|The face I miss so much when we go out.|
During the baby’s first few weeks home, she was all that was in my mind. She became my world and my life. My every waking hour was determined by her schedule. I woke up to breastfeed her. And when she was asleep, well, that was my cue to go to the bathroom, watch some of the shows I follow, or get some shut-eye. Those moments wherein she would be awake, but not crying or hungry, were the best moments, so I spent them photographing her every expression, yawn, stretch, and whatever it was she could already do.
But somewhere in the middle of all that doting on the little baby came a gentle reminder from my fairy godmothers not to neglect my husband. It is true, I had focused all my energy and attention on my baby girl, that my husband had taken a backseat from the limelight.
|With her lolas|
The key to a happy marriage is COMMUNICATION. And I mean good, healthy, quality communication. “Hello, how are you?” and “Goodbye, see you tonight” do not count as good conversation. I realised that after spending so much time guessing what it was my baby wanted or needed from me, what kept me sane were those peaceful minutes where my husband and I would linger at the dinner table talking about how our day went, how we want to fix our house, travels we plan to take, and even little things like movies we plan to watch and food we want to eat when we can go out. It reminded me that, even with a baby in our lives, our dynamic as husband and wife shouldn’t change. In fact, it is the reason why our bond is stronger.
When our daughter turned two months old and I had stored enough breast milk to last her for a few hours, we went on a movie date to watch Star Wars: Episode VII. Within the first two minutes of leaving her at my fairy godmothers’ house with her yaya (nanny) and lolas (grandmothers), I felt so anxious that I wanted to go back and just stay with her. But after numerous reassurances from everyone that all will be fine and that I deserve this little time out, I went with the flow. I found myself beginning to relax as we arrived at the mall and realized that I did need this break. I fell asleep somewhere in the middle of the movie* and woke up during the exciting fight scene feeling refreshed. We capped our date off with a quick early dinner because my anxiety over leaving the baby was beginning to return.
|Date afternoon because I don't want to leave baby at night.|
But I learned how truly important date night (or date afternoon) was. It is during this time that my husband and I feel that being tired from sleepless nights is just temporary and that we can draw strength from each other to go through our duties as father and mother to our child. Being able to go out as a couple reminds us of why we choose to be together, why we enjoy our company with each other, and it keeps the fun in our marriage. It is that special time where we get to hold each other’s hands and we are able to give each other undivided attention without having to worry about carrying a child.
Since then, my husband and I agreed that we would go on a date at least once a month (and we have kept up with it for more than a year now). It gives us something to look forward to together and it creates memories for us to cherish.
*To Star Wars fans, please do not crucify me for this. I am also a Star Wars fan but you have to understand that I was surviving on four hours (chopped into two and two hours) of sleep at night and a 30 minute nap when possible.