Mum tell us how she reconnects with her partner despite being a busy parent
Having a baby is probably the biggest life change you and your partner will ever experience together. Life as you know it takes on an entirely new meaning. Routines are different, sleep is different, and priorities are totally different too. In time you come to find your “groove” and you slowly begin to figure things out. You find your feet and start to recognise the things that work and the things that do not. It really is a team effort though. Life become all about the baby, and rightly so.
You conversations, for the most part, tend to revolve around nappies and milk. Sometimes we can forget that underneath the Mammy and Daddy roles lie two people who fell for each other long before babies were even an option.
Our son is 15 months old now and a couple of months ago myself and my partner decided to introduce a monthly date night. Weekly would not be feasible both financially and time-wise. We both work and our weeks are very busy. We like to do family days out at the weekend and reconnect as a trio away from any talk of work or childcare. We spoke about it and decided that a monthly date night would be really perfect. We would time it around payday so that we could justify the added expense and monthly meant that we had time to secure a babysitter and most importantly to decide on where our date would be. Cinema and dinner dates are lovely, but it would be nice to have the opportunity to make other plans also. So far we’ve been to the dogs at Shelbourne Park, to a restaurant we always wanted to go to and to see a play in a beautiful theatre.
Only you can know when you are reading to do something like this. Every family is different but I know that I had very little interest in going out for the first year. Don’t get me wrong, we did have the occasional date night but it was few and far between. I found it easier to have our date-nights at home during this time because I was breastfeeding and it was more hassle to organise expressing a bottle, explaining to a babysitter the ways in which we settle our son, and the very real separation anxiety that went along with it. We had some lovely nights in instead.
There is a lot to be said for putting away your phone and ordering a take-away or watching a movie. It still felt like an opportunity to reconnect as a couple.
There are a lot of factors to consider when you have a date night away from the home. It requires some planning in terms of finding a babysitter that you can trust, ensuring your baby is happy to feed and sleep in your absence, and then the logistic and financial aspects too. I am really delighted that we have introduced this monthly ritual in to our lives though. It gives us both something to look forward to every couple of weeks. It rejuvenates us and we get a chance to really talk and have a laugh.
And when it comes down to it, it’s nice to get dolled up and have a glass of wine every now and then – even if the soother in my handbag does ever so slightly cramp my style. Once a Mum always a Mum, eh?