The Dirty Weekend

A night in a hotel used to mean one thing and it wasn’t how quickly we could get our review up on Trip Advisor.

On a recent night away we arrived promptly for a 2pm check in. The second the door closed, I looked at Doug with a ‘shall we?’, my brow raised in anticipation of what we’d discussed at length on the car journey. He nodded, so I drew the curtains, whipped off my jeans and pulled back the covers. We both dove straight in to the bed, turned our backs on each other and I reckon were snoozing soundly within four minutes of entering the room. A nap – a blissful, no interruptions nap with the added bonus of buoyant pillows and crisp sheets – has become our fantasy.

The other joyful thing about a weekend away is eating out without taking the contents of your toy box and stationery cupboard or having little plastic giraffes accompany your drinks. Grown up eating – or dining – in nice clothes and with nice food at a leisurely pace. Excellent. ‘So, when are we heading down to dinner?’ I ask. ‘Table is booked for 8pm’ says Doug. ‘Riiiight…lovely…um…do you think we could make it like 7.30, maybe 7pm? It’s just that, um, I’m not sure I’ll last that long and…we don’t want to get back to the room too late’. So we saunter down to dinner at 6.55pm, eat mostly with families with small kids as apparently the rest of the grown ups can handle eating beyond 7.30pm and we’re done and back in the room by 9pm – bosh.

You see, we’re tired. Like many of you reading this, we’re dog-tired. Our kids are two and four and some nights everyone sleeps but more often than not one of the little darlings wakes up, or someone is sick, or there is much wailing because (and this one really annoys me as it can be prevented and it’s our OWN STUPID FAULT) their night-time drink is empty. If not that, we’ve worked late or on occasion, partied late because we like to think we’ve still got ‘it’, which we clearly haven’t as a week later we think we’re still hungover. Getting some extra Zs and food eaten with cutlery is the dream. Then we can crack open the fizz and get back to *klaxon* reconnecting.

It’s all a bit different to the dirty weekends of old from the minute you start packing. Or rather, the one minute you take to pack. Because you’re packing up and prepping for the other loves of your life, and the fear of what might happen if you forget their favourite toy/enough pants takes over and you are left with 60 seconds to fling your stuff in a rucksack. When it comes to night-wear, your hand might skim over the negligee you once purchased for such occasions, and then remember that your post-baby body – or more importantly your post-baby breasts – ain’t gonna offer a lot in that. Anything with cups requires some boob to fill it and it doesn’t have the same impact if the material is hollow and gaping as your girls hang sadly in the bottom of them. As it’s a special occasion, the high-waisted, flannelette pyjamas that could double up as a chastity belt can stay at home. See? Sassy.

Last time we stayed away Doug, ever hopeful, had packed a few items we bought in the heady days before kids. Calm down, I’m not talking Fifty Shades cable ties, but a few things that might…ahem…fuel the mood.

(I am so sorry to anyone who knows me. In particular my family). So anyway, he pulls out these dice that have words like lick, suck and tease on one and body parts on the other. Half a bottle of champagne down and feeling relaxed, I snigger a bit then offer to give them a whirl. The first roll produces ‘tease’ and ‘boobs’ and all I can think is of him shouting insults while pointing and jeering at my chest. ‘Look at you, all crepey and tired. Call yourself tits? You couldn’t fill a B cup’ and the like. We both have a go at insulting my boobs, also known as pyramid teabags, and I laugh for five minutes solid before I can speak again.

tease boobs

At some point he pulls out cards with sexual positions on them (don’t ask – I don’t know where he got them and he will be as embarrassed as we all are). He got to one and looked at me in a lewd manner, and my genuine response was ‘I don’t think my back would take that’. What has happened to us?

And yet we have realised over the last few years that time away – just the two of us – is crucial to surviving the early years with kids because we generally find we actually rather like each other. It isn’t always easy, and there are obviously times when they’re first born that it isn’t practical, or enjoyable – we took a 10 week old Buster on an ill-fated trip to a spa hotel in a ‘we can still do this’ moment. There’s also the cost, as there will always be something else to spend the money on. But we’re often guilty of putting everything else first – work, friendships, and of course the kids don’t get neglected while the person you’ve chosen to share all that with does? It’s a bit crackers when you think about it.

Whenever we have that time to ourselves, within fifteen minutes Doug will get a different kind of look in his eye, one that I know means he’s seeing me as Steph. The girl he fell in love with. He’ll always say ‘It just takes a few minutes away from it all and I feel nothing but love for you’. Let’s not dwell on what that means he usually thinks of me. To be fair to him, I can be a bit of a hag. I’m not trying to make you vomit, but I think it’s probably similar for lots of us. Get us out the house together and rather than the irritating tool that leaves his clown shoes around for me to trip on and regularly forgets stuff he’s put in the microwave until two days later when the smell alerts us to it, I see the man I knew I wanted to marry within days of meeting him.

Like all couples with young kids, we’re on this massive road of discovery that at times feels more like a highway to hell. Whether it be a dirty weekend or a weekend with a smidge of dirt but also some heavenly napping, it feels pretty good to remember what it’s all about.

