"I wouldn't change a thing. Not for all the date nights in new lacy underwear followed by spontaneous sex and even a sleep-in."
In less than a month I'll be celebrating my 15th wedding anniversary with my husband, Anthony. We have a pretty amazing marriage and I know we're both really happy with where life has taken us hand in hand.
So when I came up with the idea to 'pretend to be a newlywed' for a week and see what we would learn, I thought it would just be a bit of fun.
Claire and Anthony have three kids: Samuel (10), Charlie (8) and Olivia (4). Image: supplied.
First things first, I asked around the trusty Kidspot team for tips on what sort of things newlyweds actually do. I mean, we still text each other several times a day, even if it's just a simple "I miss you" or love heart emoji. But I wanted to consider the things I once did that have sort of slipped off the table in favour of kids' toys and water bottles.
So here's what we came up with:
- Buy sexy lingerie
- Leave love notes (or texts)
- Buy spontaneous presents
- Send nude pics
- Be spontaneous (in and out of the bedroom)
- Hold in your farts
- Don't comment on their driving
As I sat in the office, miles away from my husband, I began to smile. Just taking the time to think about the early days when we first met made my heart soar.
While we already do a few things on the list above (love texts, spontaneous presents), we decided to take on as many as we could and see what happened.
"I sent a nude"
On Friday night I went home and rounded up the kids. I fed and bathed them while Anthony was at work (he works nights), then I settled in with a drink.
And I sent a nude.
I have to admit I took about 30 photos of my breasts until I got a suitable snap. The images remained in my camera roll until the Monday morning when I was on the train, aimlessly flicking through my phone and BOOM! Let's just say I've never shoved my phone into my handbag so quickly in my life.
Now, since returning to work, I raced out the door to guiltily read email on my commute, wired myself to my computer all day, followed by childcare pick-ups, scoffing dinner, wrangling my toddler into his bath, bottle and bed routine and then retreating into mind-numbing social scrolling until way past my own bedtime.
After I sent the text, I wondered if he was sitting next to someone in the work break room. There was also a split second where I thought I had sent it to my dad by accident. Luck for me (and him!), I hadn't.
Anthony's response was a very Austin Powers-like, "Are you horny baby?" and I anticipated a middle-of-the-night nudge, but it never came.
I was fast asleep by the time he arrived home at 1am and he didn't have the heart to wake me. So I guess the nice new underwear wasn't enough to counteract my husband's consideration for my lack of sleep. If I didn't know it already, I would have known then he's definitely a keeper!
Don't clip your child's wings. Your toddler's mission in life is to gain independence. So when she's developmentally capable of putting her toys away, clearing her plate from the table, and dressing herself, let her. Giving a child responsibility is good for her self-esteem (and your sanity!).
Not my actual image, but much less offensive on the eyes. You're welcome! Image: iStock.
I bought new underwear
The weekend resulted in a trip to the shops for sushi train (the kids' favourite treat) and I veered off in search of some new underwear. Measuring a 10F, I've never had high hopes of finding something sexy and comfortable, so I opted for comfort ... with a nice lace trim. On my way to the registers, I grabbed a tiny lace pair of 'Brazilian' bottoms thinking they would tick the box.
"You know what they say when your partner starts buying new underwear?" he pointed out with a wink when I revealed my bag on the way home.
"Yes, I'm hoping to have an affair with you!" I replied.
I fell asleep again that night but can report I almost required surgery to remove said 'Brazilian' underwear at work the following day. There's a reason we wear granny undies, and they may not be pretty, but they don't result in an emergency retrieval every half hour.
When you have three kids, there really is no 'spontaneous' anything, but like many things, when you put in effort, you are often rewarded in kind.
And although this one is a little personal, so let's just say we worked on location and time of day when it came to the good old horizontal hula. And when you fall asleep at 7pm like I often do, you need to get a little creative with the time of day to make things work.
Katie Holmes (mom to daughter Suri): “I’ve never met a 2-year-old who is terrible. I’m so cool with every stage my daughter goes through. I just think she’s amazing. I hope she’s not looking at me thinking, Mom, are the terrible 30s coming on with you?”
Also, hallelujah for locks on bedroom doors!
It's not just between the sheets - We're practicing being spontaneous outside the bedroom too with an impromptu meal out for dinner tonight. With the absence of a sitter, we'll probably take the kids along which means no expensive Japanese food (they wipe out the budget too fast), but I'm going to order a drink and block out their voices for a minute or two.
Just because we have kids, doesn't mean we can't go out for a meal. And now they're old enough to sit still I'm actually looking forward to it.
Anthony and Claire on a date night. Image: supplied.
Being a newlywed is overrated
Pretending to be a newlywed was fun, and I learnt a few things in the process.
I've learnt the importance of comfort over appearance when it comes to buying underwear.
I've learnt that there's no point in trying to hold in your farts (who DOES that anyway?!).
Most importantly, I've learnt a really valuable lesson that I will hold closely as I sail off into the future.
Putting in some effort every now and then can be great for your marriage, and so is remembering back to a different time, before kids. Switching things up is also really good too, as it keeps the magic alive.
Create Your Own Quality Time
But I've been a newlywed before. And I've been a mother, wife, and lover for over 10 years now. And I wouldn't change a thing. Not for all the date nights in new lacy underwear followed by spontaneous sex and even a sleep-in.