and check out your blog and all those things. Um, but before we hop off, I just want to ask you, what, what have you learned in your years of marriage, in your nine years of marriage that you’re hoping to pass onto your kids? 

Put in the Effort

Amberly Lambertsen:

That’s a big loaded question.  Like you have to make the effort to put time to make time for each other. It’s not necessarily, I mean the big grand gestures are great, like giving flowers and a romantic getaway and a date might like I’m big fans of all of those, but it’s a little, you know, the little things that you do every single day. I think it took us having kids to stop taking that time that we had together for granted, um, and start being more intentional with it. Cause we realized we really need this and it’s not just going to happen because our time is not our own anymore. My whole day belongs to my kids. Really. It’s kind of dictated by them as much as I wish it wasn’t. Um, that’s just how it happened. And so we have to take charge of some point in that.

And so making those efforts every day to show each other that we love each other and that, um, we are, might be, it’s a prioritized marriage that we are, that they are a priority in our life as much as, or more than actually more than all the other things that we have going on. And so I think that’s what I help my kids get from watching us and from hearing what I share on a regular basis, but their marriage is important and that you have to put the effort in, but it isn’t, doesn’t have to be a whole lot of work, you know? I don’t know if that makes sense.

Rachel Ballard:

Yeah. I, it’s very important in our house that our kids see that like, dad is my priority and I am his and we choose each other. And, um, that that’s the relationship that we’re going to work the hardest on all the time because when our marriage is good, when we’re strong and united and getting our date nights and having sex and connecting and all those things, like when all that happens well, then we show up better as parents for all of the four children that live here. So, um, I could not agree with you more. Um, is there anything, any like big thing that you think that we all need to be prioritizing right now specifically to stay home or just, ummm, is it just doing the normal and trying to stay strong in that?

Supporting Your Spouse

Amberly Lambertsen:

I think kind of like, I mean in addition to date night, I think kind of like we were talking about in the beginning is supporting your spouse. And this is something I’ve talked a lot about cause we’re all going through a really hard time. We’re all experiencing it very differently. Even if we’re going through the same things with our household, like, you know, whatever, whatever challenge is coming up as a result of this stay home order. Um, we are experiencing it together in our household, but we’re experiencing it differently and we have different emotions and different feelings and different everything. And so, um, I talked a lot about this and I’ve saved it and I again, a highlight bup on my profile just as coronavirus and I’ve shared a lot of things, but I have some check-in questions that I’ve shared to just to part your spouse and kind of like we talked about, like you can kind of anticipate their needs but making sure that you’re asking if they’re not giving you the guidance for what they need, that you’re asking the questions so you know how you can help them best. Because people aren’t always going to ask for the help or realize they need the help or things like that. And I think that’s a huge thing is supporting each other right now. Um, we all need that support and help and better there for each other.

Rachel Ballard:

Right? I think that that can be even more important right now because it, this is something that none of us have dealt with in our marriage before. Like, this is new territory for everyone, which means there’s not even like great resources for how to get through this because it’s never happened before. I know, I’m just like, we’re, Mike and I are having two very different experiences with this because I’m the extra ver of our relationship. I love all of our activities and all of our things and have none of those right now. And um, he is introverted and does not really care about any of our, uh, extras or things or any of that. And um, but at the same time, you know, he’s generally at work during the day when I’m doing those things with the kids. So I don’t, because his life hasn’t shifted very much.

He doesn’t necessarily realize how much my life has shifted by what’s going on, if that makes sense. I think, I think in situations where your, your spouse or yourself were more than if you are essential and still having to go out to work, your life doesn’t feel as different as maybe the person that is having to stay home. And that is even something to be aware of that I don’t think we’re really talking about as much. We seem to be focusing on being, spending more time together. But like for you and for me, that’s not, that’s not really the situation when they’re out working.

Amberly Lambertsen:

So yeah, for sure. And I see that too cause my husband goes to work and his work out, our set shifted a little bit but it’s still the same for him. And then he comes home when we do our family stuff and then he goes down and does homework. And so for him it’s like the same. And for me it’s totally different like you said.

Rachel Ballard:

Right. And the part that’s totally different is a part that he wouldn’t necessarily have seen anyway because he would be at work. So it’s like wow, you know, you really have to vocalize and ask for the support that you need. So yeah. All right. Well, I appreciate you being here. I appreciate you doing this on short notice for me cause I felt like it was important to get it out there and um, hopefully, we can have you back to talk about some like you have so many amazing topics that you talk about on Instagram, so I want to dig into a lot of that with you. But right now let’s get this out to the people. Thank you for being here and yeah, all that. Thanks for having me on this fun. Absolutely.

What Are Your Thoughts?

I would love to hear your thoughts on this. You can comment on an Instagram post over at Mrs. Rachel Ballard on Instagram or we are going to chat about this in our private Facebook group, How to Like Your Husband with Rachel Ballard. You can also leave a review for this podcast, which is super helpful and be sure to subscribe so that you can get a notice each week when another episode goes live. In the meantime, my friends, please remember that you are so incredible and you deserve incredible things. So let’s get those on the calendar and make them happen. Have a great week.

Can’t get enough? I’m linking her info below so you can keep listening and following along with this amazing woman’s journey!

Where to Find Amberly Lambersten:

Website

Instagram – Pinterest – FacebookTwitter

Amberly’s book – Prioritizing Date Night in Your Marriage, available in paperback or ebook download.

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