One thing I hate is seeing one mom belittle another for wanting time away from the kids. These moms get called selfish. They get treated like expecting a few hours alone or with another adult is some how abandoning your children and will permanently mess them up. They act like a night away from the kids can wait until the kids are grown, they are only young once after all. I say screw that noise. Anyone who says they can handle their kids 24/7 without breaks or adult time is either lying or a saint. So, here 6 reasons I think you need a date night (even if date night means a night alone).
1. You’re only young once.
Just like your kids, you’re only young once and being a parent doesn’t mean you have to forfeit doing the things that bring your happiness. At some point the allure of spending all night dancing or sitting in the local Denny’s eating french fries and sipping coffee is going to wear thin. It’s just as important for you to live your life as it is for your kids to live theirs.
Or, maybe you’re like me and would just love to spend the evening watching your favorite show without interruptions followed by sleeping in your own bed without tiny feet digging into your spine. Oh, sweet, sweet sleep.
2. You’re kids need to know how to function without you standing over them.
Let’s face it, at some point you will NEED to leave your kids with someone for some reason. It’s important for your kids to be able to function without you standing right next to them. They need to be able to communicate and trust other adults without having a complete meltdown.
I am still going through this with my 3 and 5 year old. I rarely let anyone keep the kids for more than an hour or two when they were under a year or so old. When the time came for them to spend the night with their grandparents it was a nightmare and not something I dealt with with my 8 year old. He has been staying with my mom since he was tiny because we lived with her. At that point I worked and was a full-time student so they were together a lot. He’s never had separation anxiety and loves staying with people. Silas, on the other hand, has a breakdown almost every week at his Little Mozarts class. It’s a struggle to get him to stay in the room without me and I blame myself for this. I was shamed into thinking that ‘good moms’ don’t need time off. I did the same thing with November for the first year but past that I was so i need of a date night I let her stay with whoever wanted to deal with the breakdown that would happen every time I left her anywhere. Luckily, she got used to staying with our families real quick and tries to push me out the door when we go to their houses now.
3. You need a good reason to get out of the yoga pants and put on makeup.
Maybe you’re like me and the daily grind leaves little inspiration to dress up beyond yoga pants. I’ll be honest, I don’t even put on a bra until it’s time to get check the mail. I mean, seriously, who needs makeup when you’re sitting at home cooking Eggo waffles, doing laundry and schooling your kids all day? Not me. I’m sure my husband would love to come home to me looking like I care at all about my appearance, but he’d never say such a thing.
While I rarely feel inspired to dress up, I always feel better when I do. Having a date night is a great inspiration to put on a pair of jeans and fix my hair.
4. You won’t have kids at home forever.
It’s going to be awfully difficult to be in a relationship with someone you haven’t had a conversation with outside of your kids for 18+ years.
When we go out for date night I try to avoid talking about the kids. Once this mom gig isn’t changing diapers and running to soccer games I’m going to need something to talk about with my husband and I don’t want it to be a conversation that starts with “Hi, I’m Cassie, I think I’ve seen you around. Tell me about yourself, maybe we have something in common…”
5. You need a minute to catch your breath before you start breathing fire.
Maybe you’re a better parent than me, but sometimes I just need a couple of hours to step back and recharge my mom mojo. There are days where I feel like I can’t ‘mom’ for one more minute or I might lose my mind. Admittedly, on those days my patience wavers and I later feel horrible for not being able to gracefully deal with the kids running through the house screaming like they are being chased by a fire breathing dragon. It’s on those days I call my mom and ask her to watch the kids for an hour or two after work so I have time to catch my breath and recharge. Just an hour or two helps so much and I’m sure she has no idea how grateful I am when she does this for me.
6. There’s life outside of Nick Jr.
Most importantly, you’re a mom, but that’s not all you are. You are a real person, with your own interests outside of Peppa Pig and you need time to explore that. You deserve time to explore that. You don’t need to lose yourself to be a good mom. You can be both a person and a mom and you shouldn’t be ashamed of that.
So, next time you need a night out, book your sitter and do it! There’s no shame in admitting you need some time without your little monsters and don’t let anyone make you think otherwise!
Let me know what you like to do on your ‘date nights’ in the comments below.