Before we decided to have a baby we talked about it a lot. My main concern was always the impact it would have on us as a couple. I always felt DD underestimated how much time it would take away from us and the strain it could put on our relationship. He kept reassuring me that it was up to us to make sure that didn't happen.
Since Squiggles we have had very little time together. A child is very demanding and can take up all of your time. As a new mother I found myself unable to separate myself from Squiggles for long enough to do things for myself. I'd forgotten that I was someone else other than a mother. To his credit, DD had been telling me for the last 6 weeks that I should start expressing milk so that we could leave her with my mom and go out for a meal or a movie. But one way or the other the time was never right. A couple of weeks ago, I decided to go along with his suggestion. I left Squiggles with my mom and some expressed milk but we decided to use the time to finish loads of chores that had been pending since we moved into our new home. The meal or movie took a backseat again. And somehow we never got the opportunity until last friday.
DD's sister (and her husband) were visiting us last week and it was her birthday on Friday. DD wanted to take her out for drinks to a bar on the 71st floor of the Swissotel here in Singapore. The catch was that I had to go along. All my entreaties fell on deaf ears. It was a different matter to leave Squiggles for a few hours during the day with my mom but I wasn't ready to leave her at night. Even though she has been sleeping through the night, she is still unpredictable. What if she woke up and needed a feed? It would take us 10 mins to get to my moms place but it seemed unfair to leave her just to have some fun. DD was adamant. It was either all four of us or no one. Reluctantly I agreed. We decided not to shuttle her around between my mom's place and ours but to leave her at home under the maids' supervision.
It felt so strange to be out like this after such a long time. While we have been out since Squiggles, it's usually been for either lunch or dinner and with some family. The bar was fantastic and full of people our age, all out to have a night of fun. I met a couple of people from DD's work as well and realised that I hadn't met anyone my age since I'd moved here 4 months ago. While I was pregnant it was such an effort to go around and I felt self conscious meeting new people for several reasons (no clothes that fit was a major one). And after Squiggles, well life just changed dramatically and it took a while to settle down.
I was so excited to be out and realised I had missed this. Going out with DD to a nice place, having an adult conversation, some dancing (forced on DD's part :)). But it was also different from all the other times before. I found that I couldn't completely relax or stop worrying about Squiggles. We left after we'd put her to bed for the night with clear instructions to the maid to call us if she woke up. I found myself checking my mobile every couple of minutes to make sure the signal was there or to reassure myself that I hadn't missed the sound of the phone ringing. Some part of me was also worried that the maid hadn't called us or had misplaced our number. We got home at 2.30 in the morning to find her fast asleep. She was absolutely fine.
I'm really glad we did it. It reminded me of how much fun we used to have together. A part of me was really missing it but didn't know how to make it happen. Somewhere along the road of becoming a mother I had forgotten what it was to be a wife, a soulmate. It was good to see each other outside of our roles as parents and remind ourselves that we owe it to 'us' to do this more often - whether for drinks, or a meal or a movie or just a coffee. It's important for us to have time for ourselves and our relationship. It gave me hope that the 'us' I loved so much wasn't lost forever but just temporarily misplaced. And I have now found it again.
We are a family first but from time to time a couple again.