If you have any thoughts, I’d love your comments below. Over-sharing also welcome.

Dirty weekend image from

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41 thoughts on “The Dirty Weekend

    • Steph says:

      Hi Natalie – thanks so much, I’m glad you like the biz and blog! Yep, we actually went away recently and did exactly the same again – arrived, napped! Hope you’re looking after yourself with number four on the way! xx

  1. Vicki-Honest Mum says:

    Love this and totally relate, love escaping the madness, because it can all feel a bit mental and getting some couple time plus it’s not not to share a bed with little people which seems to happen a lot here. Loved this x

  2. Tim says:

    This is so funny – and so true. My wife and I haven’t had a night away from our three kids (7, 5 and 2) since, well, ever. I think both our deepest fantasies also involve the ability to crawl into bed in the middle of the day and just sleep. I may have to start by reintroducing myself to her first – sometimes it feels like we are little more than the proverbial ships passing in the night, occasionally pulling into port at the same time at the breakfast table or at dinner-time in front of the TV. Ah, I can dream … 🙂

    • Steph says:

      It’s in YOUR hands Tim! It is far easier not to do it. We had a couple of child-free weddings when our first was small which kind of forced us to go away on our own…and we realised it was good for us and we rather like each other still. Seems even more so as they get older and life gets more full – totally know what you mean re passing ships. I hope to read about a nap-filled trip away for you and your wife soon!

  3. Amy Ransom says:

    We are off to Peppa Pig World next week. Does this count? No. I don’t think it does. We are taking the kids. Just in case you think we are going to PP alone. That would be weird right? Great post lovely. We are still at that phase of falling asleep anywhere and not really making the effort to be together… One day?! X

    • Steph says:

      Definitely get one booked in for when you feel like…ahem…reconnecting. PP definitely doesn’t count (although report back as I want to go! With the kids, obviously.)

  4. Sarah @tamingtwins says:

    Oh this is all so embarrassingly true. I’d like to add the.. “Oh fCK I said I’d get them a present let’s stop at the petrol station on the way home to get some chocolate buttons. YES WE NEED TO OR I WILL HAVE EARACHE ABOUT IT ALL WEEK YOU TIT”. I feel that really makes a relaxed, romantic end to the weekend. The nap.. THE DREAM!

    • Steph says:

      Ah now yes, because we forgot to get something and were greeted with squeals and excitement UNTIL a little voice said ‘where’s our present?’. And then we were plunged back in to doom because we hadn’t got anything.

  5. Nic says:

    Crying with laughter at the pyramid teabag boobs.
    Last time we went away for a night we were too knackered to have pudding (yep, you heard that right) and ordered hot chocolate (yep, heard that right too) to the room instead. Living the high life.

  6. Natalie Ross says:

    Love this Steph! Thanks for being so honest, great writing which makes a whole lot of us feel better ! Sending sleep vibes to all the tired Mamas out there ️xxx

  7. brummymummyof2 says:

    GAH! I am a prude from 1952 which is quite surprising I know but we are planning a dirty weekend away to Harry Potter Studios. Oh the sexual glamour! We shall end up in bed by 9. Me with a decaf tea and him with a newspaper. Ahhhh the bliss x

  8. Claire says:

    I love this so much – all so true! I showed it to my husband and we had a good laugh about our recent attempt at a ‘dirty’ night away – hotel sent champagne to our room. when we let them bring it in they thought they had disturbed something naughty as we we’re in bed and generally dishevelled in the middle of the day…we had fallen asleep within 3 seconds of check in, bliss!!

  9. Emz says:

    Hahah christ, this post rings so true! Me & the Mr have just had a weekend away (SPA!!) one year in after having our girl & it couldn’t have been more needed. It was so nice just to hang out together, get too drunk, be silly & just be away from our normal, often shouty (coz he leaves his clown shoes everywhere too!) home. LOL at your boob insults, mine are the same, poor boobies 🙁 xx fab post Steph xx

    • Steph says:

      Thanks Emz – oooh, SPA. Whenever we do go away we always say ‘we should do this more’ as we really do rather like each other. Away from the clown shoes…

  10. Suzanne says:

    Brilliant as ever Steph and you’re so right about needing time away to remember why you fell in love with that person. I’m just glad we still like each other enough to want to spend time on our own. I love that it’s not only me who longs for a nap over ANYTHING else! Sadly my husband hasn’t got that memo 😉 x

    • Steph says:

      That’s a good way of looking at it – we actually want to still spend time together (albeit asleep!) Thanks love. And you’d probably be insulted if he wasn’t still a bit of a pest every now and then xx

  11. Complicated Gorgeousness says:

    I just want the bit where you turn your back on each other and sleep. I’d pay big bucks for that haha. For my man’s 40th I brought him a “Mr and Mrs Jones” night in one of their hotels – nearly a year later we’ve not cashed in. We must. So get Doug to send his dice down here and I’ll tell the old boobs to man up in prep. Great post as always x

  12. Natalie Ross says:

    Loved this Steph! My Mother’s Day present was my husband being on duty for our baby girl 10 months. just stopping bf made it possible and as she is a four times a night 5 am unsettled babe couldnt have been a better present (apart from your package of course