This past week I had the pleasure of spending a fun evening with some girlfriends. Let me explain what I mean by a “fun” evening; I only say I’d like to further explain because not so many years ago a “fun” evening probably wouldn’t have taken place on a week night, nor would it have ended before 9pm. This fun evening took place in my friend’s living room and involved some food, a little wine, and…NO KIDS!
Now forgive me (I’m still a fairly new player in this mom game) if this seems a little novice, but let me just say; this low-key relaxing evening has definitely made my top 10 list for the year. I’m sure this leaves you wondering if the life I lead is boring and ridiculously uneventful; I’ll tell you right now, it’s not. My husband and I are a lot of fun…I promise…no really, ask any of our friends (friends who are reading this,
comment NOW can attest to this, I promise)! This evening in particular; however, was different from how I normally spend my time as well as different from how I normally desire to spend my time.
All joking aside (although our level of fun-ness is certainly nothing to joke about) this evening lead me to the realization that there is a lot of freedom and benefit to spending a little time away from home every once in a while. I LOVE spending time with my family, and before our son was born I loved spending time with my husband…I mean I married the guy for a reason right? I enjoy his company and we have fun together. Once we had our baby; our lives that fit so well together, fit even better. I feel so complete as a family and love making memories together. It really hasn’t crossed my mind that it’s actually a GOOD thing to get out on my own every once in a while.
As I was telling my girlfriends that this was my FIRST time out solo since the baby’s arrival the seasoned mothers giggled and shared support in us doing this again sometime soon. I was so encouraged by them! It finally made sense why having some time just about me; without having to worry about anyone or anything else, is so important! Of course theory this all makes sense, but for me this was really an ah-ha! moment.
I’m not one to take someone’s ideas to heart very easily and at the risk of history repeating itself, many times I choose to take the road most travelled rather than taking the advice of others and saving myself the trip. I’ve always heard about parents needing to have their own time and how the proverbial “girls night” is many times the saving grace of motherhood…but seriously, who knew? Well, I’m sure you did…but for me; the one who doesn’t mind learning the hard way, this was big.
This was such an incredible thing for me because currently, I don’t feel I’ve faced any major struggles; I haven’t reached a point where I’m desperate for me time and really feel I have nothing to complain about. Things aren’t perfect by any means, but I don’t really have anything that stands out as being more challenging than that of the next parent. I feel blessed and content in not feeling like I need to get out or get away. I share this because that was one of my greatest fears in deciding to become a stay at home mom; I was terrified that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy my “new” life. Because of this, I think I was able to thoroughly savor the pleasant surprise of discovering how much I could enjoy such a seemingly simple few hours away.
I plan to do this more often. I’m even planning to be the one to initiate this scheduled time; not because I’m desperate to run away from home but because I came back home feeling relaxed and refreshed. I never want to become a frazzled parent who becomes negative and dissatisfied with where things are at in my life. I want to take the initiative to do things for myself, which in turn benefit my family.
My dear friend and I had a good laugh (while taking our little guys out for sushi the next day) at how she noticed I’d taken some extra time to get ready the night before…apparently I was a little more excited about this “me” time than I allowed myself to believe…and boy am I glad that I was, and glad that I did!
How do you recharge and refresh? I know this isn’t just a mom thing, I’d love to hear from my daddy readers about how and what you do too! Do you think it’s harder for men or women to do take time for themselves or is it an equal challege?