THE NUMBER 1 THING YOU SHOULD STILL BE DOING AFTER HAVING KIDS
As today is the day of love (with it being valentines day) I've been thinking about something very important which is the number 1 thing you should still be doing after you have kids.
I've thought about this today as I spent a lovely afternoon with my hubby going out for lunch, followed by a trip to a tea rooms (all whilst baby free!). This is something we try and do as often as we can, maybe every 2-3 weeks or at LEAST once a month if the month turns out to be busy.
So if you haven't already guessed - the number 1 thing you should be doing after you have kids is...
GOING ON DATES!!!!
I cannot stress how important this is. After our little jaunt out today, I got in the car and told Matt that date days/or nights are like oxygen to me. I feel like we really appreciate the time we get together, we get to catch up, figure out where each other is at in life and we also get to go to places where we can relax without worrying whether there are highchairs or whether our daughter will knock a cup of tea off the table! Even though we don't do anything out of the ordinary, that time together is cherished and we really don't take for granted those little trips out for a cuppa or to watch a movie.
My personal opinion is if you don't make time for dates you are doing a disservice to yourself and your partner. Regardless of whether you have kids or not you should NEVER stop dating each other. You were both individual people with wants/needs and desires before children came along and you cannot neglect that fact.
I've heard people tell me they don't have babysitters or they don't trust people to look after their children. These are both areas that can and SHOULD be worked on, especially if you want to make that quality time for each other.
Don't have babysitters? Focus on investing in people, friends, family - creating a support network. This is one thing we thought about before we had Jasmine and we are incredibly blessed to have fantastic God parents, friends, family and neighbors - all of whom have made date nights possible. We would be completely stuck without this support network which is why we make investing in friends and family a huge priority - we certainly don't take them for granted! There's plenty of ways to meet new friends and find support networks if this is a problem area. I've even babysat for one of my mum friends who I've met since having Jasmine and know she would 100% return the favor should we need her!
Not trusting people? Now this is a hard one and some inner work needs to be done. I know myself how incredibly difficult it was leaving Jasmine for the first time - and next week we actually have our first ever night away from her! For myself it isn't a trust issue, more so I miss my baby and love seeing her all the time but I also have to remember how important it is to make time for my relationships so that means trusting people to look after her. You lack of distrust could potentially cause damage not only to your relationship but to your children as they will sense your lack of wariness when it comes to being around other people!
Dates with your partner should be none negotiable. Adding kids to the mix certainly makes life more crazier and hectic and I'm not sugar coating everything by saying my romantic life is all rainbows and unicorns as there's days when I want to rip Matt's head off and issue the divorce papers. But dates let the other partner know your willing - even if sometimes dates our slightly tense like ours where uncomfortable conversations are brought up or your sat having a slice of cake whilst trying to keep your eyes open you need to have those moments and you need to get out of parent mode.
Remember dates are like oxygen - you need breathing space, rest, relaxation, excitement, a chance to check in with each other. Don't do yourself a disservice by not penciling those dates in the diary!