Last night I went out to dinner with my two best friends, and we started talking about me time, and how important it is – whether you’re single or married, have kids or not.
I’m so lucky to have parents who live nearby and are happy to take Emilia so J and I can go on a date. They watched her at our house when she was two weeks old so we could go out to dinner for my birthday (we went to CVS too, we’re crazy like that). She stays at their house sometimes so we don’t have to pick her up, and we can sleep a little late in the morning. I’m also lucky to have an easy baby who almost always goes to sleep at 7 and sleeps for 11-12 hours. When J and I go out alone, its typically to a place we wouldn’t bring the baby, like a concert or a nicer restaurant. We also go at a more adult time. If we wanted to go to TGIFridays at 5, we wouldn’t bother getting a sitter, but if we’re going to be grown ups and go somewhere without crayons available at 7, we’ll get a sitter. Despite the fact we spend too much time taking about the baby, and typically have one drink, eat dinner, and go home and crash, its important to us to have time alone together.
J is also very accommodating to my me time with my friends. My two besties from high school and I try to do dinner once a month or so, and I go running one morning a week with my college friend. Sometimes I bring Emilia on the run, if J has to work or if I just feel like spending more time with her, but its usually my decision. There are also days when I’m more that happy to just run errands alone (I wandered through Target last Sunday alone with a latte and I was so happy), or just to lay on my bed and watch tv without someone whining at me or licking my face.
Having someone else’s schedule to worry about may be the hardest thing I’ve learned about being a parent. If we want to run to the store and its nap time, we have to wait. We can’t just decide to go see a movie at 7 o’clock without risking a visit from DCYF. I can’t just say – you know what? I’m not getting out of bed today. And all those things are hard freedoms to lose.
I never wanted to be the person who lost herself when she got a boyfriend/got married/had a baby. I wanted to keep a hold on the things that were most important to me, the things that make me who I am. Some of those things have fallen by the wayside, though part of the reason is surely just getting older and changing as a person. But now, more than ever, I think its important that I’m still a person, and not just a mom. And the best way to do that is to ship that baby off elsewhere and have some alone time!