The changing face of love

Alex Molton looks forward to a planned weekend of peace and quiet with the OH, and no kids, if we can only get there….

Towels in the shape of two swans with heads together


It’s been a pretty quiet half term in our house. I’ve been working, the weather has been a bit pants and the kids have been taking it in turns to sneeze, cough and sniffle their way through the day. Even the dog has been fairly chilled, for a one year old Jack Russell.

A night away

However, anticipation is high for the weekend, with OH and I scheduled to enjoy a night off from parenting, dog duties and the usual humdrum of everyday life with an overnight stay in a quaint Cotswold B&B. [It’s a surprise though, so don’t tell OH!] We just have to get through the last few hours without any dramas, anyone falling significantly ill or the dog running off and getting lost. Fingers crossed.

With a lack of parents to take on the kids it’s been at least a decade since we have been away for the night together on our own, but I have managed to find one night where kind friends are willing to take on the kids (and dog) so that we can escape. The last trip was to Bath – which was romantic and relaxing, until we got refused entry to the Roman Baths because someone had pushed into the queue in front of us, and OH kicked off. The vibe didn’t really recover after that. Hopefully, this time might be a bit more calm.

Making the effort

Having been together over 15 years now we aren’t always very good at carving out time as a couple, or making the effort to spend time away from the children on our own. To be fair it’s been quite an intense decade of child rearing, house moving, job changing and dog acquiring, so we’ve not had a lot of spare time. But now that we are pretty settled and the kids are getting bigger hopefully we might find a bit more time (although I’m not sure about the energy).

With Valentine’s day this week love has been in the air (kind of), although I’ve been surprised to hear that most of our friends don’t go in for celebrating this traditional day of romance. Perhaps they are just as tired as us? Quite possibly. A friend and her husband went away for the weekend recently and I think they both spent most of the first day napping. To be honest our ‘romantic’ Valentine’s meal (although delicious, OH is a brilliant chef) did involve quite a lot of me watching telly whilst hanging up the washing and sipping at a glass of fizz whilst OH was off cheffing in the kitchen next door and the kids shouted their way through a film upstairs. So not the most traditionally romantic of nights for us either.

Changing love

It’s a funny thing, changing love through the years. In the early days everything is so intense and exciting, but as the years tick by it’s the little things that make the difference, especially with kids in the mix too. Actually, I’m a sucker for a cuppa in bed of a morning. It happens rarely so feels like a treat, but it’s nice to be surprised with it. Mainly it is about an easy existence with each other; settling down to watch tv together when you’ve survived another day in the whirlwind of family life; supporting each other when things are tough; giving each other the space to be your own person as well as allowing the OH to do the same. And maybe the simplicity of that is ok; life changes you along the way and I think it’s pretty good going if you can navigate the way together when so many grow apart en route. All we can do is try to keep going.

So there we are: hotel booked, dinner table organised; I have even found a live music venue to try out. Hopefully, we’ll manage to mainly stay awake. But, of course, parenting is unpredictable and anything could happen before we get to tomorrow, so watch this space. If it goes well maybe we’ll manage to make it an annual event. Get it in the diary now!

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