LET’S BE HONEST – FOR ALL THE INNOVATION OF THE INTERNET AGE, PARENTING IS STILL ONE OF THE TOUGHEST GIGS AROUND… …says Bubble and I can’t agree more.
As a new and first time dad, I’ve learnt the hard way that the life of a parent is mainly organised chaos (if you’re lucky enough to learn how to organise it!). I’ve also learnt that one should not miss the spontaneity of the right moment to unwind and take it all in: the noise, the sore muscle, the eye circle, the tantrum, the cuddle, the first tooth. The white nights…
But as a young couple sharing a tiny human, we have been both struggling to find out how to make time for each other and most importantly, how to make the most of each other, because truth being told, we have also been discovering the heavy weight of ‘now’ in parenthood and the dangers of procrastinating the ‘us only time’! Of course, the child is now part of a heavily altered routine and more steam, focussed attention and even (here goes the cheesiness!) our full hearts and souls are now much needed to be shared. Our bodies too – because rocking a baby to sleep for over two hours numbs your arms (and will power), and those ribs that suffer massively during cosleeping with a drunk octopus called A TODDLER, are getting tired (stole the comparison from AllMumsTalk, shhh).
Nevertheless dating was never easy for us, even before parenthood took over, we both had a tendency of over working and starting several projects on our own, so adding a baby to the equation was indeed…rather brave. I started on the wrong foot by missing all her doctor’s appointments and scans during pregnancy, forget about scary antenatal appointments talking dad’s role and birth support – I didn’t even know I had to have an opinion on how a baby should be, well, delivered into the world! I was instead coming home late and she was sleeping, mornings were hectic, arguments and frustrations were at their peak. We had blamed it on our lack of parenthood knowledge and different, higher expectations; the new arrival was becoming increasingly overwhelming, and still it was a wakeup call – THE wake up call, one that we clearly heard after his first birthday when we understood life is more than sharing parental duties, more than work, commuting, or scheduling weekend trips well in advance and pretty much everything else we knew before. It was high time we started dating like all parents should: more often, less planning, more action.
Do or do not, there is no try – keeping Yoda’s wisdom in mind is rather a clever way to remind ourselves we need to disconnect, recharge batteries and keep the couple’s sparkle on. Aiming for a good night out and long uninterrupted adult conversations may not be enough, but it’s now pretty much on our weekly list. We sometimes fail at catching up with each other because of glorious nursery bugs that the toddler is generously sharing with all of us (grand perks of parenthood), but most often we make it happen. Living in London, far away from both our families means we are constantly finding ourselves stuck to a tricky routine ruled by our worries around a child, while we tend to make excuses not to make dating any easier. But that’s not what Yoda would do…So date or date not, there is no try; when excuses start building up, pick up the phone looking for help – nothing wrong in sourcing a friend or a trusted professional sitter to come and save the day…or date!
This article has been published in partnership with Bubble, you can download the brilliant app here. The app connects parents and sitters to each other via mutual friends and contacts. This allows parents to tap into the trusted sitters their friends already know and use. Bubble is mainly London-centric at the moment, but it will be rolling out to the rest of the UK soon, so watch this space!
Both I, here at AllDadsTalk, and Bubble team would love to hear how you manage to find time with your other half. Share your stories on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #datelikeaparent. Read more reviews and engage with other users on Bubble’s Facebook page. We’ll share all of your posts!