Motherhood is hard. Marriage is hard. Balancing being a mom to four little ones with being a wife can be really hard. But Danielle Lucia Schaffer–the mom behind City Girl Gone Mom— makes it work. At first, it was exhausting, but now? Danielle is loving being both mommy and wife… and it’s all thanks to an unexpected piece of advice from her doctor!
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When Danielle went in for a postpartum check-up weeks after having baby #4, she expected her doctor to comment on her health. She wasn’t expecting relationship advice! But that’s what she got when her doctor gave her one order: to date her husband.
Check out Danielle’s story below:
Someone once said, “People who sleep like a baby probably don’t have one.”
Most parents, after having a newborn, never know what day it is and surely don’t know what time it is, due to the craziness of night feedings. It’s hard to remember any dates or appointments when you bring home a new baby. Sadly, sleep has become a distant memory. I personally have to rely on my calendar alerts programmed in my phone in my day to day. It’s pretty simple, If I don’t put it in my phone, I will not remember. I also have to set more than one alert to make sure I know what’s going on.
However, there is one date, one appointment, you can be sure I will remember no matter how tired I am – it’s the six-week postpartum check up. Oh yes… all of us mothers know that appointment oh so well.
“You can return to having sex now.”
“I can what? Wait, didn’t I just have a baby five minutes ago? Do you know I sleep at most three hours a night and you want me to do what? You do realize a watermelon came out of there and I still look four months pregnant, right? What about my aching back? Doctor, you know my boobs have been hijacked by the little fellow in the car seat and the minute I hit the bed I completely succumb to passing out?”
I am no stranger to the six-week postpartum permission slip to tell my husband he got the green light! Been there, done that, four times already – and every time you can bet he is smiling from ear to ear, Joker-style.
Besides getting the “all clear here” after getting poked and probed, you get the mood questionnaire. Good news for me: no depression, just complete exhaustion, which is seriously no joke. My doctor actually felt bad for me that my little bundle of colic was getting up every hour starting at 1 a.m. ’til the sun came up. The doctor felt so bad she was shaking her head and also yawning like what I had was contagious.
One thing that the doctor ordered that I thought was super cool was to date my husband.
I was shocked. She actually (out of nowhere) said, “Now that you have four children, you will be engulfed with living for them. I want you at the minimum – twice per month, optimally once a week – to go out with your husband with NO kids. NO baby!” Now she had me listening. I was smiling at these orders for sure. I love dating Bobby!
When I came home, I told Bobby the doctor ordered us to date more. She thinks people with a lot of children must go on dates once a week. He was excited about the idea.
The truth is when you come home with a newborn and you have kids at home, you put you and your spouse on the back burner. Babies need constant attention and your room becomes the baby’s nursery for the first few months. Also there are more chores with constant night feedings, and the kids get up early – very early. It’s what happens when you have kids.
We compiled a list of dating ideas and are ecstatic about the idea of being alone a few times a month.
Here is what we came up with:
1. Walking on the beach: I would love to kick-start some exercise, and what better date than to go walking the beach? It would be really nice to talk without being interrupted.
2. Paddle boarding: We both love to paddle board and have been doing it for quite some time. We love sports that involve the beach. A day of paddle boarding would be a great date.
3. Hiking: We live rather close to many hiking trails and a day of hiking would be wonderful for us. Exploring San Diego is something we love to do.
4. Movies: When Bobby was a dental student at NYU, we saw a movie at least once a week. We absolutely love watching movies, and with cinemas taking it to the next level with reclining leather chairs, we are all in.
5. Concerts: Bobby and I love music. Seeing a show together would be a great little escape.
6. Surf & Ski: I am very lucky to live in San Diego, with the mountains only two hours away. One thing we would love to do is snowboard and surf in the same day. We know people who have done it and we thought it would be fun to do.
7. Leave town: We can go to Laguna for the day. It’s only an hour away and checking out the shops without any babes in tow could be fun.
8. Galleries: Art is something I just love to immerse myself in. It’s been a long time since I have been able to go to a gallery or two. This would be a fabulous date for us.
9. Volunteering: I do believe if we could volunteer at a shelter together, that would be awesome. One Thanksgiving after 9/11 my brother and I baked cookies for every firehouse in the city. We missed Thanksgiving due to the deliveries taking so long.
10. Wine & Design: I would love to go painting with Bobby and enjoy some wine. I have done this with friends, but not with my Bobby.
Both my marriage and I deserve a little alone time . Making a habit of connecting with your partner not only on a date, but more so on a regular basis, can actually lessen the load and make the journey of being a parent much more enjoyable.
Plus our children are being exposed to parents who are affectionate with each other, happy to be together and very much in love from a young age. Hopefully, this will ensure that they have a good foundation and a model to build their own relationships in the future.
Share this mom’s wonderful advice today!
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