It’s Saturday night and you’ve managed to steal a few hours away with your spouse or some friends and a few glasses of wine (okay maybe it was most of a bottle). Either way, it was a lovely evening and you’re proud of yourself for remaining a “cool” mom who has made me-time a priority. You’ve read a bunch of articles about how making time for yourself will refresh you and are certain you’ll be a better parent for taking a few hours off. You arrive home to pay the sitter, get a regular update on how the evening went and find yourself sloppily gushing about how freaking amazing your kids are to the sitter who probably just wants to go home, but you just can’t help yourself. Once you’ve finished traumatizing the caregiver, and sent them home in a cab (there’s no way you’re sober enough to drive anyone home) you stumble to the nursery to check in on your kids. You give them a cuddle and continue your Jerry Maguire inspired monologue about how they “complete you”.
The next morning when your children wake you up, likely at least an hour earlier than their regular awake time and with diarrhea, because life’s just a bitch like that, you find yourself falling into the hungover mom shame spiral: How much did I drink last night? Did I embarrass myself in front of the sitter? Where is the hot water bottle? Will my semi-annual drunken late night visits to my children’s room become a recurring topic of discussion at a regular therapy session, no doubt caused by mommy dearest? Most importantly, you feel a need to ask yourself, what is it about those rare grown-up nights out that turns you into a one woman edition of Drunk Moms Talk About Their Kids?
Date night this spring at a wedding....quality kid free time!
Once you get over your drunken mommy shame, you wonder about why, even when you make a concerted effort to get away from parenting you find yourself back where you started, going on at great length about motherhood. Some parents find it prudent to put a ban on conversation about their kids on date night or nights out with friends, so they can remember their lives BC (before children) and reconnect. Others find it the only place where they can have an honest conversation about said children away from little ears.
Maybe instead of getting embarrassed about an intoxicated expression of affection towards your kid(s), it’s time to re-evaluate taking more me time, so every stolen night away doesn’t have to be “New Year’s Eve” equivalent of fun. When we become parents we focus so much time and attention on our kids and parenting that we lose focus, and practice, taking time and care of ourselves. Skill mastery is about repetition and perseverance and that includes taking time for yourself as a couple or an individual. The next time you find yourself going on a wine induced rant about how awesome your kids are, consider this, maybe this is a sign that you just need more breaks, not less, and book another block of time for yourself, alcohol not (necessarily) required.
To read about ways to save money on babysitting click here.