Anyone else feel that life gets put in cruise control after kids? This cruise control is not taking us anywhere romantically with our significant other either. More like a quick run to McDonald’s or a night of chasing kids before they go to bed. After having our first child, I started to feel this lack of ‘alone time’ with my husband. It didn’t get much easier as we added two more to the pack.
We tried to make an effort for at least one date night, aka, a quick dinner run, at least once every 2 months. For the majority of our anniversaries, dinner was at home with kids. The date of our anniversary doesn’t make it easy for a babysitter seeing that it falls around Memorial Day weekend. So there is usually no babysitter or one of the kids happens to be sick. Go figure. As parents, we choose to take the bench when it comes to our self care as a couple. We have always felt “okay” just by getting that chance to go to dinner, without kids, from time to time.
And we were on our way.
This was until we chose to get away for the night. Note here: Not for the evening, for the ENTIRE night. As we left all three kids with my in laws, a bit of anxiety fell over us as we drove towards New Orleans. The anxiety wasn’t because we thought our in laws were incapable of taking care of our kids, it was the thought of our kids running the in laws ragged. A few calls and texts saying everyone was good allowed us to breathe as we checked into our room.
For the night and the next morning, it would just be us. This consisted of dinner where we could talk to each other and not worry about keeping kids under control. Following dinner, we walked around New Orleans and popped into a few quaint bars along the way back to our hotel. We did not have to worry about rushing home to put kids to bed or to relieve anyone keeping our kids. We were actually able to enjoy each other without having to rush through it all.
Waking up the next morning to a brunch date and another walk around New Orleans just topped it off. Maybe it was the fact that I hadn’t slept that long since before kids, or the fact that I woke up to just my husband laying next to me without another little body sandwiched in between us. Having my husband all to myself truly made every second count.
Find the time for self care as a couple.
My eyes have now been opened to how important self care is for us as a couple. It is easy to lose ourselves during the chaotic moments of parenting. A lot of the time, you have to shift from being romantic to more of a friend or roommate. I learned this over the past few years when things seemed to get more hectic that usual. Yes, those dinner dates are still great and help us get through the busy times of the year. Having an entire night without kids is just a different story. I promise you, I won’t be waiting another 8 years to do it.