Four years ago, going out meant hanging around bars until early hours, and my days were spent being mindless, just doing whatever the hell I wanted within a moment’s notice and carrying on without a care in the world.
These days, my life is very different. VERY different. I get woken up by a screaming toddler anywhere between 5am – 7am and typically I have around 3 hours child-free to do work before picking him up from preschool. I then work on/off until 9pm, before going to bed to start all over again. Going out is also so, so different. Going out for us can mean anything from taking a quick trip to the local shop for some bread without the little one to a meal out. Or even a rare drink at the pub! I think we’ve genuinely only been out for a drink twice in the 3 years of being parents.
Obviously, OBVIOUSLY… I love our little one unconditionally and I genuinely couldn’t imagine myself anywhere else than being at home raising our gorgeous little boy. He’s the reason why I work so hard at making working from home work well. I’ve had the absolute pleasure of being the stay-at-home parent and getting to watch all his firsts and spend every moment just soaking him in. Watching him grow up has been the best thing. I have loved every single day; but definitely not every moment.
I’m 25, so I still consider myself to be (kinda) a young parent and I miss being child-free, care-free at times. I often miss the days where I could wake up at midday, stumble downstairs and just be. I could leave the house without having to use bribery, back when I didn’t even consider leaving the house to be a ‘thing’… I mean, it’s just walking out of the house, right? Oh, so wrong when you’re a parent.
Whilst we’re parents (and wouldn’t have it any other way) we are also a couple. When we’re with Joshua, we’re not a couple because we just can’t be. We’re parents. That couple switch gets turned off completely as soon as Joshua walks through the door.
We only get proper couple time once every few months or so, when Joshua goes on a playdate or has a sleepover, but even then, we don’t really. Every single time we’ve had a day, evening or whole night alone, something has gone wrong. Either one of us has fallen ill or something went wrong with the house that we’ve needed to fix. Something that takes up our entire child-free day happens and it’s bloody frustrating.
One of the last times we were child-free was on my birthday back in November. We booked to go out for a meal and to a few bars around town, but we barely made it through dinner. Jamie fell ill that morning so we spent the entire day mopping around just waiting for the day to be over. We only went out for the meal in the end because it had been paid for.
It’s completely normal to lose your sense of self once you become a parent, but it doesn’t make it suck any less. All us parents struggle to keep the romantic side of our relationships going and don’t even have the time to consider ourselves in the mix either.
We’re full-time parents, and a part-time couple.