I met Chris when I was a 19-year old sophomore at the University of Arizona and was engaged to be his wife a short 13 months later. When we get married I was a few weeks shy of turning 22 and had just graduated college 2 weeks prior. Needless to say our lives were VERY different at the beginning of our marriage 😉
It was easy to find time to spend together. We went to movies, on day trips, out to dinner, whenever we wanted. We had no commitments beyond our work schedules and our newlywed days flew by. 10 months into our marriage he deployed to Afghanistan and we learned the real art of communication over that year. Gone were the movie dates and hello to broken-up phone dates and fuzzy Skype screens. And then on his R&R we got pregnant with Emmalyne.
Everyone tells you how things change when you have kids and they’re right. Everything does … but in so many ways it changes for the better. However, finding time to ourselves is one of the things that has become increasingly difficult. As we head into welcoming our second child into this world and our time gets that much more divided I just wanted to share one thing I learned after having Em: You HAVE to make time to date your spouse.
On Tuesday Emmalyne was in school and Chris was on leave. Rather than conquer our never-ending to-do list we took the time to go to lunch without the kiddo. And it was glorious. We were able to have uninterrupted conversation and enjoy our food at a leisurely pace. Don’t get me wrong … life with Em is 1,000x better than life without her but it was nice to feel like we were dating again.
When you’re a brand new mom (or dad) it can be REALLY hard leaving your child with someone else in order to go on a date night. But in reality, doing that is so very important. I have come to realize that our marriage is the foundation on which our family is built. It takes time and effort to cultivate it and keep it strong. Kids pick up on it when there is stress in the house. They learn about love by watching their parents. I want our girls to grow up seeing how ridiculously in love their parents are and hope for a relationship like that one day.
Now, I HATE paying for babysitters. It’s too expensive sometimes to justify going to a movie etc. So Chris and I have had date nights at home. This was particularly important in the beginning when Em was small. It was easy to keep her downstairs with us until it was time for us to go to bed but then we realized by doing that we never have any time alone. So we started putting her down for the night upstairs and would order take-out and a movie for a date in the living room.
My point is is that for you first time moms out there don’t be afraid or feel guilty if you just want to go out with your husband. Your little ones will survive an evening without you and it’s seriously refreshing to get dressed up for a night on the town with your man.