Family Lifestyle: Mum & Dad’s Date night

Before we became parents, we always said we wanted to be the kind of parents who prioritised their marriage. I’m not sure where I come down on the ‘put your marriage before your children’ line, but what I do know is that I love my son and husband a huge amount. Tom and I have been together a long time and, despite this(!) I still love spending time with him and neither of us wanted to forget why were married and raising a child in the first place.


Image credit

I’m not going to lie, making an effort with my husband was way down on the priorities list for a long time – behind eating, washing my face and getting more sleep – but when the new year came round we decided together to make a resolution to have a date once a month and, so far, have stuck to it. Finding the time, and a babysitter, has been difficult, but we both feel very strongly about how important this is now. And, actually, it’s been wonderful and definitely worth it.

Perhaps you think I sound a little callous saying that I like spending time away from my baby. The fact of the matter is that before I became Freddie’s mum, I married Tom and made a commitment to him as his wife. It should go without saying that we make sure Freddie is with someone he knows and would rush home if he needed us, but as long as he’s doing alright, we will continue to make time for ourselves on a regular basis. I think it’s really important to get this into our routine now, before our baby becomes a child.

Growing up my parents didn’t have a very strong marriage and they divorced when I was a teenager. While they never wavered in showing me affection, looking back I find it sad that I don’t remember them going out much at all and certainly never cuddling on the sofa or holding hands. Clearly they married the wrong person, which is a whole other story, but I’ve always known that that’s not the kind of marriage I want and I don’t believe we can keep it strong without putting constant effort. We’ve also made a rule that we kiss each other hello and goodbye first, and Freddie second. It doesn’t always happen, but it does make me feel special when Tom comes home after a stressful day and although Freddie is reaching out for him, I get the first acknowledgement. (This was instigated after me telling a story about a family I used to see coming off the train from work: the dad brought the son to the station to meet mummy and she would instantly gather him up and smother him in kisses. It wasn’t until they were getting into their car that she would off-handedly ask her husband how his day had been. It was a bittersweet moment that I saw everyday.)

So far we’ve had a couple of meals out and a night at the cinema, but next on my list is a daytime date. Having a leisurely lunch without grabbing hands sounds like my idea of heaven right now, and with Freddie loving his time with grandparents and my sister and his cousin, it’s going to get booked in soon. We’ve also booked a night away for our anniversary in August, which feels like a huge step at the moment, but I know it’s the right thing to do.

As much as I cringe at the phrase ‘date night’, I’m a true convert now I’m a mum. I’d love to hear if you agree or disagree with my opinion on prioritising nights away from the kids. Could you do it? Or do you have any suggestions for keeping your marriage strong after you’ve had a baby?

Love, Esme.

Find Esme on her blog Esme Wins or @Real_Married

Never go to sleep on an argument.

Almost 2 weeks ago now it was Pete and I’s 4th wedding anniversary. When we got married, we asked everyone along with the guest book to write their ‘Advice for a happy marriage’ on little cards and envelopes that we collected in a huge apothecary jar. It was our intention to open them on our first wedding anniversary but we forgot and each time I came across them, or remembered them, it was far enough away from another anniversary that we forgot again. This year I stumbled across them more recently and kept them out purposely so we wouldn’t forget again this year.

And so it was that 4 years later we sat on the bed after dinner and took turns to open them and read the advice. Predictably, there were silly ones and funny ones amongst the lovely advice. I was surprised that we could guess who wrote what, even though most were unsigned and whilst we read them out, laughed and pondered, happy memories came flooding back. Like our polaroid photo guest book it was amazing the way you are transported back to that single day.

Just talk to each other and listen to what they have to say, simple.

Find space in your togetherness.

You are two parts of a whole, cherish each day together like it is your last.

Pick your battles!

Love, care and laugh. Don’t be too serious, but listen seriously.

Forgive one another before being asked.

The most dispensed piece of advice was a recurring theme and several of our guests wrote the same sentence…

Never go to sleep on an argument.

I’ll be honest, I’ve never really bought into that particular piece of advice and there have definitely been occasions when we haven’t followed it. Maybe I’m feeling sentimental but recently it struck me that it’s representative of everything that should be good about a marriage. Forgiveness, rising above day to day trials and trivial gripes because what’s important is that you’re together. Loving someone and making sure they know it every day; that they can go asleep secure in that knowledge every night. Putting your relationship first. ¬†Facing problems and life together as a team.


Image Credit: Raw Photography

I know whenever we have gone to sleep on an argument, I’ve always woken feeling sheepish, the disagreement long forgotten. The reasons I had for feeling angry or exasperated always feel trivial and not worthy of the time spent back turned and without the other for comfort.

So I wondered did you do anything similar at your wedding? Have you ever been given advice for your marriage and like me, has your opinion changed as your relationship grows older? Have you got any advice to share here that you have learned from experience?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

PS It’s been a while since I’ve written a personal post – but I’m hoping to write more in the coming months and hope you’ll all join in and add your thoughts in the comments.

Past personal posts…

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...