Do you remember the days before mommyhood? Go back even further than that and picture how life was before you were married. For me, I was in college and was in a long distance relationship with my now husband. I thought it was hard then to find time to work, study, cook, clean, spend time with friends and my boyfriend. Forget the laundry, cooking or cleaning!
Now, I'm trying to fit in time to cook, clean and do the laundry between the time I spend chasing my toddler around! Don't misunderstand me, I gladly embraced the tradeoff between studying and work to become a not-so-domestic-goddess. But sadly, the one thing that I have let slide to the back burner is spending time with my friends.
How long has it been since you have had a "Girls Day Out?" I have been a mommy now for 22 months, and I have only had one or two...usually for a bachelorette party or something of that nature. This isn't anybody's fault but my own. You see, my problem is that I have a hard time letting go and leaving my little one at home with daddy. Not because my husband isn't a good father, because he is an amazing father and I couldn't ask for a better one. It's just that I'm so used to being here during the day every day and taking care of my son, that I get into the bad habit of thinking that things will go more smoothly if I am here to oversee.
Now, I do take my son to "Friday School" every Friday, which is a wonderful service provided by our church. For a low monthly cost, I am able to bring my son to the church and leave him from 9am-3pm. The answer is no, I didn't think of doing this on my own...my mother actually gave it to me as a Valentine's Day gift when Dalen was 6 months old. I was sold after those first couple of Fridays! I now refuse to give that day up. It gives me time to go and run errands - such as grocery shopping, going to the bank , and even the dreaded Wal-Mart trip - or even indulge in a few guilty pleasures such as scheduling a massage, getting my hair done or even just being able to go back home and take a nap if I want. It is so nice to have a day that I can just be by myself. Plus, it is also a much needed time away for my son as well. He needs time to spend learning how to socialize with other children without mommy right there.
While Friday School is a wonderful way for me to get my errands done, it does not provide much time for me to just have some girl time with my friends. Mainly, because those who also use the Friday School program or one like it are spending their time running errands to and then there are my friends who work during the week. So, I have decided that I just need to let go and ask my hubby every now and then to watch the little one for a few hours on a Saturday so I can go and spend some quality time with my friends.
A few days ago, I timidly asked him if he would mind watching Dalen while I go to the movies with some friends. He surprised me by saying, "No, I think that's a great idea. In fact, I think you should do that more often." I don't know why I was surprised by his answer, but I was. I guess it is because, as a mother, I have allowed myself to believe that things will not go as well if I am not around and that since I am not bringing home a paycheck I'm not really entitled to some time away. This is very unhealthy thinking on my part. Why should I not be entitled to time away? I mean, my husband likes to spend a Saturday here and there out playing golf with his friends, why shouldn't I spend a day out with mine? Luckily, I have been blessed with an amazing husband who understands this. So, this Saturday afternoon I am headed to the movie theater to watch The Time Traveler's Wife for some much needed quality girl time!
If you have not had a "Girls Day Out" in quite a while, then I encourage you to get together with some of your friends and schedule a time to go. I know it's hard leaving those little ones without feeling guilty - but, we are going to be much happier mommies if we would just do it!