Parenthood changes your relationship with your partner in so many ways. Don't focus on the loss of your carefree romantic lifestyle - think about what you're gaining. Who needs sex and laughter when you've got fishfingers and fighting?
Sure, before kids, you were free to stay out till dawn, have sex whenever you felt like it, and eat an entire meal without anyone shouting at anyone else to stop putting peas up their nose. But now you'll find new ways to express your feelings for each other, like angry texts, whispered swearing, and poking each other in the middle of the night until SOMEONE GETS THE BABY.
Then there's breastfeeding. If my husband came within three metres of my milk jugs, I would politely say, "Don't you even THINK about touching my tits," then fix him with a death stare until he backed slowly out of the room. Just the right way to create a romantic atmosphere.
Now our children are a bit older, we've decided to rekindle our relationship by going out on some dates. It's just like old times! Except totally different. Here's what I've learned so far about having an AWESOME date night, post-kids.
Leave The House Relaxed
Try to make sure you kids are tired and in peak tantrum mode when you head out for the night. Nothing sets the tone for the evening than a four year-old screaming, "NOOOO! PLEEEEEEEEEEASE MUMMY DON'T GOOOOOOOOOOO!" Everyone will feel relaxed and ready to party.
Wear Something Special
Show you've made an effort by wearing an item of clothing with only one bodily fluid on it. Or ring the changes by picking something you haven't worn for a few years that no longer fits. Don't worry if you haven't had a shower for a few days - just freshen up with an entire can of Batiste, and a squirt from a bottle of CKone that went off in 2009.
Be Hungry For It
It's best to go on a date when you are starving. Your blood sugar will be low, and you will resort to raw animal instincts, like growling. This is great for creating an intimate atmosphere.
Play Hard To Get
There's nothing sexy about appearing too interested. Keep your phone to hand at all times and don't be afraid to send a few work emails, check Facebook, and reply to that text from your friend about where to buy nit combs. Better still, take a selfie and post it on Instagram to tell everyone you're having a great night out, while totally ignoring your partner.
Find The Perfect Spot
Getting through challenges brings couples closer, so pick a restaurant that has inadequate parking, terrible reviews on TripAdvisor, and is closed. Make sure you wear ill-fitting heels in preparation for the 20 minute trudge round local streets before you give up and go to Wetherspoons.
Put Sex On The Menu
It's a special night, so go heavy on the red wine, but don't forget to line your stomach with tons of carbs and starch. This will start the bloating process, and enhance the sensation of exhaustion you were experiencing before you even left the house. Sexy times!
Keep The Conversation Flowing
This is an opportunity for you to chat about things you never get the chance to discuss at home, like that unpaid Council Tax bill, or what you really think of each other's family. Honesty can be a real aphrodisiac, so add a bit of spice to the conversation by starting sentences with the phrase, "Do you know what really fucks me off?"
Do It Fast And Hard
Add an exciting frisson of urgency to your date by employing an extortionately expensive babysitter who has to be home by 10pm. There's nothing like scoffing your food so fast you get indigestion and making a mad dash for the last train to make you feel aroused.
Slip Between The Sheets
After all that build-up, it's great to get home, get into bed, and get down to the thing you've been looking forward to all evening - SLEEP.
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