“Mommy, why do you need to go out? I want you to stay home.”
This happened the last time I went out with friends for a coffee.
“Honey, I like to see my friends just like you do. It’s important for me and I have fun.”
“Oh.” Michael thinks for a minute. “Can I come?”
“Honey, when you are playing with your friends I don’t stay there. I let you guys play. Plus, you’d be bored. It’s just a bunch of ladies talking.”
“OK Mommy. So Daddy will put me to bed?”
This is how some of my outings still go on occasion with Michael, particularly when he and Dad haven’t spent a lot of time together, or Dad has not put him to bed in a while. But I have learned the tough way, that it is important for Michael’s Dad to put him to bed as it is for me to have a girls night. I don’t break the bank. There are lots of good activities to do. The important thing is it recharges my batteries. I can particularly feel the need for one coming on as we hitting mid summer and I have a lot more Mommy/Michael time. He and I both need a breather from one another. Him, to discover his bond with Dad, and me to remember that when I am not a mother, I am someone equally as special.
So what Exceptional Mommy Night Outings can I suggest? Here are just a few.
- Dinner, coffee OR drinks: This could be dinner at a friend’s house who does not have kids. Most of us do, so we tend to go to a cheaper place.
- A spa night: Depending on the night of the week, this could work. Sometimes you can get a cheaper deal with a large group OR with gift certificates. Hmm, start planning the night a month or so in advance. 🙂
- A nature walk: This is free, you can gab, and even bring your drinks to go and enjoy the cool refreshment on a park bench.
- Outdoor concerts or plays: I have to confess that I have yet to go with a girlfriend, due to not having the same availability of time in the pm. It’s not for lack of taste in similar music or plays. This is free too, and only requires that you bring you own lawn chair.
- Book club: You can join one or start one up. It’ll help you connect with other adults on a more intellectual level, and push you to read the latest bestseller!
- Picnic lunch during the week (if kids are at camp or daycare – or another evening): I am trying to organize such an event right now. It will be potluck, is cheap, and gives the Moms a chance to relax in nature.
- Mani/pedi day: This is fun. You can book at a spa OR have the spa come to you. One of my Mom friends organized this at her son’s preschool. Apparently they got a good deal, and a great time was had by all.
- Board game: Another one I’ve yet to try. I think it’s important to do different things. You learn so much about your Mom friends.
The most important thing to do is to allow yourself the time away from kids and partner to recharge. This list can also be used for men, though maybe with some adjustments. 🙂 Remember, you are no good if you are burned out. Your family needs you to be strong.
Exceptional Parents, what do you like to go on your ladies or men’s only days or nights out? How do you recharge the Exceptional Parenting battery? Our kids demand so much more of us, and they need us to be that much stronger. Don’t be ashamed of your exhaustion. Take care of yourselves, and do what you need to do to be fully in shape. Until next time.