Sometimes you just need to get away.
You need to have good food, good sex, and good conversation. You need to put aside the silly arguments you’ve had about which Wiggle is the best dancer, how to refinance your mortgage, or why Caillou seems emotionally stunted. You need to stop squabbling about who remembered to buy milk and whose turn it is to change a diaper. Let’s just cut to the chase...
You need to pretend that you never had kids. Just for a weekend.
Phew. Now that that’s out there-
I think too many times we try and ‘supplement’ our relationships instead of resetting them. You’d think it would be easier to introduce something like a date night or couples’ massage into your regular mix than it would be to look each other in the eye and say "we need some us time.. lets run away."
But let’s just say that hasn’t been my finding.
Whenever we’ve tried to have a weekend alone at home/staycation, it’s turned into “Random Project Weekend” - bizarre on the romance front but hey, our garage is reorganized (perk, right?). Dinner out has turned into ordering-in Quizno’s. Going to a movie, usually means catching up on our PVR content. Dancing? HAHAHAHA. Yeah. That was a joke. I’m not even going to mention the whole ‘economic rationalization’ curveball.
That’s when you say things like ‘Yeah, I know we wanted to go to that 5-Star Italian resto, but I have some pasta here, and we can just make a salad, and do we really need to spend that money.. and…’
THE ANSWER IS YES PEOPLE. YES. SPEND THE FREAKING MONEY. *breathing hard*
Here’s my advice to you.
Yes. You are still a good mom/dad. Yes, we know you love your kid(s). Just take the plunge and get a 3-5 hour delay from the parenting twitch. Ottawa is awesome because it’s quieter than Montreal, and feels like a 5-block diorama of Toronto. Plus it’s stuffed full of adorable little tapas bars, wine bistros, and romantic little boutique pubs. If that’s not enough, there’s Byward Market. Nuff said.
2. Shake It Up
If you guys have time together make it count. Make it interesting, unique, fun, and out of character. It doesn’t have to involve a Velcro wall and/or body paint—although I am not judging—but it should be something that you don’t take time to do but always kind of/sort of think about.
In our case? It tends to be going to concerts. I love music. Hubs does to, although he also loves making fun of me and my empassioned love of music more. I will go up to a busker on the street and tell him he played a great set. Hubs thinks this is hilarious. I like to indulge him.
This past Friday we went to see Walk the Moon and Young the Giant at the Bronson Centre in Ottawa. We were there to give them some 35-45 age demographic love (represent). They were amazing, I jumped up and down, squealed like a school girl, sweat profusely while Hubs tried not to laugh; I took pictures, swooned, and then yelled at everyone afterwards in a pleasant moment of being concert-deaf. ROCK ON. Everyone was happy.
Music pumps you full of life. Here’s my suggestion for a ‘rekindling weekend’—pick a few bands that you like off the radio. Become a spontaneous roadie. Open yourself up to new music—new talent! You will feel 20 years old, ragingly hip, and hell-bent on singing in the shower for the next week.
This is almost as good as sex.
You know when you and your hubby start kicking the idea of a date-night around and it ends up being like a game of road soccer with an ice nugget that just gets smaller and smaller until eventually.. the ball is gone? Does that sound like date-planning to you? Because it does to me.
“Well maybe we’ll go to the…but then...why don’t we just...and then…you know it wouldn’t be so bad if… and why don’t we just make it another time?”
Marriage is a contractual obligation to not let the other person get out of date night. You need date night. Therefore, you must also splurge.
Get out of the house. Book a hotel room. A super-duper-fancy-really-nice one. It doesn’t have to be extravagant—no kidney selling or mortgages necessary. We went to the Ottawa Marriott in Ottawa and it was perfect. In fact I think it packs the best bang for your buck in Ontario. And I mean bang.
We got a corner-room on the 23rd floor, with a massive flatscreen TV, beautiful bathroom, amazing décor, fancy floofy bed (which I am still crushing on) and oh yeah.. did I mention the river view? The fantastic Eggs Benny in bed? Or the awesome wireless? And yeah. Netflix was smooth as butter. Just saying.
Also, Spin Kitchen and Bar is down in the main lobby. That's 10 seconds away in 'elevator time.' While eating gourmet digs in your pjs may be out, throw on some jeans after some 'bow-chicka-wow' time and have yourself some insane gnocci with lamb, or a fig and prosciutto pizza. Compliment it with a big glass of wine off their great wine list (try the Malbec). Or better yet, order everything up to your room. FANCY. (I still have that post-concert yelling thing going on.)
There’s also Vivianna Day Spa on the 4th floor. Massage? Mani? Pedi? Luscious exfoliations and rubdowns? Drool.
Apparently, there was a hot tub and pool and work-out facilities as well. Except we spent most of our time eating insanely good food and drinking wine, so I can’t give an account. That's ok. There's always next time.
Everyone thinks that parenting is a challenge, and they’re right. But it’s way more of a challenge to stay in touch with yourselves and each other as parents. Dates, getaways, and indulging as a couple are key to staying happy, healthy, and connected.
And potentially having more kids. So there’s that.
This is where you hang the 'Do Not Disturb' sign on the door.
Have fun, and stay positive!