April 19, 2013

Mom's Night Out

This post has been on my heart lately and after talking to some other SAHM's on Twitter, I got the push I needed to write it out.

Before I get into the Mom's night out part of this post, I need to give you a little bit of background…ok, maybe a lot of background info.

For a few months after the girls were born, my mom and I would run errands together. Then she had back surgery and wasn't able to help me as much so I didn't get out as often as I had been. Not long after that was when my MIL had her wreck which ultimately led to her passing a couple months later. During that time, I was at home alone with the girls a lot since James was spending time at the hospital with his mom. It was a hard time.

Eventually, I started leaving the house with the girls by myself. I had to. Tillie had PT once a week so my first experience taking them out on my own was going to her appointment. The more I went out with them in tow, the more confident I got but I still didn't leave the house much if I didn't have to.

I think staying home so much started to get to me. I started getting cranky & irritable…and I think I may have been a little depressed.

There were days where I would be dressed with purse in hand when James got home but I would just go to the store or run a necessary errand. While I was getting out of the house, it didn't seem to be helping my emotional state.

It wasn't until I got together with a local SAHM, Rebecca, this past fall (that I had initially met on Twitter) that my sanity was restored (as much as one's sanity, with 2 toddlers, could be restored).

It started with an invitation to a kid's painting party. I RSVP'd and the day of the party, I almost backed out. Believe it or not, I have trouble putting myself out there and consider myself a wallflower. Usually if I go somewhere with people I don't know, I drag someone with me for moral support. I didn't have any "moral support" to drag with me this time. James is actually the one that talked me down from my anxiety and encouraged me to go…so I went.

Tillie & Tensley Art Party
Photo credit:  Amanda Keener Photography

The party went well. I didn't really get to talk to any of the adults much as I was trying to make sure my then 18 month olds didn't get into anything they weren't supposed to. We stayed for a couple hours and left. It wasn't long after that Rebecca and I started texting.

After a few weeks of texting and making plans to get together, we started going to story time together and that led to us walking at the mall 3 days a week. A couple of months ago we starting going out on Thursday nights.

I look forward to our Thursday night's out. We usually do something simple like dinner and pedicures but it's just us. No kids. No household responsibilities. Just adult conversation and relaxation. Over time I have noticed that I am much more patient with the girls, the house work doesn't seem so daunting, and my stress level in general is much less than what it was.

I want to encourage every mom out there to find something they can have to look forward to. It's too easy for us to get caught up in our families and forget about ourselves. So schedule a night for yourself…your husband can handle the kids for 3-4 hours, I promise…and go to a coffee shop and catch up on blogs or blogging or go get your hair done or a pedicure. Even better, reach out to a fellow mom at story time or at the park. You never know…by reaching out, you could be saving another mom's sanity.

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  1. Great post! I too think this is so important as it can get very lonely when you stay at home all day. When the girls were a few months old I reached out to a girl I had met once at a BBQ....I had no help and no friends with kids who stayed home. I definitely was not feeling like myself. She was feeling the same thing and we ended up doing mommy and me yoga with the kids. We met a group of girls through that and to this day we are all good friends and get together for play dates weekly! We also do monthly mommy nights out! Makes such a big difference.

  2. What a great post!!
    I am in this rut a little.

  3. amen! amen! my mentor talked me off a ledge at one point - and said "try to identify when in the week is your breaking point and schedule that break. if it's wednesday morning, then get a sitter for 2 hours on wednesday morning. if it's by thursday night - go out every thursday night." i thought it was great advice to know your limits and like you said - actually be a better mom for it. thanks for linking up!

  4. I'm so glad you're able to do this!
    I look forward to my playdates with my group of friends, but even more, our kid-free dinners out!


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