Monday, 19 February 2018

Making time for two

When Oskar was tiny, time for the two of us wasn’t really something we had to consider. It was just a given that it was something that had to be put on hold. Having a newborn is such a whirlwind, we didn’t even think about it.
There were a few times that his grandparents looked after him for a couple of hours - while we went for a cocktail on my birthday, and when we went to Cirque Du Soleil. It wasn’t until Oskar was a year and two months old however, when we left him for a couple of hours for the 3rd time, that we felt comfortable doing so. We hardly ever have an opportunity where a relative could babysit Oskar, but haven’t at all minded being his sole carers 24/7 - after all, he’s our child! But at that third time, when we went out for food and a cocktail, finally feeling comfortable about him being with someone else meant we could actually enjoy being together without worrying, which was lovely, and we found it to be really rejuvenative.

However, being as Oskar is with us 24/7, we have tried to include ways in day to day life that we can enjoy each other’s company. Every couple has their own ways of making time for each other, and we have by no means got our balance perfect, but here’s what helps us!

Getting outdoors

Oskar, like us, loves being outside in the thick of nature. It’s something we all enjoy that is entertaining for Oskar, meaning if he is happy wandering and exploring for himself, Lauren and I can have a chat as we walk.

We would highly recommend getting outside - having a child can get very cabin-fever like if you are indoors all day, and we always love to spot signs that represent the season.

In general, it’s something we all enjoy, that is good for us, and gives Lauren and I chance to feel like a couple even though we are still hand in hand with our toddler.

Let family help sometimes if they can - but only for as much as you feel comfortable with 

We had a little milestone recently, as Oskar spent his first night away from us. Lauren’s parents had been pleading with us for a while to let him have a little sleepover with Omi and Grandad, and we finally agreed a few weeks ago. Although we were confident they understood his needs, and had witnessed how content he was in their presence, we were still a little apprehensive! 
However we needn’t have worried, as Oskar had a wonderful time being taken to an alpaca farm, and given a very luxurious breakfast. We enjoyed a quiet evening with a bottle of wine, and then went out for lunch the next day before our boy was returned to us very happy and in one piece!

Celebrate things as a family - it means you still get to celebrate them!

We’ve had two Valentines Days and two wedding anniversaries whilst we’ve been mums, and have involved Oskar in all of them. We went to Birmingham Botanical Gardesn for our wedding anniversary with our 1 month old, revisited the coffee shop we spent our first date for Valentine’s 2017 with an 8 month old, and as Oskar was so tiny, he pretty much slept the whole time for both. We spent our 4th wedding anniversary in Brighton converting our Civil Partnership to marriage, and having our 13 month old with us, who could sit happily in restaurants with us, and play on the beach, made it really special. 

This Valentine’s Day Lauren was working in the morning, so I made Oskar a heart themed lunch and we read lots of books about love. 

When Lauren got home we had cards, flowers, presents, and an amazing hot chocolate box! We then went out to Selfridges for a vegan sushi dinner - Oskar was enthralled by the sushi conveyor belt!

 It may not be most people’s idea of a romantic evening but we are proud that we still celebrate Valentine’s (on our 14th one together!) and celebrating with our son meant we still got to enjoy the day. Once Oskar was asleep later in the evening we sat down together to enjoy hot chocolate, which reminds me of our next tip...

Make the most of little moments 

Once Oskar is in bed in the evening (usually about 7.30pm then he will wake once or twice - (hopefully!)in the night before waking between 5am-6.30am) we make the most of being able to snuggle up on the sofa with drinks and snacks, and have a chat or watch a tv show without toddler interruption. It’s a nice way to end our day, winding down and relaxing together - even if we’re always too tired for bedtime to be later than 10pm!

We have seen already just how fast time goes. It seems in the blink of an eye Oskar has gone from a scrunched up tiny newborn to a running, dancing, singing child who can say 60 words, who can make decisions. We are happy to have very little time to ourselves whilst we enjoy the precious time that our boy is little. We seem to feel more in love with every year that goes by, and sometimes, we miss each other, that’s only natural.  Our time together will increase over the years, but for now, we are happy making the most of our moments as wife and wife, whilst enjoying every other moment as Mummy and Mama - we are lucky that we get to call ourselves both of those things!

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