With working and parenting and just generally trying to keep your shit together on a daily basis, it can be easy to forget to be a couple. Our daily discussions tend to focus on who's turn it is to deal with the foul odour emanating from our child, and whats for breakfast/lunch/dinner? It is really easy to fall into a comfortable pattern, which for us at the moment involves me heading to bed before 8pm to binge watch The Good Wife on Netflix, while he catches up on his backlog of documentaries or watches sport. Now, don't get me wrong, some nights this is great, we have been together long enough to not sweat the small stuff. However, after a few weeks of this you can start of feel a little distant or out of touch.
I really think making time for each other is important, time when you can reconnect and actually have a conversation, or *gasp* leave the house together after dark.
Last weekend we had arranged a babysitter so we could go out and celebrate a friends birthday, but sadly it was cancelled at the last minute, so we decided to go out anyway just the two of us. We had heard really positive things about The Northumberland Hussar pub in Heaton, which is just around the corner from the first house we shared together 9 years ago. Back then it was a total dive, had a reputation for some slightly dodgy dealings and was generally somewhere we avoided at all costs. Over the last few years it has had a complete relaunch and we decided to check it out, we initially planned on just popping in for drinks, then heading to our favourite Italian restaurant for dinner, but the menu lured us in and we ended up staying there all night.
There was a lot of options on the menu from the usual pizza/burgers/sandwiches to more unusual Poutine, Rendang Curry and some delicious sounding salads. I went for the Cuban Sandwich which consisted of roasted pork, Serrano ham, Gruyere cheese, mustard and pickles served with thrice cooked wedges. I was in food heaven and despite wanting to try everything on the menu I would probably end up ordering it again and again and again. Paul went for the burger, which was nice but nothing to rave about.
They also had a fairly impressive gin selection, I opted for Hendricks with a cucumber garnish and Paul stuck to pints of Brooklyn lager.
All in all we had a really lovely time, and while we were home by 9:30pm it felt great to go out as grown ups and enjoy some adult conversation (although we did end up talking about Zoe a fair bit).
Even just spending a few hours being 'us' again, I already feel a bit more connected and relaxed. Having a baby is such a huge life changing event, and I honestly don't know how I would have got through the last 15 months without my partner in crime. This week we celebrate our 10th anniversary, even after so long, I feel that regular date nights are so important to remembering who we are, outside of parenthood, or careers.
I'd love to hear any ideas you have for fun and different date nights/days...