We at the Mom Squad are a couple of lucky ladies. We have great Mommy friends and very supportive families. But being home with our kids all day can take its toll on our sanity so, sometimes we just need a Mommy time out!
Before becoming a mother, I was a nanny and that can be a lonely profession at times. Spending almost every day in the company of little ones with little to no adult conversation. That’s why I always made sure to have an active social life in my off hours. I would go out, have friends over, and just generally keep myself busy. I almost always had some place to be and someone to hang out with.
When I became a Mother, this changed quite a bit. Now, I had no “off hours”. My friends and the social world I had built for myself seemed to go on without me.
My husband and I had made the decision that I would stay at home with our kids while they were little. So this meant that I was home all day, alone with a little one. Similar to my life as a nanny, but this time I didn’t leave the children at the end of each day and go home. It was MY child and I already WAS home. This took some getting used to.
Now, when I wanted to go out or have people over, it took some more planning. It also didn’t help matters that after my first baby was born, I had major about leaving her. It took quite a while for me to get back into the social world after having a baby, but once I had a taste of “freedom”, it was a lot easier.
I’m very lucky to have an amazing husband who also happens to be an to our kids. As long as he is able to, he is always happy to stay with them so that I can have some time to myself.
Sometimes all I need or want is to have a shower without kids banging on the door, a trip to the store ALONE, or an extra hour of sleep on Sunday morning. And he is always glad to help out in any way he can. He has always been more of a morning person, so he gets up with them on the weekends and lets me sleep in a bit. He even cooks breakfast for them and gets them dressed! (I am super lucky, I know!) On the occasions that we have a Moms’ Night Out planned, he helps out then too. He encourages me to go out and have fun, and doesn’t call unless it’s really necessary.
I love going out with my Mommy friends because we all “get” each other, and the best part is that we all have our own parenting styles, but there is no judgement. We each talk about our frustrations or our proud Mommy moments and the rest of us are there to lend support and encouragement, or just laugh with us about the ridiculousness of it all. It’s really amazing to be a part of. We all laugh at the same stupid things and poke fun at each other (lovingly of course). And at the end of the night, it’s as if we’ve all taken part in group therapy. We all go back to our families refreshed, and happy.
Let me start out by saying, I love my kids, more than anything in the world. They are awesome and I wouldn’t change having them for a second. We all love our kids. We cherish every moment with them and get sad as we realize they are getting older and try to hold on to the days as much as we can.
That being said, lets be realistic here. . TWENTY FOUR SEVEN. By the end of every day what I cherish most is a little alone time. I don’t get a commute to drive home and decompress. I don’t get bathroom breaks during the day (well, I do but I usually have the door open and two kids and two dogs bursting in). I don’t get to run and grab a cup of coffee or lunch with a friend for 15 minutes because let’s be honest, how worth it is it to you to unload and load two kids in and out of a car, go into the coffee shop, herd them while you order your coffee or food, and try to get everything and everyone back to the car in one piece? It’s certainly not worth it for me (although I am EVER thankful for drive-thru coffee!).
The other day, I was preparing for a Mommy’s Night out with my awesome ladies and my husband took the kids and the dogs to my parents house. As I sat there in the quiet of my house, I realized that was the first time in over a year I had really been alone. Actually alone. No kids running around, no dogs barking, no trouble to be had, just me, my makeup and nail polish and the quiet.
There was a time where I couldn’t stand to be alone. Before I had kids, if my husband had to work late, I would be SO sad. If I didn’t have friends to go out with on a Friday night, I would be SO bored. I have always loved to be surrounded by people and while I still really do need that social aspect to my life, there are some days when I would just love to be alone.
And here is where I count myself incredibly fortunate. When my husband comes home from work, we have it worked out where I go to the gym most nights of the week. I get at least an hour to get all that stress I’ve built up during the day out (not to mention getting a little HGTV time in while on the crosstrainer!). My parents live 30 minutes away and absolutely jump at the chance to take our kids for the night (usually around once a month). I get with my husband to remember why we created this whole mess for ourselves in the first place and reconnect. And sometimes we have double dates with friends so we can be kids again ourselves! And one of the most important things I get to do is hang out with my ladies WITHOUT our kids.
Don’t get me wrong, my ladies are one of the only things that gets me through the really tough days. When we get together during the day for play dates with our kids, it makes the day go so much faster. However, getting together with them after hours, no kids, and a few cocktails is really when we get to appreciate each other as more than just Mom’s, but friends. Of course the conversations that are had at such events are STRICTLY confidential, I will say that after a night of laughs with them I feel like a new woman.
Alone time doesn’t have to be long. It doesn’t have to be crazy. It doesn’t have to be fancy. A stroll in the evening by yourself. An uninterrupted bath with a trashy tabloid magazine. A drive to a coffeeshop by yourself with a book. But alone time is absolutely essential for a Mom to stay sane. Alone time and decompression helps you be the best Mom you can be. We all know the kids needs come first, but make sure you take care of yourself too!
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What do you do when you take a Mommy Time Out? We’d love to hear your comments!