As parents to three children all under 5, Oli and I have very little time together. Life is incredibly hectic and centres around our babies and working to provide for them. When we aren't doing either of these things we are usually collapsed in a heap on the sofa exhausted and without meaning for it to happen, time together becomes bottom of the priority list. We aren't brilliant at date nights, we're often too tired by the end of the day to muster the energy to head on out. Oli also works a lot of weekends so we tend to savour them when we get them as family time meaning there is less opportunity for time just the two of us. Also, despite having wonderful and willing family and friends we aren't very good at asking them to sit for us, mainly as we know that as brilliant as our girls are, 3 under 5 is quite a logistical challenge and feels like a big ask, particularly as the youngest still wakes regularly at night.
Having the girls close together has also meant that I have been pregnant or breastfeeding pretty much back to back for the last 5 years making going out or getting away for a night extremely tricky. If I'm being entirely honest I haven't really wanted to, or felt ready to until recently, and before I returned to work we didn't really have the funds to treat ourselves or felt guilty if we did.
Time together with Oli was something I had included on my New Years resolution list and something I really wanted to focus on this year. Whilst we are parents, we are also still us and in order to be the best parents we can be and ensure we remain close as a couple I feel it's really important to set aside time for each other. We also really need, and deserve, a break every now and then. Parenting is tough, all kinds of wonderful, but TOUGH and incredibly tiring - neither of us have really slept for 5 and a half years!
The last time Oli and I went away together for a night just the two of us was four years ago for his 30th birthday... yes FOUR whole years! So with an offer of babysitting for the weekend from grandparents and the excuse of both our birthdays, we took ourselves off for a well overdue night away in the Cotswolds to Dormy House.
It felt incredibly strange driving to the hotel just the two of us and very much like we had forgotten something. It felt extremely liberating to only have to think of ourselves, not having to factor in mealtimes and nap times and child friendly activities, but also extremely odd and took some time to take our parent hats off and relax. As we drove into the car park we felt really excited at the prospect of down time, not having to share our food and the promise of a full nights sleep!
Dormy House provided the perfect retreat to recharge our batteries and spend some time together. Our room was gorgeous, so comfortable, spacious and stylish with so many little touches that made it feel really special. It felt truly luxurious knowing that I would get to sleep on an actual pillow without a toddlers foot in my face and that even if I did wake up at 6, it wouldn't be from an alarm or shouts of 'the suns up mummy' (anyone who owns a gro clock will be familiar with this!)
The days of long hot showers are long gone in our house and I'm lucky if I get to dry my hair properly in the mornings. Discovering an array of Temple Spa products in the bathroom felt like such a treat. After a (hot) cup of tea in our room we made our way to the House Spa within the hotel and whittled away the afternoon in the steam room, sauna, hot tub and infinity pool drinking in the silence and enjoying each others company. We both felt so relaxed, the most relaxed we had in a long time, so much so that it felt really unusual, but really lovely.
|Temple Spa Treats|
|The House Spa at Dormy House comes highly reccomended|
It was so nice to just 'be' and enjoy our own agenda. We ate scones and sipped cocktails all in our own time, without having to rush, something that we really took for granted pre children. There was so much time to talk that we think we probably covered a weeks worth of conversation normally managed at home in just a few hours. We chatted about the girls, the past, the present and the future and most importantly we listened to each other. It was brilliant to laugh together, reconnect and remember who we are and as cliched as it sounds why we love each other aside from being the girls parents.
|Warm scones eaten in dressing gowns, not sure it gets much better...|
|Rhubarb pre dinner cocktails|
We had a leisurely dinner together in the Potting Shed restaurant within the hotel which as absolutely divine and so thoroughly enjoyed. It was blissful not having to cook or clean up afterwards and to sit in one of the lounges afterwards with some bubbles and letting them go to our heads a little, things that have become such novelties in recent years.
|Dinner in The Potting Shed was superb and meant we didn't need to leave the hotel|
As expected our parental body clocks woke us up early but we forced ourselves to doze for a while and make the most of not having to get up and scrape weetabix off a highchair! It did mean we had time for Oli to go to the gym and for me to have facial in the Spa, along with a lovely, slow breakfast which we didn't have to share!
Everything about Dormy House is exceptional, the service is outstanding and the attention to detail is out of this world, my only complaint was having to come home, I very almost cried! It really is the perfect place to switch off and enjoy some time together as a couple and we have decided that we are going to return each April to celebrate our birthdays there - willing babysitters depending of course!
|Mr & Mrs, not just Mummy and Daddy|
We both really realised the importance of making time for things like this in the future, we came home feeling refreshed with our parenting tanks topped up with oodles of patience and feeling very grateful for our little ladies. Those little ladies are depending on us to be the best team we can be and our night away really rebalanced and reset our relationship and we feel closer and stronger than ever.