How relationships change after having children – by Jermaine Smith

Before we had children weekends were made of getting up whenever we wanted and having an easy relaxing weekend sometime with a hangover, other times we would have breakfast at the local cafe and think what should I/ we do today.

Wow those were the days. My weekends now are made up of our son usually sleeping in our bed snoring like a hippo, and our daughter  waking up at 6:00/30. No matter what time she goes to bed she gets up at this ridiculous time. I used to love sleep. So much so that one day at university I’d said I was going to work the next day and when my mates knocked on my windows repeatedly, I told them to leave me alone. I was going back to sleep.

I say to my daughter every weekend, ‘When you are a teenager and love your bed I’m going to wake you up early every day with a wet cloth’ as this early morning wake up is wild.

To be fair my wife is a better early riser than me and I’m good at pretending to be asleep. Come on, us with kids know this trick.

Weekends are then spent with swimming lessons, endless kids parties in loud, mad places,  food shops and constant random errands. No time for me to do anything really for myself like going out  to shop for hub caps or play video games in my pants.

When they were younger, we tried going out for a nice family meal like you see in the movies. Did not happen. They do not sit still long enough and when they order the food, they often do not eat it or they decide to run around and around the restaurant.  To sum it up, my daughter was given the chance to go for a meal wherever she wanted and she chose McDonalds. I had to ask her more than once was she sure and she said yeah, asking her brother to reinforce this decision.

From a child’s perspective sometimes I think we as parents over-complicate things and set the bar too high. They like the simple life.

Then there is the issue of getting intimate. Truth is you are both tired a lot and you have to take it when you can get it, often at speed before some little dude shouts MUMMY.

What I would say though is that while life before kids was easier, having children is the best thing that has happened to me as it has made me slow down and see things their way, making me less selfish and smarter with my time. My social circle has changed slightly; we now do play dates with mates and we take the kids to see child friendly things. I still fit in the occasional lad night out though skip the booze as the kids will be jumping on my head in the morning.

With my partner we talk about things and laugh at how life used to be and try to do little things to keep the spark alive. Usually the £10 M&S meal deal and an early night. We know how to live!

Happy new year fro the The Smith family

By Jermaine Smith

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