Life with three children is busy. Fact.
Dave works full time. I teach a few days a week and run my freelance blogging business outside of that.
Ben does Beavers and Street Dance, all three children have swimming lessons during the week. We like our weekends to be for adventures.
Our weeks are busy.
We dash from school runs to work to clubs fitting in homework, meals and laundry in the gaps.
We text each other about groceries and if the bills have been paid.
Then sometimes, just sometimes, we take time for ourselves. The children go to stay with Nana & Dennis or Granny & Grandad for the weekend and we stop. Of course there are times when the kids are away that we do big jobs in the house, decorating and such like but this weekend? We stopped.
On Friday night Dave was home from work a little early and whisked the children away to his Mum’s for the weekend. I took great pleasure in coming home to an empty house, putting some Bloc Party on the stereo and spending an hour or so cracking on with my “to do” list in the hope that I would be able to properly switch off for the weekend.
It has become a fairly standard child-free treat now for us to go to Five Guys and then the cinema. We have been to Five Guys with the kids before now but to be honest, if I’m going to spend that much on a burger I want to take my time to enjoy it and not be worrying about mopping up spilled drinks and debating how much tomato sauce is too much (if you ask our three, they’d confidently tell you there is no such thing).
Our film of choice was T2 Trainspotting – the options were pretty limited as we have quite different taste in films but we both quite fancied this one. I hadn’t seen the original since about 1998 (Dave was amused to hear I’d watched it in a Greek open air theatre with subtitles . . . ) and I was worried that I should probably have re-watched it before seeing the sequel. As it turned out I think I would have benefited from a bit of revision beforehand but it wasn’t the end of the world. Dave wasn’t a massive fan and said he thought it was a bit boring, I in the other hand thought it was a great film but hated watching it! I spent the whole time jumping out of my skin or holding my breath, tense as anything – which I realise some people love but it’s not normally what I look for in a film. All in I’m glad we went to see it but I won’t be bothered about watching it again!
It has become something of a tradition now that Dave and I will save our Christmas spends for our first child-free weekend of the year and head up to the Trafford Centre for a little splurge. There’s something fairly self-indulgent about wandering around a huge shopping centre with a bit of money in your pocket and no time constraints or little legs to worry about. I had a few things in mind that I wanted to try on that I’d seen earlier in the week and a couple of bits and pieces I wanted to hunt down. I find shopping for myself hard work these days and will easily get fed up if I can’t find what I’m looking for which of course threatened to completely spoil our day! After a fairly slow start made worse by my back really hurting, we stopped for a drink and a bit of cake to regroup. I’m pleased to say in the end I managed to get a new dress from M&S and a top I’d been looking at in GAP earlier in the week (with a bonus 40% off!). The shoes I’d been swooning over unfortunately didn’t fit and I’m still on the hunt for a bag to replace my very tired Pink Lining rucksack.
Spending time together as a couple is so important. We both relish taking our time to potter around the shops holding hands, chatting over a bit of lunch about our plans for the house, a holiday, the future. I know that we are extremely lucky to get these weekends but I think they’re entirely necessary. I don’t want to find, fifteen years down the line, when the kids are leaving home that Dave and I no longer know (or possibly even like) each other.