When you’re in the company of children for the majority of the day, and your time away from them is rare stolen moments when they don’t follow you to the bathroom to watch you poop, by the time the evening gets here you crave adult time. Time when you can drink a glass of wine, use the bad words, watch TV shows about things other than idiotic talking pigs, and sit still. Time where you’re not asking someone not to eat books, not to tip yogurt on the carpet, and you’re not trying to avoid getting stuck in their collapsable tunnel. Time to just be the grown up version of you.
I carefully cultivated Miss Rose’s bedtime to allow me that adult time. When she was a baby it was so I could get into a hot bath, wash milk out of my hair and vomit off my shoulders. When her father left it was so I could drink, obsess on the phone to my friends, and watch bad TV whilst swearing sporadically just for the sake of it. Soon it became so I could have boyfriends round, time indulging my newly developing singleness, and now it’s to develop my new sense of coupleness and be alone with the man I love.
Being in a relationship takes a degree of work and, for me, that alone time where we are focussing on one another and one another’s needs, rather than focussing on parenting, is essential. I crave it, long for it, need it. It makes me feel connected to him and like I’m a woman not just a mother. That I’m desired for more than my speed nose wiping. I get to talk to him about him, about me, and about us as a couple. Plus we get to watch Daredevil on Netflix whilst eating chocolate buttons and drinking wine, and seriously there are few better things.
On nights where we have just Miss Rose that is pretty much guaranteed. She settles to sleep quickly, and stays asleep, even if not for the whole night (at some point inevitably sneaking into our bed for early morning cuddles), long enough for us to truly indulge in “coupleness.” On Z nights we don’t get it and I find it takes a toll. Z doesn’t like bedtime, often taking a long time to fall asleep, and regularly waking more frequently than the length of a TVshow. He’s a night owl and in a transition phase, which obviously is difficult and requires parenting and patience. However much I understand that though, and however happy I am to work with it and allow this phase to pass as he learns and develops, I don’t half wind up needing chill out time. Adult time. Time to just be us.
Being “us” rather than “mummy and daddy” is very important to me and when I don’t get it I miss it. But it’ll come again. It’s not forever and it’s far more important that children get their parents than we get each other. But wine, chocolate, and Daredevil calls me, as does time with that man.