Alex Molton wonders how hard it can be to find time for a simple conversation…..
I was excited this week. After a few weeks of negotiating, I’d managed to organise a babysitter who doesn’t mind the dog and could watch the kids so we could go to the cinema to watch a film on it’s last day of showing. Then OH announced he was too tired, didn’t want to be back late and then up early for work and might not fancy it after all, so the plans got cancelled. Boo.
Trivial though it might seem, with no parents nearby to help with childcare and few opportunities to go out together on our own, I was a bit disappointed. Naively we always thought as the kids got older it would be easier to find time to go out as they wouldn’t need so much from us at bedtime and could be a bit more self-reliant. However, a move to a bigger house, surprise mortgage hike and this cost of living madness we are all wading through has put paid to the funds to get out and about much. Plus now there is the dog too.
OH is an incredible chef so is reluctant to visit restaurants as he feels let down by the food and shocked by the price of the wine. We have previously had a great time going to watch live bands, but with ticket prices through the roof now (seriously, who can afford to pay £100 a ticket to see a band these days!) this is sadly not an option either.
I get it. And yet I do worry about finding enough time for each other in our daily lives, with weekday evenings disappearing in a sea of dinner, clubs, dog walks and showers and I am very conscious of not ending up like those couples who have nothing in common once the kids leave home.
We do try and make an effort to spend time together alone over dinner, but with the kids staying up later and later each week it seems, and our daughter gatecrashing most attempts at an adult-only dinner (“Can I join your for your next date night, mum?” she asked me this week “You have such nice food!”) it’s tricky to fit anything in.
Many of our friends have slightly older teens who can be left at home to watch younger siblings and they seem to make a better job of getting out and about as a couple, but with many more means than us and parents to help out too, they have a few more options available. I know we are in the majority as lots of families no longer live near extended family and many of us are watching the pennies as we worry about feeding the family and paying the bills.
So what to do? Well, all good intentions are there. Maybe we need to be a bit creative in finding time on our own. Or start doing the evening dog walk together. One thing’s for certain; we’ll be setting a few date night tables for three.
NB We did find time for a chat and a sneaky mid-week glass of wine once the kids were settled in bed and and dog walked in the end.