A couple intimate in bed


I Haven’t Had A Night Alone With My Husband

Feb 19, 2021

Spending time alone with my husband seems like a foggy, distant memory. I can’t remember the last time it was just us two, without our three daughters at home with us. Going out to a fancy dinner, or seeing a late movie, or even taking a walk in the park while our kids are home with a sitter are all non-options for us, and every other Ontario couple right now.

"While I understand Valentine’s Day is not a huge deal in the grand scheme of things, it’s also one more thing we’re missing out on this year."

With Ontario’s stay-at-home order we’ve been housebound for weeks, but my husband and I have not had an overnight alone since before our three-year-old was born. First it was because she had health issues and needed to nurse in the night, and then it was because she was far too attached to even consider a sleepover at the grandparents. Now, she’s fully weaned and independent enough, but naturally we won’t be sending our kids anywhere until it’s safe to do so.

Since COVID-19 made its appearance every holiday has felt tainted. By now we’ve experienced pandemic birthdays, anniversaries, Thanksgiving and Christmas — and now Valentine’s Day. This year there was no dressing up for a nice evening with my husband, or entertaining the idea of the kids staying overnight somewhere so that we can have a romantic evening just the two of us.

This is the first year all three of our kids could have spent a night away, and of course they cannot because of the pandemic. While I understand Valentine’s Day is not a huge deal in the grand scheme of things, it’s also one more thing we’re missing out on this year. In the past, my kids and I have spent the day in the kitchen cooking up treats and making Valentine’s Day bags for their classmates. We always hire a sitter and go to a nice restaurant — usually it’s the only evening in many months where we get to sit and eat uninterrupted, where we don’t need to clean the dishes or think about picky eaters.

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I recently joked with a friend that any marriage that survives this pandemic — especially with young kids — is a pretty strong marriage. This spring my husband and I are celebrating our 10-year anniversary. We’d always planned to go away somewhere, but of course that won’t happen. Instead, we’ve ended a decade of marriage arguing over conference call interruptions, collapsing into bed by 9 p.m. after wrangling kids all day and desperately trying to find tiny moments to connect in the day.

I didn’t let Valentine’s Day go by like any other day. I might be stuck at home, but I still needed to connect with my husband. Not just one day a year, but as often as we can. Lately we’ve been expanding our board game collection and putting the kids to bed earlier so we can play a game or two together. Instead of collapsing on the couch and watching TV, we end up connecting and laughing for an hour over a fun game.

For Valentine’s this year, we made a special menu and cooked something fancy. The kids enjoyed a movie night and pizza while we sat at a table and ate our meal in peace. We put the kids to bed early and spent time with just us two — a couple making the best of a terrible situation — looking forward to another, less stressful year of marriage.

The pandemic has made it difficult to have the kind of night I’d dreamed of with my husband, but it doesn’t mean we can’t try our best to make each other feel loved and cared for on Valentine’s, and every other night of the week.

Article Author Brianna Bell
Brianna Bell

Read more from Brianna here.

Brianna Bell is a writer and journalist based in Guelph, Ontario. She has written for many online and print publications, including The Globe & Mail, The New York Times and The Washington Post.

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