In the run up to Christmas I was trying to hunt down the best gift for Daniel. I thought the best gift would be to spend some time together as a couple. We’d have happily stayed at home, but I thought it would be nicer for the children to be at home with their grandparents in their familiar surroundings. So I thought best to take him away for the night to stay in a hotel and spend some time just us two, having dinner together, walking. I wanted us to have an uninterrupted evening and day together.
There was a slight pang of guilt for wanting this, initially there always is. But I just take each moment as it comes and remind myself that these moments and time without our kiddos are so important for us sometimes.
I chose the lovely York Lodge Hotel, recommended by a friend of mine. A lovely short walk into Canterbury city centre. So friendly and welcoming and a lovely spacious and clean room. Breakfast was lovely too. I have linked the website if you wanted to go and check it out. We would definitely recommend it. I am genuinely sharing and we were not asked or paid to share the hotel.
We love our children so much but just having a night away, or going for dinner on the odd occasion, lets us feel like the couple we were before we had kids. It reminds us of everything we have in common and how much we love being in each others company. We can pretend for a short amount of time that we don’t have any responsibilities.
Overcoming feeling guilty for wanting this is tricky. Being a mum is not something you can ever switch off from, I found myself constantly thinking about them and Daniel and I spoke about them often throughout the day. I always feel bad the kids are not enjoying dinner out with us or enjoying walking with us. But then I remind myself how much time we do spend with them, and where we do take them. If I didn’t remind myself I would spend the whole time feeling guilty and wouldn’t enjoy the moment.
Time with my husband is also about self care for each of us, relaxing, not having to worry about holding tiny hands, eyes everywhere, not able to really relax because we have three small children to be responsible for, including all the extra bags for baby Arthur and making sure each child is happy.
I think once you become a parent time on your own without the kiddies becomes sacred, its not always easy to find a babysitter, so sometimes its a two for ten dinner watching something on Netflix. But whatever it is however we spend out date nights they always are so appreciated.
I decided on Canterbury because there is so much to do and see and it’s a lovely city to visit. I booked it and arranged the dates with the grandparents to suit for the end of January.
And here we are just home from our wonderful trip together. Yes it wasn’t long just one night and one day together but we savoured each minute. We relaxed, I read, I did some writing, had a long bath each, walked, went to the city centre, visited the cathedral, walked by the river. Took in the pretty views. I had a spring in my step, felt the crisp air on my face, my neck warmed by my big yellow chunky scarf, which my mum had brought me as a gift, for no reason at all other then I had told her how much I loved her one. And I just felt so utterly happy, to be with him, to be just us for a small moment in time. It felt so good to grab his hand and know I’d be the only one wanting to hold it.
We ate our body weight in food, we love food and also had some lovely cocktails at a bar in the city centre. Did a little bit of shopping and bought a little something to take home for each of the children.
It’s so important to take time out as a couple. Taking the time to remember to appreciate each other, remember what we both have in common, why we love each other and why we chose each other. The more we are able to focus on all the good things about each other the stronger we become and I know that foundation is so important for our children.
Working, and raising children, looking after your home requires a great amount of ones energy and time and if one is not careful it can all fall apart if one forgets why one choose the other in the first place. I’ve seen my parents marriage fall apart as a young adult and I’ve seen the complex way in which relationships stop working for the good of each person.
Its given me great insight into how in my mind marriages and relationships work. Appreciate each other first. If you feel under appreciated its most likely the other feels exactly the same.
Daniel and I are not perfect but we try, I appreciate him so much and I hope I always show him. I think appreciation of the other is one of the most important things you can do to keep your relationship strong.
Not a day has gone by where he hasn’t shown me how much he appreciates me always scooping me up and putting me back together when I’ve lost a bit of control of everything and all the plates I balance. I hope I do that for him too.
January can also be such a long month and I think a lot of us tend to feel the pressures and after math of Christmas spending meaning you have to rein it back somewhat in January. So making sure we take a little time out at least once in January sets us up for the start of the year going forward. I recommended it to every couple. Take a night away with your spouse in January and see the difference it makes to your year.
We finished off our day having an afternoon tea, which was delicious and then headed home an hour before the time we agreed to see our trio. It couldn’t have been more perfect.