My husband and I were invited to a christening in Switzerland. A couple of days away without the kids? We accepted whole heartedly. Flying to Basel with just hand luggage we marvelled at how liberated we felt - no children, not even any dogs - it was very very wonderful. For 48 hours the role of parents fell from our psyches and I saw my husband simply as my husband again. Not someone to firefight through the day with. We didn't have to worry about preparing baby food, playing with the toddler, putting the baby down for naps or changing any nappies. Instead, we were able to have uninterrupted lunches, conversations and sleeps! Relaxing and enjoying my husband's company made me realise how much we needed time alone. Responsibility is a true romance killer. Getting away from it all now and again is a relationship saver and I aim to do it as much as we can (or as much as my very kind in-laws will agree to babysit).
We have just bought ourselves a little cottage down in the Isle of Wight. It is something we had been discussing and thinking about for a very long time and so when we suddenly had the opportunity, we leapt at it. Although finances are tight we both agreed this would be a sound investment for the future. When my father passed away (far too young in 2010) he left me a lump sum and having been a bit of a hobbyist sailor himself, I am sure he would have approved of our decision. The sea air alone makes me feel healthy and the freedom that the space allows my three year old as she plays on the expanse of beach near us, is fantastic to see. Wrapped up warm but outside and playing - as kids should be, we taught her to fly a kite whilst the little boy enjoyed crawling around and picking up pebbles. We spent our first few nights down there without any furniture - camping on blow up mattresses and sitting on the floor to eat, for four whole days the TV was hardly missed (a bit of a miracle with kids).
Having been through a slightly terrifying hair loss experience last year it has been great to see it start to grow back. I was lucky enough to find out that my issue was very low ferritin and curable with supplements. So I now have my hair and unexpectedly - far more energy back. It's only when you are feeling healthy that you can look back and realise quite how crappy you felt at the time (wet dish cloth comes to mind). My new hair is sprouting through in a slightly alarmingly curly way and so I recently decided to get it chopped into a bit of a style. Why do hairdressers ALWAYS seem to have a different vision? Quite a few tears later I'm slowly getting used to my new short crop.
The husband and I are now at that stage when we are thinking about whether or not we should be planning for a third child. Luckily on the same page - we are not very keen to rock the boat but equally realising we might be sad to miss the boat if we don't at least think about it properly. After the birth of my son last year, my obstetrician jokingly said she couldn't cope with another one of my labours - both certainly had their moments - and at the time I fully agreed. However as much as I complain about not having any the time alone with my husband or to accomplish much professionally, I'm acutely aware that one day I'll look back and be honoured to have spent so much time with my children, plus I am not getting any younger. I've always thought three is a good number, three seems to create a real family buzz with never a dull moment. So, whilst I can and IF I can - perhaps one more might not be too bad. However, if my husband and I are ever going to be able to get away on our own again, perhaps I should run it past the in-laws first...