This is something I have touched on lightly on my blog before but never dedicated a whole post to. The aspect of parenting that I have struggled with the most (more of less from day one) is the change it has had on my relationship with my husband Nick. Before Nick and I had Elfie we were each other’s number one concern and interest - we invested all our love and plans in each other and nurtured each other everyday. When we got pregnant we took this to another level with our excitement and dreams of the future and the romance that a first baby brings. But when Elfie was born - it all changed. Not in a dramatic way - of course we still love each other dearly but our focus shifted.
We are no longer each other’s primary concern - Elfie is and she has to be (for now anyway as a young child). I want to be open and honest about this as I feel its something that isn’t talked about much. I miss the tenderness we used to give each other, which as soon as having new born I found myself giving Elfie not Nick and I miss the one to one time we used to spend together. I feel a shift in our relationship from being a couple to at times being colleagues in parenting and I struggle with this - (probably because I am a hopeless romantic). I want to find a way to rekindle the tenderness we had for each other and somehow make room for more couple time. To put it simply I really miss being Nick’s number one and I imagine lots of you do too and we should be allowed to feel this and than work on it.
One way to do this of course is to be proactive and plan date nights / trips. When Nick and I and do this its so wonderful and refreshing - we talk properly, give each other full attention and enjoy each other’s company. We come back feeling refreshed, loved up and also missing our daughter. We went to New York last year for 5 days and had such an amazing time and since than we have been trying to go on more date nights (but this is hard as we have no family in London and costs a lot to get babysitters).
Last Month Novotel Hotel invited us to stay in one of their London hotels for the night. At first I thought it was a bit of a strange thing to accept as we live in London but then we realised it would mean a mini trip for the two of us and so we accepted it straight away. It was so exciting to pack our over night bags and check into a hotel like a new couple! We went out for cocktails and dinner (with money Nick's parents had kindly given me for my birthday to specifically take Nick out with) and amazingly got to sleep in the next morning till 10am! We were so lucky that Nick’s brother and girlfriend could come to London and look after Elfie and really appreciate it. Our plan now is to try and go away for a night or two twice a year. Even if we only travel half an hour and stay in a friends place when they are away to save money it still means a new place and a bit of time to ourselves to treasure our relationship. I really recommend this to everyone. I think sometimes we get so carried away with the love we have for our children we forget that our partners are the ones we have chosen to spend our whole lives with - not our children - and we need to treasure this commitment and try hard not to take it forgranted.