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?
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Great idea for a sofa date! I agree that we need such couple time from time to time. After my 3rd baby is out, we haven’t been going out as much as we used to. Even “sofa date” if there is has to come after the kids sleep after 11pm! I need to work on this more, it’s a timely reminder from your post!
It must be even harder to find the time with three children in different ages!
Very difficult indeed!
Sofa dates sound great. No babysitters needed 🙂 We would need something like this. We never have time to talk, but Husband has crazy work schedule, he goes to work at 2 am and comes home at 7 pm, is asleep by 9-10 pm 😦 I would be pleased by any kind of date….
Huh, that sounds tough! He can’t be getting much sleep… hope it will get easier soon, not having any time together can be really hard on everybody (not to mention that you can’t be getting too much help around the house either).
Since the boys were young we adopted cocktail hour. When it was just Max as a young boy he would play in his room or sit and read a book quietly. He knew this was mum and dad’s time (around 6pm) we would have a drink ( in the rough old days it was cordial, but now a beer or glass of wine) and talk about our day, life etc.
I love this time and because we have always done it, the boys now take themselves off to their room and play for an hour before dinner, it is wonderful!!
Hmm, coctail hour sounds fantastic, you’ve trained your kids well!
It was hard in the beginning but I am so glad we hung in there, we all enjoy our cocktail hour…….it will be great again when they will join us as they get older 🙂
I love this idea! I may steal it if you don’t mind 🙂 Having been so far from family (besides my Mom’s visit these last couple of weeks) we have not been so good at making time for each other. I think that sofa dates (especially where TV isn’t allowed) is such a great idea!
Steal away, andthreetogo! It is hard with the relationship time especially when there are no other trusted people around. For us this has been great, so I am thrilled if anyone else enjoys it too – or develops the concept to something that works for them!
This is an excellent idea, and we’ve done similar from time to time – but it tends to be more ad-hoc and therefore less frequent.
We do have the occasional night out these days. Tonight we are going on our first family sofa date – we’ve found a movie both kids enjoy and will sit through (previously they haven’t been sit and watch a movie kids, especially P who’s too active for anything but the very most engaging feature-length films!) and the adults are keen to watch as well, and we’re doing a popcorn and home movie night. Looking forward to it!
The world seems to be opening up more as they get older. It’s definitely a short period in the scheme of things.
Bronwyn, that family sofa date sounds good! We’ve been thinking about it too but the little Mr tends to also get restless after a short while still. But I am keen to know how it went and what movie it was, pretty amazing to find a movie everyone might be happy to watch!
I agree with you about the world opening up more pretty quickly, I think our lives are quite a lot less intensive already, and that is with me also working now. Also, nowadays we get easier babysitters as my parents have recently retired, and our kids just adore having there godmothers around for a few hours, and understand if somebody else puts them to bed etc (and nobody has been attached to the boobs anymore for quite a long while, what a relief 😉 ). So we can have dates outside the home as well now, but we still stick to the sofa routine, we like it 🙂
Went pretty well! A few interruptions (the kids watched it for the first time last week so weren’t as glued). It was How To Train Your Dragon. Lots of fun and of course the moral is that if you’re nice and you apologise whenever you realise you’ve made a mistake you’re less likely to get eaten by a dragon, so that doesn’t hurt, either.
Good to hear! Have to check the film out too. Thanks!
I love the idea of a sofa date – some of my best times are hanging out in comfy clothes and watching a movie – I’m glad you and your husband have made your relationship a priority and are working to make time to spend with each other!
Beers on the back porch – best thing ever!
Sounds great with the beers and back porch!
It’s hard to find the time! We struggle with that all the time. Have a good date!
Thanks, we did!