My niece and her husband just had their first baby, so I sent them a restaurant gift card, with a note: "Use this. Soon. Just you two."
I know what I'm talking about.
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After our first child was born, 16 years ago, Frank and I didn't head out alone for six months. The first time we did, we were called home by the babysitter six minutes into a movie. In the six years following, we didn't fare much better.
There were reasons, of course—a miscarriage, finances and, finally, a second child. But by then, we'd become so accustomed to never going anywhere alone together, it hardly seemed to matter.
But it did.
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Family togetherness is terrific, and taking kids along on every outing helps develop their social skills and manners. But spending so little time alone with one's partner leaves a married couple adrift. My husband and I drifted, not exactly apart, but a middling distance from the strong pull of that center core that holds a couple together, a center that once held us tightly, in lust, in love, in proximity to one another's minds and spirits. 3 Zen Ways To Keep Connected After Having Kids
But it seemed logical to not go out as much. Our earnings had declined as I stepped down from full-time business owner to part-time consultant to occasional freelancer. Free child care was scarce—his parents urged us to save by staying in, mine lived across the country, and I generally refused to consider any teenaged or non-relative sitter. Then there was the attachment issue I had helped created. Our first son practically considered me his conjoined twin.