Any parent will tell you that having children changes you beyond measure, inside and out. To make shameless use of an old parenting cliché: it's true that your life is never the same again.
In some ways, I was prepared for this having spent many an hour as an expectant mum wondering, worrying and frantically Googling what was in store. One thing I didn't consider, however, was how much the arrival of our bonny bambino(s) would alter our relationship. So, three years and two children later, here's the lowdown on what to expect.
Romance was: many things, but to name a few, long and uninterrupted walks in the country and stopping to savour the views, cuddling under a blanket to watch a favourite film, unexpected gifts, weekends away, holding hands and ACTUAL grown up conversation, long, relaxing, candle-lit baths. You get the picture?
Romance is: Dead. Dead and bloody gone.
Just kidding. It's still there and alive and good and well, I hope, but you will need to look a little harder to really see it. Now it's when your baby is newborn and your tummy muscles no longer work so he helps you up to save you lying stuck, beetle-like on your back. It's when your boobs are leaking milk and he fetches you a breast-pad without prompting (it's super glamorous too!) It's when he brings you a cup of tea while you cuddle the baby instead of him. It isn't hearts and flowers, but it doesn't mean any less, either.
Arguments were over: how to spend your free time, mostly. With so much adult-orientated fun to be had, and so little time outside of your busy work schedule, it's a challenge to make it fit.
Arguments are over: Who is the most tired. That's it. You are too tired to argue over anything else. Especially the mums in the relationship, who are, naturally, the most tired of all...
Free timeBefore Kids
Free time was spent: Dressing up and going out for dinner, staying up late because you planned on sharing one bottle but somehow ended up sharing two, sleeping off said two bottles with long lie-ins and maybe an occasional ‘film and duvet day'. Oh, and a bit of cleaning or shopping for good measure.
Free time is spent: Eating dinner with one hand, whilst feeding the kids with the other, scraping crumbs and orange gunk from places you didn't know existed in your house, planning on sharing a bottle of wine, but falling asleep on the sofa and only drinking half, wishing you could catch up on cleaning without it feeling so futile.
The best thingBefore Kids
The best thing was: Freedom. Freedom to finish a conversation, meal or film together blissfully uninterrupted.
The best thing is: How sometimes you sit back, and watch your partner being ‘daddy' with your child/ren. And you fall in love with him all over again, but in a totally different way. Above all else, this makes it worth it.
Emma was selected as a BISS guest blogger after entering our July linky. For your chance to write for GoodtoKnow, check out our Because I Said So platform.