Here comes an honest blog. There are lots of things that you can call becoming a parent. Wonderful, eye-opening and weird. Yep, weird. Before Bobby, it was just Connor and I. Living life on our own terms, laying in until whatever time we wished and drinking on a school night because we could. We had responsibilities but not the sort that requires keeping a small human alive. Being new to the 20’s club, it’s rare you meet ‘The One’ (don’t worry this isn’t going to get soppy) and think “Well that was easier than I thought it was going to be!” Having B, I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, luckily when you’re pregnant everyone will set you up for the reality that’s around the corner but what I found nobody told me was that I will miss and crave the time Connor and I spent alone.
Friends of ours have been together for 10 years before deciding to expand their families beyond puppies and I feel like they’ve had more them time because of that. They’ve travelled, seen the world, on house number 2 or 3, married and now only deciding they’re ready to commit their time to a smaller being. I’ve said before we’re quick movers and only after 4 years, there we were with a 2-year-old puppy, a newborn baby and a house. It’s safe to say, our previous lives had somewhat been adjusted and changed - for the better of course.
Date nights become a treat and a baby-free night would feel like winning the lottery if it wasn’t for our wonderful parents, family and friends. A few weeks back Connor made me breakfast in bed, I laid with the dog and had a hot cuppa and it felt beyond relaxing but something felt like it was missing… turns out that this was Connor. I’m not saying I don’t want to spend time with my child, not for a second. He’s the greatest gift I’ve ever received… but as a parent, I think it is so important to make time for not just yourself and your family but time just for you and your partner/boyfriend/husband too.
When we do have five minutes where Bobby isn’t hanging from either of us or where one of us isn’t running from one thing to another and we can have a conversation, usually it strays between what we would do if we won the lottery, houses we love on Rightmove or what we’ll do when the kids (not pregnant, we would like one more baba in the future) grow up and move on. Travel some more, enjoy our dream home, enjoy the kids at the age they are and spend quality time with our parents and families. The now is sometimes busy and we tend to forget about how amazing a life we have and look to the future for a bit of relaxation but its so important to live in the present, make time for the things that make us happy and give ourselves exactly what we need! For example, right now, I need a date night - no elaborate dinner, not the cinema, just a night on the sofa and baby free would be ideal. I completely understand that I’m writing this from a place of privilege as I have many friends that do not have the family or friends nearby able to whisk their child off their hands for a night so they can enjoy some time to reset but however it may be, we all need to make time for ourselves and our partners.
I’ve seen so many marriages around me feel a bit lost when all of their children fly the nest. I’m sure they won’t mind me saying (Soz guys if you do!) but my own parents are included in that. They have and continue to absolutely live life for their children and grandchildren so when I left home for university, years after my sister had flown the nest (there’s a 10-year gap between us) they didn’t know what to do with all their free time. Only now they’re starting to travel more and do things for themselves and I’ve not lived at home for 6 years. They’re definitely not the only ones I can think of either.
It’s weird (I keep using this word because that’s exactly how it feels) to live under the same roof as someone and speak to them every hour of the day, even if they’re rushed misspelt whatsapps and miss them. How is that even possible? Am I just needy? I don’t think so as I think this comes to every family in some form. Long working hours, extracurricular activities, hobbies, friends, family time - it’s really no wonder the 5 minutes pillow talk is our opportunity to debrief before one of us is snoring into the land of nod.
So until we’re in our 40’s and both kids are living that student life we’re too familiar with, date nights will continue to be cherished and the time on the sofa we have after B has gone to bed will always be one of my favourite times of the day.