We’ve all read this somewhere. Heard it from someone. Maybe rolled our heavy eyes at the thought of it while folding the never-ending baby laundry and simultaneously nursing.
The truth is, it is HARD. Especially in the early months. Hard to find the time. Hard to find the energy. Sometimes hard to find the money. Hard to find the motivation. I mean, how many sleep deprived parents do you know that would opt for a night out vs an early night in if they got the offer of ‘free time?’
Yes, it is absolutely hard. But it’s not impossible.
It just takes more planning – because there is no more going out on a whim. But that’s ok, it’s something to really look forward to isn’t it?
It takes more determination – because you DO know deep down that it is worth it and that it will recharge you in the long run.
And it takes a lot more expectation management. Because most likely, it won’t be like pre-baby dates. There will be nerves (oh so perfectly normal!). Countless urges to ‘check-in’. There might be sitters to go back early for. And pay! And there will almost certainly be more yawns and less wine in anticipation of those early feeds, wake up calls and whiffy diapers. Baby and hangover = just not worth it!
But just because it will be different to pre-baby dates won’t make it any less special. Or essential. You are both finding your feet in this new life-changing role – and even though you might not think it, you are both doing just great! You DO deserve a break every now and then. A chance to recharge and reminisce on why and how you first became a happy couple, and then smile at how beautifully your story has evolved.
We certainly aren’t love experts, but have had our fair share of nerves, tears and hesitations, so from our experiences, here are a few tips on how to enjoy those first few post baby dates:
- Choose a sitter you are completely comfortable with – a family member, a close friend, or a highly recommended sitter. Having utter faith in your sitter is essential in your efforts to relax and recharge. And don’t forget to set clear expectations BEFORE you leave on IF and WHEN you will be calling them OR want them to message you – this saves you racing home in a panic when you can’t get a hold of them, only to find them rocking your baby gently to sleep with their phone on silent in their bag.
- Keep it simple – Date night doesn’t need to be fancy. It can be anything from dinner and a romantic stroll on the beach, to a local coffee, candy on a park bench or a Pokemon Go hunt! We won’t judge! It doesn’t matter, the important thing is you’re spending time together. And if you really aren’t ready to leave baby, then don’t worry. If you force yourself to go, you won’t enjoy it, so why not just plan a special dinner or indoor picnic at home once the baby is down?
- Keep it local – You will feel better knowing you are only ten minutes from home if needed, so don’t stray too far the first few times. Build up your confidence.
- Don’t put so much pressure on yourself regarding how you look – and that’s easier said than done in the early months when your body doesn’t feel like your own. Just remember, your body is your family’s life story. It is capable of amazing things and can and will change. And as for your husband, he watched in aww as you brought life in to this world – he thinks you are an absolute goddess, however you might feel about yourself right now.
- Try not to talk shop – Ok. It’s completely unrealistic to say you won’t talk at all about your tiny new bundle. You are both smitten after all. But try and limit it. Use your date night as a chance to reminisce, gossip and reconnect over shared interests.
Have fun lovebirds! You deserve it.