My in-laws are in town this week, and I am taking full advantage of having four extra hands in the house. My showers have been a bit longer, and I’ve put on makeup every single day – amazing! They have been so helpful playing with Cullen, giving our dogs extra treats and belly rubs, and helping out with some of my least favorite tasks (like emptying the dishwasher). They were also nice enough to offer to stay home on baby monitor duty so that my husband and I could go out for a long overdue date night!
We don’t do date nights all that often because, with no family living in town, they require pre-planning and babysitters. And a few hours at a nice restaurant, combined with a few hours of babysitting can really add up! So they are special occasions, which means that we appreciate them so much more now.
Sunday night, my husband and I headed to one of our favorite vegetarian spots in Seattle. Whenever we do get the change to go out just us, we tend to go all out. A rare baby-less meal often has me ordering way more food than one person should consume. We talked, we shared plates, and we got in a few really great hours of being just us two.
We talk all the time at home, but there is something that just feels so different when we’re all dressed up and enjoying each other’s company over a delicious pate platter appetizer. Our talks tend to be more serious, more meaningful.
We walked out of dinner, hand in hand, feeling refreshed and reconnected. With all the craziness of baby’s first year, it’s so important to take time out for your partner and your marriage. I will not sugar coat it – we’ve had a hard year. A great year in many ways, but also one with a lot of challenges. And since it is just us out here – doing our best to raise our little guy – it is easy to take things out on each other when work days are too long, or sleep is too short. This year has been a lesson in communication, balance, respect, and appreciation – both for each other, and for our relationship.
I’m so glad we got the change to get out and have a nice long dinner together. And since we don’t have visitors coming again any time soon, I feel motivated to get a few more dates planned with babysitters. Date nights don’t have to be extravagant or expensive either. We could do a picnic in the park, go for an evening run, or walk around one of Seattle’s free museums. The important thing is to just be together. As much as I absolutely love our family of three, it’s so important to nurture that time when it’s just us two.
Read more from Emily on her personal blog Daily Garnish, where she creates healthy vegetarian recipes, recaps her latest running adventures, and chronicles life as a new mom to her son and two crazy dogs. You can follow along on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest too!