Ian and I have been married for over sixteen years and together as a couple for over twenty years. Before getting together officially at 23, we were very close friends and had been boyfriend and girlfriend for a year when we were about fifteen. So we have had a long relationship, spanning three decades! We are clearly absolutely and undoubtedly meant to be together.
When we got together at 23, I had two children which meant that we weren't able to 'date' with any wild abandon, spontaneity or freedom, so we quickly fell into enjoying time together at home and as a family. We skipped the bit where you go out wining, dining, clubbing or socialising. It just didn't happen. And as we went on to have three more children, we simply have never had the freedom or motivation to revisit the whole date night thing. If we ever had the opportunity to go out, I always feel guilty about leaving the older kids babysitting and rush back home feeling stressed. I think I've become a date-ophobe!!
Now Freddy is at school I don't think I can use him as an excuse to not go out once in a while. He isn't a baby anymore. I need to look at myself and at my relationship and give me and Ian the chance to rediscover each other. I want to dress up to impress him and present myself as a woman who wants to spend some quality time together with her man away from the routine and comfort of home and family. We need to start dating and get into the habit of doing things for ourselves as a couple. Enjoying each others' company as grown ups and not just spending the evening discussing the kids and wondering if they are coping without us (which of course they will be, because they are great kids who are very competent...so why do I worry so much?)
Our third child is due to fly the coop next year, embarking on a life as a university student. In a blink of an eye, the two youngest will be making lives of their own, going out, socialising and not needing to be 'mummied' 24/7 anymore. There will come a point when it is just me and Ian...for the first time ever in our relationship. We need to start building the foundations for this time in our lives, or there is a distinct danger of me being one of those mums who suffers from empty nest syndrome so badly that she ends up stalking her children and camping out on their doorsteps just to feel fulfilled again. I need to redefine myself as a woman and not just as a mother, although being a mother to my five wonderful children is the role that I am most proud of and will always be a role that I cherish.
I was recently approached by Head and Shoulders offering me an opportunity to talk to a life coach, receive some pampering products and go on a date. I jumped at the chance! It sounds like exactly the sort of thing I need to break my non-dating cycle. I commit myself 100% to blog challenges and this would provide the impetus needed to get pampered, glammed up, cast off my mummy guilt and enjoy a date with the man I love. It could be the start of something good!
So, watch this space, because a new confident woman ready to hit the town with her husband, is about to emerge. I'm sure that taking part in this challenge will give my confidence as well as my relationship a great boost and set us off on a new and exciting phase of our life!