New Parents Kiss Romance Good-Bye

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m beginning to think seriously about trying to make a baby soon-ish (with my husband’s help, of course). Recently, I made a “cradle list,” a list of things I’d like to do and accomplish before having a kid (I’m crossing off one of the items this weekend when I make my first trip to New Orleans!), and I’ve been thinking a lot about how my life will change once I’m responsible for a little tiny human. Of course, it’s hard to predict all the ways my routine will change and all the sacrifices my husband and I will make, but I’d like to think we’ll still find some time for just the two of us. Is that crazy naive? If this article is any indication, it is. According to the article, which cites a poll of 3,000 parents, new moms and dads go out together “just 15 times over the first five years of their child’s life.” Yowza! That’s about what my husband and I currently average in a month. Fifteen times in five years?! That’s only once every four months (I canz do math). Those of you who are already parents, does this figure sound about right? And if so, are you sad? Because, I think I might be sad if I didn’t get more alone time with my husband than that. Are monthly date nights really so out of the question when you have small kids?

Lack of funds and guilt over asking people to babysit are the top reasons new parents rarely get out. That’s understandable, of course, but couldn’t parents make friends with other new parents and create a sort of “babysitting swap” once a month or so? Am I being naive again? This has been my and my husband’s game plan. We already have friends with new babies and we’re eager to babysit for them so we can give our friends a night out, get a little practice with babies, and start to establish a network of parenting support so when our turns comes around, we’ll hopefully be set. Is this not realistic? Parents, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you have a parenting support system? If not, are you able to regularly hire babysitters so you can get out with your significant other? For those of you who, like the parents polled in the study, very rarely get out without your kids, do you feel like your relationship has suffered and do you worry about what the long-term ramifications of that might be?

There was one final reason cited in the study for why parents choose to stay in much more after they have kids: “One in three reckon that having a hangover while their children are around is unbearable.” Oh, right … I guess that would be pretty unbearable. Well, good thing I’m getting nights of guiltless drinking and morning hangovers out of my system now! [via Daily Mail]