Everyone needs a break from their job. Most folks working full time get some kind of paid vacation time. Mothers who work 24/7/365 and get paid in both hugs and spit up don’t get paid to take a break. They’re just doing what they’re expected to do, which is why the idea of a Mom’s Night Out sounds rather foreign to my mother and doesn’t even exist in my grandmother’s vocabulary. Thank God we don’t always mommy like we used to.
The first instinct every new mom feels when she begins to hit her stress wall is denial. We don’t need a break! We’re totally cool! Yeah, right. Then, the guilt inevitably kicks in as we begin to fondly recall pre-baby nights out with friends. Exhaustion causes us to doubt our own ability to even attempt to get out of the house and away from our rambling toddlers. And, finally, our brilliant husbands take one look at us and very lovingly kick us out of the house. Want to take control of your own life once again? Here are the signs that you might just need a Mom’s Night Out, ASAP:
1. The minute your husband texts you that he’s going to be home late, you burst into tears.
Many stay-at-home moms have husbands who work long, hard hours. When they can be home we secretly rejoice over the ability to eat at least one meal in peace, or even just have fifteen minutes to ourselves to drink a cup of coffee or decompress after a long day. Sometimes, especially during teething, sleep training, or the “I’ve discovered I have opinions and I will express them whether I’ve harnessed language or not” stage, we revel in that little window of time so much that when it is snatched from us we become the adult equivalent of a teething toddler whose paci was just taken away.
2. You down three glasses of Pinot at 8 a.m. because the sitter cancelled.
Okay, this one I stole from Odd Mom Out, but it’s got a lot of truth to it. When you count on a short window of freedom and that dream is dashed, it hurts. Hard. Because you love the little munchkins pulling at your legs with all your heart, really you do. You just need to run errands like you used to: In, Out and On with life instead of In, Clean Up Mess, Answer Fifty Million Questions, Forget Everything You Needed and Hurry Home Before Naptime.
3. You realize you’re devoting your daily calorie count to Vanilla Chai Lattes from the Dunkin Donuts drive thru.
Oh yeah, big time. Like most mothers, I know how to administer caffeine the way diabetics know how to measure insulin. This is because adrenaline-rushing stress begets adrenaline-rushing stress. What better way to stay awake after a park marathon than by hitting the drive-thru for a latte? Who has time to chew anyway?
4. You’re starting to prefer staring at your smartphone to staring at your baby.
I love spending time with my son. LOVE. So when I find myself sneaking away from Daniel Tiger to see what exciting things are happening on Instagram, I know I’m worn out and need a break. Mainly because I’m finding photos of food and last night’s sunsets strangely soothing.
5. You’re using your friends’ wedding as a reason to finally peel off the yoga pants.
Every mom goes through the stretch pant slump. It usually peaks during spit-up season, but is bound to rear its ugly head once your toddler has learned how to get his hands into everything and directly onto you. And suddenly you feel gross. All the time. Given the reason to not feel gross AND feel feminine again just feels too exciting for words.
6. You’re trying to hit the baby monitor like you used to hit the snooze button.
There’s that excitement of greeting your baby in the morning. Then there’s sleep training. Finally, there’s the morning “get me out of bed” whine, followed by you smacking the monitor incessantly while unconsciously thinking, “Mom, I just need five more minutes. Mom, I swear I’ll get up and go to school.”