The 14th February comes around again and the shops are full to the brim with stuffed toys carrying hearts embellished with heart felt messages,huge bunches of bright red roses and boxes upon boxes of delectable chocolates.
Our Instagram and Facebook feeds are full of gushing posts to loved ones and pictures of romantic dates and gorgeous gifts…then reality hits me that yet again I have made zero effort for the man in my life!
The man that always goes out of his way at this time of year, not with extravagant presents or over priced days out but simply with loving gestures and beautiful words that mean the absolute world to me, even though I don’t let him know this enough.
This year it really hit me that I can’t use the excuse that I’m not romantic and we don’t need a day to celebrate our love as in reality our busy lives find it hard to share a cup of tea together, let alone a entire meal on our own.
So from hear on in I will use this special day to celebrate the kind, loving, thoughtless man I was lucky enough to find all those years ago and make him feel as appreciated as he does me.
I was looking through my Facebook albums today for some inspiration for this weeks captured moment with Running In Lavender when I came across this picture.
It was taken whist holidaying in Florida during what I could only describe as the best year of my life!
I gave birth to my fourth son in the January, I got married to the love of my life in the August and had the most fantastic family holiday to Florida in the October.
This captured moment of my husband was taken getting his face painted in the Magic Kingdom. The happiness on his face just sums up how we all felt on that trip. It’s will defiantly take a lot to top 2012!!
A few months ago after a wonderful child free day I had shared with my husband I wrote a post about the importance of making time for your marriage.
I had promised myself that I would set time aside for us both to have a date night once a month. This hasn’t really taken off and it is all down to me and the effort and guilt it takes to leave the house when you have little ones.
Hubby had put his foot down this week and booked cinema tickets so I simply couldn’t wriggle out of it!
So the military operation to leave the house alone begins. They all need to be rounded up from the different schools, nurseries and clubs they are all at on a Friday afternoon. Of course to make things awkward they are all late just to mess my limited time frame up a bit more.
Next up is feeding time at the zoo, a seemingly mess free oven dinner is prepared but they still manage to cover every surface of the entire kitchen which then takes hours to clean up before sticking them all in the bath to get cleaned up before the baby sitter arrives.
Babies cleaned and in their PJs I now try to get myself looking vaigly presentable for the general public when I can hear a huge gush of water! Yes number three has managed to pull the basin from the wall in the bathroom causing a flood all over my just cleaned kitchen!
More time was spent cleaning up another disaster and I still had the youngest who is still breastfed fed and settled. I finally sit down hair half done and jeans still drying on the radiator when my husband walks through the door all fresh and ready as he is able to get ready child free at work glaring at me for not being ready.
I eventually manage to get out the door with the guilt of leaving a crying baby, shouting at my husband if he won’t settle I’m coming straight home and we are being completly selfish for leaving a crying a baby just to satisfy our own needs.
A frosty drive into town was then eased by a video sent from the babysitter of some more than happy children snuggled on the sofa.
A couple of glasses of wine in, an uninterrupted conversation and the choice of something else rather than Cebebbies to watch then made the stress and the guilt of the last few hours all worth it.
Apart from a few hours at Christmas this weekend was the first time in well over a year, in fact maybe two that my husband and I had a whole child free day!
I have to hold my hands up and say that this is on the whole down to me. With five children to look after all day and the youngest still breastfeeding I selfishly push my husband to the back of the line and when he tries to instigate a night out I throw everything in the way as the shear logistics of getting everyone ready, babysitters sorted, finding something to wear all seem like to much hassle for a couple of hours out.
We had a wedding to go to this weekend so I couldn’t give my usual excuses and to my surprise found the whole lead up to it really exiting and couldn’t wait to go.
With the children all off for a day out with my Mum and Dad my usual anxieties of how are they going to behave, will they be ok, are they going to drive my parents mad all kicked in and the whole feeling of it just being the two of us felt very strange. After a few hours I relaxed and really started to enjoy myself; which was helped along by a few glasses of wine!
The whole day made me think that my husband and our marriage are equally as important as the children and we need to work on it and dedicate just as much time and attention to it as the children. We are the foundation to the family and without good strong foundations things crack so we need to keep it strong.
When the children grow up and fly the nest it will just be the two of us again and unless we keep ‘us’ it will only be the children holding everything together.
With so many things going on in people’s lives these days it’s so hard to be selfish and a schedule time out for yourselves, but from now on we are going to dedicated one night a month just to us. It doesn’t have to be a big extravagant night out, just something that means we can switch off from everything and just be us again.
I also want to factor in one evening that my husband makes an effort to get in early from work and training and we both steer clear of social media to just watch a film together and have a good catch up without anyone or anything getting in our way.
Do you make time for date night? What do you do to keep your marriage strong?