Over the last 2 weeks I have had the opportunity to go on a “mom date” twice. A mom date is when two moms hang out, without their kids.
This is completely opposite of a “play date”.
I have no idea if this is a real term, if there is another catch phrase out there for what I’ve just described, or if this is a totally normal thing to do and I am super late on the bandwagon. Whatever! It’s an original thought 😉
This idea for a “mom date” came to me when I had reached that pit of despair during some late hour of the night when Joseph just would not sleep, and I realized that I needed a break. I needed to not be mom for a bit. I needed to go and have a conversation with someone that did not involve bouncing a baby on my knee. I wanted to talk about other things than my baby. It didn’t need to be a long time, 2 hours at most, but I know that my soul needed it.
So then I was thinking about who I could go out with. I realized that most people I know in this city have kids. Young kids. Babies. And then I started to panic, thinking that there wasn’t anyone I could go out with and WHY DON’T I HAVE MORE SINGLE CHILD-LESS FRIENDS.
Then the thought hit me. If I need a break, surely those other friends need a break too? And that’s where the idea for a “mom date” came from.
The dates I went on were marvellous. The first, I went to dinner with a mom that I barely knew, but who I had chatted with a few times at church. I had wanted to get to know her better, but she has 5 kids, and going out for a coffee to get to know her was not an option. So I gathered my courage and sent her a Facebook message:
“Hi ____! It was so great to see you at church on Sunday. I was just wondering….are you able to get out of the house…. without the kids? I was thinking how nice it would be to go and have dinner with someone to have real grown up conversation!”
Totally awkward right? Haha. Well, she responded with an enthusiastic yes, she CAN and WILL leave the house without her kids. We had dinner and chatted as if we had known each other for years. And we barely talked about our kids at all, which in itself was miraculous.
The second mom date came when my friend and I were chatting a baby shower we were both attending. She had just beat an illness that usually comes when someone is under a lot of stress, but she was confused because she didn’t feel particularly overwhelmed. But I told her, “You just had a baby, and are now dealing with having 2 kids! Maybe your body is stressed more than your head realizes! Friend, you need a break. Let’s go out without our kids.” To which she replied, with rather damp eyes, that she would LOVE to go out, and that a break would be lovely.
So when her and I went for coffee early Saturday morning, she shared with me that this was one of the first times she had been away without her baby. She told me that her husband is quite nervous and uncomfortable with the baby, almost as if he doesn’t believe that he has the skills necessary to soothe her when she starts to fuss. Or that when mom leaves, the baby will break down into inconsolable crying. She said that he seemed quite anxious that mom was going to be leaving, even if it was only for a maximum of 2 hours.
She received a panicked text about an hour and half into our coffee date that stated that she needed to get home. Being the chatty selves that we are, it took about 20 minutes to say goodbye. I sent her a text a little while later to find out how things had gone. Turned out baby cried. Baby fell asleep. Dad did it! All before mom got home. We both agreed that he felt more confident in his baby-skills so that we could go out for coffee again soon.
I was reflecting on these moments away, and sharing my thoughts with Josh. I’m a pretty laid back person, but it can be hard for me to surrender control sometimes. When I see Josh parenting in a way that’s different than the way I would do, I feel the need to take over and say, “No no, do it THIS way.” This creates problems for both of us. For me because I feel like I am always “on”, and for him because he does not feel empowered as a parent because I make him feel like he’s doing it wrong. He said that it’s almost easier when I leave, so that I don’t feel the need to sweep in and take over when Joseph isn’t happy. That was both humbling, but freeing to hear.
I want to let go a little more, and let Josh do things the way that he will do things with Joe…even if they aren’t the way I would. This will be a huge weight off of both of our shoulders, and I think I will gladly hand over the reigns more freely now.
I am eagerly looking forward to my next mom date 🙂