Mom’s Night Out
By Patti Hermes – Parent to Parent
Have you been invited to a Mom’s Night Out lately? Did you go, or were you just too busy? Granted, some of us need a night out with friends more than others think they do. But consider what kind of breaks are you giving yourself, and maybe put that next Mom’s Night Out invitation on the calendar. It’s easy to get lost in all of February’s emphasis on couples and Valentine’s Day, but just be sure not to put it off too long.
Now, why should Mom’s Night Out be so important? It doesn’t matter whether you’re a stay-at-home or work-at-the-office mother. It doesn’t matter whether you’re single, married or somewhere in-between. It doesn’t even matter if you’re close friends, or just occasional acquaintances. Sometimes, just the fellowship of getting together with other mothers, with the express purpose of breaking away from family responsibilities for an evening, is cathartic enough to rejuvenate you for a time. And that is what it’s all about.
I looked those words up to see why they occurred to me after a recent Mom’s Night Out. Catharsis: the relief of tension and anxiety. Rejuvenate: to restore to an original or new condition. It’s true. The day to day work of motherhood, whether you’re raising pre-schoolers or teenagers, is both labor intensive and mentally draining. Certainly we can find daily practices that keep us balanced for the everyday, such as yoga, or blogging, or a daily chat with a close friend. But for a truly rejuvenating experience, it’s tough to beat a night out with friends. And laughter, being a prerequisite, is practically guaranteed.
There are lots of different ways to celebrate a Mom’s Night Out gathering. For some, a simple grab two friends and head for the nearest comedy club would work. Of course, scheduling can often be a problem, and some of you have to put it on the calendar months in advance. If getting child care complicates the evening, try hosting one at your home. In the summer months, I’ve been known to host a Mom’s Night at a table in my backyard, complete with mosquito candles and on-again off-again security light, red wine and chocolate optional. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just comfortable.
It doesn’t even have to be at night. You could always try out a morning coffee date at the local coffee shop. If finances make that difficult, try a pot-luck brunch at a friend’s dining table. While the local bowling alley may sound old-fashioned, maybe you and your friends should check out some laser tag locations for some active fun, followed by refreshments.
Some groups like to organize official Mom’s Night Out on a regular basis, whether it be weekly, monthly, or a few times a year. Some of us need more, or less. And some prefer just informal meet at so-and-so’s house Tuesday night, whenever we can squeeze it in. And some like to mix it up.
If you don’t currently have a built-in group of moms to socialize with, try starting one. Church is a good place to make friends as you all pick up the babes from the nursery, or while waiting for your older kids to get out of basketball practice, or even post invites at a public bulletin board at the local library or community center.
Even if you think you have nothing in common with the other mothers in your neighborhood, or your children’s school, you really do. We’re all in the trenches, trying our best to raise our children to eventually become responsible adults. Our methods may differ, our experiences may conflict with one another, but in most cases all we have to do is laugh together to break down any perceived barriers. Whether it’s the odd places we find dirty socks, the wild stories our children tell us to explain their odd behaviors, or just the many adventures in the life of parenting, sharing our experiences and laughing with others leads to the catharsis and feeling rejuvenated.
Parenting is hard. Give yourself a break, your kids deserve you at your best. Go out and play once in awhile.
About the Author:
Patti Hermes, while writing, reading and homeschooling take up most of her time, she still blogs at https://writesforchocolate.blogspot.com.