This is the post which I wrote for Natalie at Mum in Brum’s new guest post series #UsAfterYou… check it out over on her blog Mum In Brum!
If you don’t already follow Natalie – Mum in Brum – join her mailing list and follower her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as her writing style is brilliant and she covers such a variety of topics from lifestyle, home and parenting. I really identify with Natalie’s posts as her daughter is the same age as Baby H, and they both seem to be of such a similar temperament.
I had a lovely email from Natalie at Mum in Brum about her new guest post series #UsAfterYou. This was such great timing as baby H had just turned one, and so given we’ve been reflecting on the last year so much, it’s also lovely to look back at the past year and think about how hubby and I have changed since becoming a family of three.
One of the main ways out life has changed is we can’t go out on a spur of the moment for dinner date. There have been three stages to our evenings since H was born:
- Little baby – probably 3 weeks in: We went out for dinner loads, a couple of times a week. Well, she was a newborn and she slept loads. It was great, we thought “nothing’s changed”, how we were in for a shock!
- Suddenly at 3 months, H NEEDED to go to bed, she screamed the house down if she wasn’t taken up to her crib, if she didn’t hear her mobile playing (which calmed her straight away) and see Ewan the sheep. Ewan was turned on and quick as a flash she was calm smiling and snoring. Hubby and I didn’t know what had hit us, we had our evenings to ourselves, no little baby asleep in our arms or the bouncer. No little cooing sounds. Just us and the TV and Netflix. So there were no dinners out, but instead we had yummy dinners in, snuggled on the sofa, becoming immersed in whatever TV series we could.
- So that’s where we’ve been since around 3 months, rarely going out for dinner, but at one year, that’s all changing! We’ve decided that as H loves eating with us (and stealing our food), it’s time to brave the going-out-for-dinner-world again WOOHOOOOOO! We’ve been twice so far (yes, twice in two weeks!!) and it’s gone REALLY well! Yes, H needs a bit of a walk between main course and desserts. Yes, she wants to eat everything we have. Yes, she loves it! So, all new mummy’s out there, you might think you can’t go out for dinner, but you will be able to soon!
So, we’ve established we can have date night again, just with a twist: the addition of our little munching monster.
- Having a cupboard stocked with olives, olive tapanade and sun-dried tomatoes
- A Camembert baker… come on who doesn’t love cheese, and, I also love that hubby and I have dinner dates at home: 3 courses with foods we might have if we were out
- Waitrose meals deals – the meal deals at Waitrose are often a bit different, and always absolutely yummy – and best of all throw-it-in-the-oven dinner dates are brilliant with a little baby, when you’re really shattered
We’ve traded nice restaurants, along with theatre and cinema trips for:
- Amazon Prime/Netflix subscription and box sets like Modern Family. We love to get into a TV series and have a good laugh, so this is something we’ve loved – Modern Family is our favourite series at the moment. Seriously, this is essential for new parents.
- Painting…. Ok, this is one I wouldn’t recommend to everyone as it’s rather stressful… but buying a new house and decorating. We THRIVE on this. We walked into so many houses and walked straight back out again. Living where we do, it’s not cheap, but the extreme lack of houses recently has driven prices up crazily. Houses were jumping 50k in a space of months (well between the first buyer falling through and it coming back on the market). Ultimately on finding our forever home, we were both taken and excited to start turning it into ours, and make it Baby H’s home to grow up in.
- ‘Us time’ – well this is essential, yes we need an ‘early’ night. Well lets face it, it’s what we did before the little one came along!
- Watching baby’s TV programmes… the number of conversations that now revolve around Hey Duggee, Iggle Piggle and Mr Tumble is incredible.
- Oh and a joint hatred for Mr Tumble! Who’s with us????
- We love seeing wee H’s giggles and shrieks, her determination, her speed-crawling and her first steps. We’re in this adventure together, we’re watching out little person, who 12 months ago couldn’t do anything but poo, cry and feed. We’re encouraging her together, it’s teamwork.
- We’re determined to go out for dinner
- We’re SUPER excited for our delayed anniversary at Bath Spa next year, with a night in a hotel on our own!!!
- We can’t wait to show H everything we love: hill walking, ski-ing, swimming, and fun holidays
- Mr Tumble is just weird…. how can you not agree?
Our common interest:
- We had loads of common interests before baby came along, a love of mystery crime novels, walking, holidays, travelling…. the list goes on.
- However, now, we have our mini-person, our little girl who is the funniest, cutest most special person there is. We both love her to the moon and back. We both want the best for her.
- Yes, we’ll buy the safest car seat, the cute jumpers, and be tempted by any toy she shows an interest in, but, we also love spending time with her as a family.
- We share knowing looks between us as Baby H does something to amuse us, or throws a tantrum. We share the most wonderful feeling with huge excited grins as she masters a new skill or says a new word. We have her, and she gives us so much enjoyment, we really can’t believe it.
I guess we had in jokes between the two of us before, but now they include…
- uh-oh …. hubby says it at work, I think it when I can’t find a parking space, or if I drop something. The background: baby H says uh-oh all the time, she got slightly carried away with it and says it if anything goes wrong or cruicially, if she’s about to do something like drop her dinner on the floor 🙂 Seriously, she’s hilarious!
- Hi Da – this is hello daddy – she gets super excited hearing his key in the door and starts repeating quietly dadadadadada. She’s just unbelievably cute. Hubby then tries to sneak through the house to find her and pop his head around the door to see her huge grin when she actually see him. Ok, this isn’t really an in joke, but it’s something we mention daily, and laugh about. It’s something ‘we have’.
So for the next few years we won’t be staying in a water bungalow in the Maldives, treking South America, or seeing the Sydney Harbour Bridge, but fingers crossed we’ll be off at least to America next year or the year after. In the mean time we’ll keep bonding over how odd Mr Tumble is, eating copious amounts of olives and as of 2 weeks ago, going out for dinner again….. Excited? We sure are!
Now, getting back to our common interest…. if you don’t find Mr Tumble weird, please please please tell me what we’re missing???
Remember to pop over to Mum in Brum for more in her series too!