So we are almost approaching seven whole years of marriage. People talk about the seven year itch, but I think we had a one year inch and found that first year together really tough! Getting used to each others habits and quarrelling about really stupid things like Ikea flat pack and how to squeeze the toothpaste from the tube.
Although having kids together is amazing I find it crazy when people say they're having a baby to save their marriage. Babies and the subsequent lack of sleep is so challenging to any relationship - so you need a solid base in the first place. But it can be so hard not to let raising babies completely consume you and forget to find time for each other.
So when we got invited to our lovely friend's wedding we decided we'd have a little weekend get-a-way and stay in a hotel. I will admit that at the thin end of the wedge maternity pay wise I was scouring the internet trying to find us a really budget deal. So I was all ready to book a travel lodge and get my 20% cashback via quidco; however when the Belgian googled the location and pointed out that it was in fact next to a service station on the motorway. Romantic! So we upgraded to the Village Hotel. Not a lay by or Little Chef in sight!
We were so glad we made the decision to ditch the kids with my parents and found that what we enjoyed most was that we could actually finish a conversation - a very underrated plus of attending a social event sans kids. Like big deep and meaningfuls, putting the world to rights without tantrums, tears and teething getting in the way.
We were put on a table with a couple who were juggling a six week old baby and a very lively toddler. We kept catching each others eye as they said things in strained voices like, "its your turn to chase her" or "can I eat my food now?" You could say we were somewhat smug - well smug in the knowledge that we would have fallen out by that point if the kids were involved.
We got to slow dance and remember the 'good old days' together. Some ceroc dancing with the Belgian to cheesy love songs was good for the soul. Plus my outfit remained intact with no snail trails or grubby little fingerprints. Plus I had time to do my make-up and attempt a hair style.
Back at the hotel room it was a luxuary to have a bath without sitting amongst smelly, mouldy bath toys. No errant bibs, Paw Patrol toys or half drunk baby bottles littering our room. No chores to do before bedtime. I was really looking forward to my lie in in the morning, but for some reason I was awake by seven thirty - typical hey? But at least it wasn't five am and I didn't have a toddler using my head as a bouncy castle.
Last, but least, hotel buffet breakfasts. Enough said.
On our drive back to reality the Belgian said he'd like to do it every month. The grandparents looked pretty exhausted when we got back so not too sure they'd be on board but I think every three months is reasonable - or at least a date night every month.
And the smile on the Toddler's face when I got back - priceless!