We had it all figured out. From the wedding to first child, we had had a solid five years to find the place and our rhythm. Our life together operated like a well-oiled machine. We did not have to think about it. Everything had its place and its time. Weekends we would often curl up on the couch, under a shared blanket and watch movies – well, I’d watch the movies and she would sleep – or we would go out for dinner to some of our favourite restaurants. In fact, once a month, the missus would identify a new restaurant and we would invite friends to join us to test it out.
Also, whenever we could, especially around our anniversary, we would go off to some quaint self-catering or bed and breakfast for some rest and recreation. We’d book spa treatments and spend the rest of the day in bed, braai in the evenings with each other, wine and good music for company. Yup. We had this whole marriage game down to a science.
While exciting and frightening, even the pregnancy period was relatively straight forward. The third party in our relationship went where the wife went so we maintained the dinners and the like. To that we added a regular visit to the gynae and, as the time drew closer, antenatal classes.
And, in a short, amazing moment, all of that changed. People tell you but I don’t think it really sinks in until it actually happens. A baby consumes ALL of your life. A spanner in the works does not quite capture how brutal and how extreme the change is; life-changing, amazing and wonderfully profound but still brutal. We were barely keeping our head above water.
Also, because the bulk of our families live in different cities from us, we couldn’t always drop him off for a break. And, while we had a great nanny, one of us always had to be there to ‘babysit’. We also discovered new dimensions to each other … we were now parents in addition to husband and wife. And Kweku demanded the attention and, at two and a half, still demands it.
How do we maintain romance in our relationship after the birth of our child? I don’t know. I don’t know if we even maintain it. We are still working our way through it. We have tried different things, including the infrequent coffee date or dinner date. Now that Kweku is older, it is easier (for us) to leave him and go out in the evening. Sometimes we get it right. Only sometimes. But, we do realise that we were before he was and therefore we cannot lose sight of us, no matter how blessed we are to have him.
Note: If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the uniquely detailed free weekly newsletter for parents in Gauteng – Jozikids