Last month, Turo and I had our first movie date in three years! This wouldn’t come as a surprise to new parents like us. Apparently, having a baby just makes the already busy life busier. Between going to work, breastfeeding sessions, diaper changes, preparing baby food, bottle cleaning, diaper washing and making ample time for play and bonding, you hardly have time for sleep, and even less time for your partner. And since we have two babies who are only about a year apart, that’s even less time for everything else.
At some point after Ari turned 1, we began to settle into a routine. It was hard then because Ari was yaya-less for several months. And in addition to job-work and house-work, we had to bring Ari to my grandmother’s in the morning and pick him up again at night so somebody can take care of him while we’re at work. Looking back now, I can’t imagine how we survived those months to think that I was already pregnant with Uri that time.
Now that Uri’s past the one-year mark. Our life seems to be settling down to a routine once again. There’s more time to sleep, more time to talk, more time to cook, more time to have fun with the babies and even bonus time to go out on dates.
How do we do it?
Make baby time couple time. We usually take our morning stroll so the babies could get their dose of sunshine vitamin. Ari bikes, and Uri watches neighborhood cats from his stroller. While the babies are busy with their own activities, we get to talk. A simple “how was your workday?” or “what kind of mischief did the babies get into yesterday?” can lead to more interesting conversations.
Eat at least one meal together. An important house rule is, whenever possible, eat together with the babies. Recently however, we found ourselves bending this rule slightly. We now try to eat together at least one meal each weekday, just the two of us. Mealtimes with toddlers can go really crazy. And enjoying a silent and peaceful meal with your husband is a welcome break.
Have surprise dates. I have a pretty flexible work schedule while Turo often goes on leave to attend to other “business”. When one is in the same area as the other and we can both try to sneak out at least a couple of hours from our affairs, it will only take a text message and we’re off to lunch or merienda wherever possible. It’s much easier to go out when we’re already out, than leave the babies when we’re coming from home.
Avoid the TV. Watching TV is a good way to keep updated with the world. But when there’s hardly anything interesting to watch, why not switch the TV off and have some quiet time together sitting on the couch or snuggling in bed.
Have a real date night. We started this new routine by watching Transformers. Okay the movie was terrible but we really really had a nice time watching it together. Makes Michael Bay’s direction a bit more bearable.
And we promised to do this date thing every month. I wonder how our July date will turn out?