My husband and I got home from a date night and as we thanked our sitter for watching our son, she said, “of course, I just realized it might be the last time I get to watch him because you guys never go out on dates.” I let that sink in a bit. We are preparing to move across the country (again) and I can count on both my hands (maybe even just one hand) the number of date nights my husband and I have had over the last 19 months since our son was born here in Flagstaff. It reminded me of the everyday struggle to find a good balance of family time and one-on-one time with each other as a couple. Both are equally important.
Since we both work full time and our son goes to daycare Monday-Friday from 7:30 to 5:30 we like to spend as much time as possible with him on nights and weekends. As a working Mom I feel like I miss out on so many firsts, snuggles and laughs. We have been really lucky to have found such an amazing daycare at Kingdom Kids in town. I am able to login and watch him play a little bit during my day when I find my mind wandering thinking about him and missing him. This has really made this whole working Mom thing bearable.
Every time my husband suggests a date night after work I immediately get the “mom guilt” deep in my stomach. That feeling that I must be a bad mom if I leave our son with a sitter after he has already been without us for the entire day, and the sadness that it is one more night that I won’t be able to snuggle him to sleep. That guilt is immediately followed by the “wife guilt,” that my husband also needs my time and attention, just like I need his. It’s a reminder of how much I miss our adventures together. Our mornings and evenings feel like they are always a mad dash.
In the morning to get everyone fed and out the door, drop our son off at daycare and get myself to work on time. Then at night to again get us all fed, baby bathed and to sleep, then finally the dog walked. By that time we are both so mentally tired. It is hard to have any kind of quality conversation and time with each other before bed time for us (which keeps getting earlier and earlier).
After the sitter made that comment my husband and I decided that we did need more “us time” to make sure our relationship stays solid. I know it is important for us to have our time together as a couple, as our son is always watching us. I want to make sure he knows what a healthy relationship looks like.
It’s a constant balancing act that is always needing tweaking, being a good mom and a good wife, giving out the attention everyone needs and wants, but it’s always worth it! I found the thing that helps me keep all that mom guilt is leaving for date nights at or after bed time so that we can also soak up all of the time we can with our son making memories and catching as many giggles and firsts as we can!