My wife and I are in the process of adopting a baby girl, known affectionately as ‘Squish’ here at the Daily Dad until her adoption is finalised.

In this regular column, I am sharing the ins and outs of parenting a newborn and the joys and challenges of adoption.

Enjoy this week’s edition of ‘The Adventures of Squish’.

Kids Come Second

If there is one piece of non-negotiable advice I have for all fathers, it is to forget your children for enough time each week to date the woman who mothers them.

Especially for new parents, the temptation is strong to pour the majority of your family-focussed energy into the new baby. But research consistently shows that a healthy and loving bond between parents is one of the strongest protective factors for the emotional wellbeing of children.

And yes, doing this well requires leaving your child or children in the care of someone else regularly. As a couple, you need couple time to put all other distractions aside, look each other in the eyes, remember why you fell in love in the first place, and do what it takes to ensure your love will go the distance.

As a new dad, I can testify that this is easier said than done, and something Angie and I have only managed to do around monthly since Squish was born. But we have had a lot of fun doing it — whether attending a friend’s wedding, going out for a quiet dinner, watching a basketball game, or enjoying a concert.

Dating on a Budget

You don’t need a big budget to have a fun date night. The basketball match we went to was a cheap preseason game; the band we saw played in a church, not a stadium; and the last time we ate out, we just got appetisers!

We are also blessed with family nearby we can call on for free babysitting. (And we recently returned the favour by minding our two nephews together with Squish, so that Angie’s sister could enjoy an afternoon at the movies with her husband.)

If your budget is even tighter than ours, go for a bike ride, a hike, or have a picnic somewhere scenic. If you have to pay a babysitter, hire a trusted teenager who is happy with a humble wage you can afford. Even if the babysitter’s pay is the only money you spend on the entire date night, it is a worthwhile investment in love, and the payoffs will be enjoyed by everyone.

Pursue Your Bride

I am well aware that some men reading this little pep-talk haven’t been on a date with their woman for years. Don’t let that deter you. Just muster up the courage and ask her out — it obviously worked at some point in the past! And I would wager that it has good odds of success this time around, too.

As a case in point, while writing this article, I realised it had been a while since Angie and I last enjoyed a night as just us. So I texted her, “When can I next take you out on a date?”

She responded with three words: “That’s soooo sweet!!!”

Go on, gents, pursue your bride. It’s one of the best ways to love your kids and give them something beautiful to aspire to.


Image via Unsplash.

About the Author: Kurt Mahlburg

Kurt Mahlburg is Canberra Declaration's Research and Features Editor. He hosts his own blog at Cross + Culture and is also a contributor at the Spectator Australia, MercatorNet, Caldron Pool and The Good Sauce. Kurt is also a published author. His book Cross and Culture: Can Jesus Save the West? provides a rigorous analysis of the modern malaise in Western society and how Jesus provides the answer to the challenges before us. Kurt has a particular interest in speaking the truths of Jesus into the public square in a way that makes sense to a secular culture and that gives Christians courage to do the same. Kurt has also studied architecture, has lived for two years in remote South-East Asia, and among his other interests are philosophy, history, surf, the outdoors, and travel. He is married to Angie.

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