Latest posts by Rhondda Hartman (see all)
- Childbirth is an Athletic Event - April 26, 2017
- How to Talk So Your Doctor Will Listen – During Pregnancy, Make the Most of Each Visit - April 19, 2017
- When You Leave the Baby with Dad . . . - February 18, 2017
Recently, I used this tweet from @ParentNormal: “A romantic date for parents is making it through half a DVD without having to wipe a butt or put a toddler back to bed.”
This is a cute comment and most parents will smile and nod in agreement. It reminded me of the advice that Dr. Robert A. Bradley (Husband Coached Childbirth) gave to Richard and me when our first baby was born. It was more than advice, it was an order. This man talked in Bold Italics! He expected to be obeyed!
This is essentially what he said to all the fathers-to-be at his “Rooster Parties” which were part of his regular Lecture Series to educate his expectant parent patients for Natural Childbirth.
“You will make a date with the mother of your child once a week. You wooed her to get to this stage of having a baby. Do not lose the romance and pleasure you enjoy together because you are now becoming a family. Keep that loving relationship between the two of you strong and your love alive. Continue the romance. Some day this baby will go off to make his way in the world and you two will be left alone together again. See to it that you have a reason for wanting to be together and stay together as a couple. Keep your love and friendship strong.” (These are my words but his sentiment.)
And as you would guess, there were his “Hen Parties” too. He advised the mothers that babies must learn that when you leave your baby, you will return. It builds trust in the child. Leaving a breastfeeding baby requires a quick date! But it is worth the effort just to be alone for 2 or 3 hours with each other and as adults instead of cooing over the baby you have lovingly produced.
It was really hard the first time we left our 2 week old baby with a friend who was a mother herself. We went out for dinner and I believe we called home several times over a two hour period. Remember, this was before we had cell phones so it was off to a phone booth to find out if our baby was okay. Of course, all was well.
We continued with the Date Night ritual throughout the family years and it was an important event in our week. It definitely strengthened our marriage. It also kept this stay-at-home mother sane and happy.
As a mother of five children, I have had a lot of experience with baby sitters. I discovered that even a very tiny baby will tell you how well the babysitter treated the baby. I thought one teenage girl was just fine but after several times and our baby cried every time as we left home, it became clear that it was not going well. Our tiny baby did not feel comfortable with the baby sitter.
When we changed the sitter and after a time or two our baby no longer cried as we left, we knew that this was a good match. We had judged correctly that the baby did not like the baby sitter. Our small nonverbal baby was giving us a message. Learn to recognize the clues your baby is giving you.
I thought we were teaching trust that we would always return, but we also learned to trust our baby and recognize his clues.
- Find the right person to leave with your baby.
- Go on your date and enjoy being with each other.
- Learn to be best friends and add some romance, too.
Keep the spark alive with Date Night!