Life before our son seems like such a distant memory now, and a memory which is quite faded! I can’t really remember what we’d do! We’d go for a walks sometimes, go out for a meal, got for days out but our evenings and weekends must have been quite boring.
I worked every Saturday, and my husband would sometimes work on a Sunday morning, I would also have to occasionally work the odd Sunday too.
I can’t even think about what we would talk about. Now our conversations are filled with talking about our son, future plans for days out and mini breaks and holidays, and currently we are spending our evenings discussing baby names (sort of, the name has been chosen) prams, buggies, birth plans, etc.
On my 24th birthday we spent the afternoon at the beach in Kessingland with our son, sat and had a drink and nibbles at the lovely pub there then made our way home and my husband cooked me a three course meal. Rather than a meal out for special occasions my husband would cook for us and we’d make our conservatory [dining room] look “romantic”, normally wash down our food with champagne and wine and finish by watching a film or our wedding dvd.
For my 24th my mum came round and sat in the front room with our son whilst we were confined to the kitchen and conservatory. We were sat at the table and I noticed a real silence. At first I thought it was because we were so used to the cries and baby babble from our 3 month old son but then I realised what it actually was, neither of us were talking, we literally had nothing to talk about. And I hated it. After a couple of hints to my husband to start a conversation, being met with a reply of “what do you want to talk about?” I felt a bit lost. What DID I want to talk about?? My life, at that time, was predominantly based around breastfeeding, nappies, poo, naps and crying. Not really anything that made for amazing conversation across dinner.
We spent most of the meal discussing how nice the meal was, and listening out for hungry cries.
From that moment on “date nights” became very important to us. We would drop Charles off at my mums and pop into town to one of two of the restaurants we liked. Although we’d only stay for under an hour at times, an hour and a half max, the quality “reconnection” time was much needed….even if all we did was talk about breastfeeding, nappies, poo, sleep [lack of]. Just being in a different environment with only each other to focus on was lovely.
|Photo courtesy of Nicki Baxter x|
One of our first proper date nights post baby was when we attended my husbands school reunion. Being almost 10 years younger than him and others who would be attending did make me feel slightly anxious but it was fab. I was accepted straight away and welcomed by everyone. Unfortunately the turn out wasn’t as good as the organiser had hoped but it meant we all enjoyed each others company a lot more and were able to have proper conversations, rather than short chats, and able to form some proper friendships.
My husband took me on a short tour of his school and it was nice for him to explain to me how the school had changed since he had been there, how he felt being back there, which lessons he had in each room. I felt like I got to know him a little bit better. This was our first time leaving Charles with someone else (my mother in law in this case) and I felt uncomfortable without him but we stayed for 3 hours and then headed home. It was nice to see our son again, but I also really enjoyed that quality time with my husband.
For my 25th birthday last year we went out for the day, sans toddler! It was the longest I had ever been away from him in 15 months so I was rather emotional but I had an amazing day. We hired a boat for the day and travelled along the Norfolk Broads. We stopped at 3 pubs for drinks and had brought our own “posh picnic” and champagne to enjoy on the boat.
Having to work together to get the boat moored up and moving in the first place was fun and we were really able to enjoy each others company, a full 7 hours of each others company! Discovering different villages we hadn’t seen before, being able to both enjoy a drink without worrying about driving home (my dad was taxi for us), talking about a wide range of topics and relaxing was exactly what the love doctor ordered.
We are both firm believers that couples need that time together, just them, without the children, to focus on each other. We aren’t ready to have a weekend away from our son, and he is yet to have an overnight stay at his nanny’s. We don’t feel it’s necessary just yet.
So far this year we’ve enjoyed 3 date nights. One was to a friends 30th birthday party, we stayed out from the crowd and sat on a table quite far away so we could sit and have a chat and a proper catch up. My mum looked after Charles again and we felt sneaky because he had no idea she was downstairs and that we went out!
For Valentines Day this year we broke tradition and went out to celebrate. Leaving Charles at home with my mum (although this time he woke up and realised Nanny was there) we headed out for a meal. My husband used to be the one who would have to drive but another positive over me passing my driving test last year is that he is now able to enjoy a drink (or 2, or 3) and I can drive home, not a problem at all now I can’t drink anyway!
We don’t normally celebrate Valentines really but this year we used it as an excuse to have our date night at the same time. And it was really really enjoyable.
This Wednesday we have a date night planned. We are heading to the city for Nandos and to the cinema, this is something we did ALL the time when we first got together, expect Nandos wasn’t there then, we visited Pizza Hut instead!
I can’t wait to spend that special time with him.
I’ve also come to realise that we don’t NEED to have conversation in our lives, if we have a meal and we are silent the majority of the time it really doesn’t matter. Just being in each others company without distraction is enough for us.
I am currently trying to encourage two of my friends, who both admit to having a struggle with their relationships at the moment, to organise some time for them and their partners, just for dinner and cinema, or an hour down the pub without their children, for some catch up, quality “we time”. Both are coming up with excuses to not do it but I 100% believe that this time together would make everything better.
I think we all have time in our busy schedules to just say STOP to other plans (be it gym time, soap night, snooker club etc), and to remind ourselves just why we have chosen to spend the rest of our lives with the person we have….and date nights do just that.
Give it a go.