Dating Before And After A Baby

On an actual date. On our own. Talking about the baby of course!

On an actual date. On our own. Talking about the baby of course!

Dates before a baby:

‘Hey wanna go out somewhere tonight?’
‘Sure, what shall we do?’
‘Let’s just decide later, we’ll go out about eight.’
Start getting ready about six, wash hair leisurely, maybe use that nice new hair mask you got. Blow dry it then style it nicely. Spend a while picking out your outfit. Full face of make up. Matching jewellery.
Head off around eight.
Decide to go for a bit of a drive and end up at a pub miles from home.
Talk about how your day’s been, family, friends, holidays, politics, anything really.
Enjoy a few hours in the beer garden.
Get back in the car and decide to go on a detour.
Don’t arrive home until the early hours.
Lie in the next morning.

Dates after having a baby:

‘We’ve got a babysitter on June 23, 2024. We have three hours to ourselves, let’s book something now.’
‘We need to be within ten minutes of home and make sure the place has excellent phone signal.’
Feed, bath and change baby taking you up until 15 minutes before you’re meant to be leaving the house.
Think you should probably start getting ready.
Baby decides to do an explosive poo and then tries to crawl off four times while you change her.
Jump in the shower for approximately 2.7 seconds, holding a bath toy in one hand to entertain your child who’s stood at the side of the bath trying to climb in.
Put on the first thing you reach that vaguely fits, is clean and doesn’t make you look too much like you’re still pregnant.
Brush hair. That’ll do.
Get excited you can wear jewellery cause the baby’s not going to be there trying to pull it off. Wear the biggest piece of jewellery you own, even if it doesn’t match your outfit at all.
Set off half an hour late, after having run through all the instructions three times with babysitter: feeding times, bed time routine, what to do if there’s a fire, what makes baby laugh/cry, what to do if there’s a zombie invasion. Of course making sure your phone number is clearly written in at least five places in the house.
Get round the corner, wonder if you should call to check if baby’s okay.
Arrive at your destination. Order something with mash on the menu even if it’s not your favourite, because it’s the baby’s favourite and you’ve forgotten they’re not with you.
Talk about baby poo and sick.
Decide not to talk about the baby for a while. Last three seconds before you remember you haven’t told your other half about that really adorable thing she did the other day.
Phone babysitter. They don’t answer on the first ring, immediately assume the worst.
Get home before 11pm. Decide to lie in tomorrow, at least til 6.30am.

Harriet and Alexandra x

A Test? More Like A Marathon

My fave two faces.

My fave two faces.

In the hazy, pre-Alexandra days of our relationship when we occasionally didn’t bother to wake up until late on a Sunday or decided to pop to the pub on a whim at 10pm on a weekday evening, I don’t think I ever contemplated how much life would change with a baby. Yes, I knew my world would spin on its axis but I didn’t expect my relationship to alter at all. But the simple fact of the matter is that it did. And it’s always going to.

I’d heard all this business about a baby testing even the strongest relationship but to be honest, I didn’t think it would make a jot of difference to us and thought the only test would be if you were having a ‘band aid baby’ to try and patch up whatever problems there were between the couple. But we had no problems. I was genuinely and utterly happy (I still am…it sounds like I’m gearing up to tell you I hate Dylan now. I’m not!) and aside from the fact he’s chronically late and always messes up the cling film, I think he’s the most wonderfully perfect person. And I’m not just saying that because I know he reads these blogs.

So, I really didn’t think adding a baby into the mix would be much of a problem. I thought we’d just change up our schedules a bit and that’d be that. Oh how gloriously naïve. When you throw in bucket-loads of sick, a baby wailing for food and utter, all-consuming tiredness, it turns out a relationship is much harder. You don’t love them any less, in fact I love Dylan a whole heap more seeing how he is with our little girl and seeing how much he loves her. But we have to actually make time to cuddle now, or chat to each other about something that isn’t how many poos Alexandra has done that day. Sometimes I feel so absolutely exhausted I don’t want to talk to anyone at all and I have to remind myself that really, it’s pretty awful not to be cheerful towards a man who’s dragged himself out of bed, driven down the motorway, spent a full day working, come home and probably bathed the baby and put her to bed, all to make your life so much better.

To turn your life around from being a two to a three is such a massive adjustment and I feel like we’re still trying to get the balance right – between us having one-to-one time with Alex, us all spending time together and us actually managing to talk to each other sometimes as well! It requires planning now: not, shall we go out now? But shall we get a babysitter next week and go out? Or shall we run round the house grabbing multiple items the baby will need in the next couple of hours and then take her out too?

I know I absolutely chose to have a baby with the right person and I can’t imagine anyone else being Alexandra’s daddy – but it makes me think how awful it must be if you’re not sure and you don’t like the other person as much (or at all). To not enjoy those rare moments you do get together when one of you isn’t rushing somewhere or finishing doing some chore or another, is pretty grim. As the title of this post suggests, having a baby isn’t a relationship test, it’s like some bizarre marathon where you’ve set off never having run a metre before, the path is strewn with hurdles, challenges, and you will NEVER SLEEP SOUNDLY AGAIN. (echoey voice)

Harriet and Alexandra x