No matter how much you love your baby, your husband/partner and your home life, there comes a point when a momma needs a night out.
I've been fortunate enough to have a few nights away from Ellie in her 10+ months. I truly believe that it's not only beneficial for my sanity, but it also helps my relationship with Scott (ie: prevents me from smothering him in his sleep as I return to his snoring self after getting up every 2 hours with a screaming baby), develops Ellie's bond with her Daddy, and allows Scott to build confidence in caring for her.
There is a definite pattern that I have noticed every time I venture out without Ellie; and by this I mean not just for a coffee date or run, but for a night out with the girls, especially an over-nighter.
Here are my 5 stages in how this goes down:
1 - The Build Up
It's been a while since you've done anything that resembles your previous non-mom self. You're days revolve around scheduling naps to accommodate story time at the library, staying up late means that you just discovered you're out of home made baby food so you're cutting and steaming at 10pm, and you're getting resentful that your partner gets to leave the house, even if it's to an office job that you would personally slit your own wrists if you had to do it.
It becomes apparent that if you don't get some time away from the house, the laundry, the never-ending chores and yes, the baby, shit is going to go down.
You send out the call for help to your girls - and because they're your girls, they are on board.
2 - The Preparation High
The night is planned, the girls are in, and the hubby knows for his own sake not to argue or suggest that you stay home.
You happily feed and bathe baby, humming all the while in anticipation of a night of freedom.
I will always love the act of getting ready for a night out; sometimes more than the night itself. Picking out an outfit that will be free of smashed bananas and spit up is a special treat that you don't take for granted post-baby.
Your boobs resume they're previous status as decorative accessories, instead of the gravity-fighting feed bags that they have been for the past months.
You enjoy a glass of wine and bust out the glittery eye shadow; you may be too old for it, but it's a glitter eye shadow kind of night damn it!
3 - The Driveway Guilt
You're packed, prepared, kissed everyone goodbye and have started the car. Now the crushing self-doubt and mental bad-mom bashing begins.
Why do you need to go out anyways? Isn't this what you always wanted? A home with a family and a beautiful baby? What if something happens when you're gone? Maybe you should call the whole thing off and just go and put your pj's on and watch a repeat of Say Yes To The Dress with the cats.
Thankfully we have technology that allows us to now frantically text our girlfriends/fellow moms who will immediately reassure you of not only that it's ok to go out, but it's damn well needed right now, so you crank the tunes and get on the road.
4 - The Back to the Future Moment
You're 3 drinks in, out in public after 6pm, talking about topics that don't involve vaccines, sleep schedules or day care, and for a few moments, forget your current life. You laugh, flirt, gossip and re-connect with other grown ups.
A 'retro' song comes on and you remember how to shake your booty like you're 21. You do shots with ridiculous names that you wouldn't repeat in front of your mother in law, bought for you by sleazy guys from out of town. You turn them down and strut off, thanking those long walks with the stroller that you can still strut.
You cab it back to your girlfriend's house and giggle and remember the highlights of the night.
5 - The Happy Return Home
The next morning you wake up with breasts the size and texture of bricks. Milk may even be leaking down your chest as a lovely reminder of they're current purpose (true story). You roll out of bed and head to the washroom, thankful that being used to such little sleep actually comes in handy for something.
Depending on where you are in feeding your baby, and if you remembered to pack a breast pump or not, you may even have the pleasure of milking yourself in the bathroom sink.
Yeah. Enjoy that visual.
Since you're the first one up you make coffee and pack. The girls get up and you groggily recap the night's shenanigans, enjoying the caffeine and the addition of another night of stories to reflect on.
In the back of your mind though you're itching to hit the road - it's been at least 12 hours since you've held your baby and now not only are your breasts aching, but your arms are too.
You hurry home, and the moment you see your little one with her Daddy, and her squeal of delight at the sight of you is the best feeling.
You see your messy house in a different light, your husband as a partner again, and your baby as the light of your life.
The night out already seems a distant memory, and that's ok because you're right back where you want to be.