It is Friday, and I am looking forward to 9 pm. That is when we’ll have a date with my husband on the living room sofa. Like we have been about twice a week for the last 1,5 years. The date is not always on the sofa; we may have a sauna or enjoy the balcony/ garden in the summer time. But it is at home, and once a week we may watch something together on TV/ DVD but the other time the rule is no TV’s or computers.
Our dates are at home because when we started “dating” we didn’t have too many options of leaving the kids; my parents were working and live a couple hours away anyway, and friends helping out, well, they have lives too. To be honest, we never really asked for babysitters either if we didn’t have a “reason” such as doctors appointment and hubby on work trip. It didn’t feel so easy to ask somebody to come only to get up 17 times a night after an evening with a baby boy who cried his lungs out for hours because he refused to take a bottle. And we were too tired to feel like going anywhere anyway or to think of organising something. Also, we kind of thought that it is only a short time that intensive.
But with a 5-6 months old baby and a 1,5 years old toddler life was intensive. Both kids slept poorly so we ended up often sleeping in separate rooms with a child each, and at some point we started to miss each other. I felt that I didn’t know what my hubby was thinking anymore. Our conversations where about how to get everyday things organised, who goes to the shop, who changes nappies (and we did not do the nature a favour with the two in nappies…), how will we organise time for this and that. But before kids we used to talk about everything, on long walks, over dinner, on drinks… and we used to do a lot things.
Most nights we had the kids sleeping by 9 pm and as we had poor nights we tried to be in bed by 10pm. But that gave us an hour, and the only thing we felt like doing at that time was to be. To start off with both of us often forgot the “date night”, or when we sat down we first ranted through all “must do’s” but slowly those date nights started to grow on us. We started to talk again. We started to joke, ponder about the world, dream about future travels and to have a good time together.
Sometimes we’ll have a cup of tea, sometimes one of us prepares some snacks, sometimes we give each other a massage, sometimes we’ll have a drink and sometimes we just sit together. It is simple, we don’t spend a lot of money nor energy, but our “sofa dates” are soooo enjoyable. I feel lucky to enjoy my husbands company!
How do other parents or couples in various stages of life enjoy their time together? How have you maintained the connection during hectic weeks?