It’s been one week since I found myself standing in a fitting room on the verge of hyperventilation.
Because I enjoy making life as frantic as possible, I decided one hour before Mom’s Night Out that I should dash out and buy something new, seeing as those ten pounds I had planned on losing didn’t quite melt off as expected, and the dress I intended to wear didn’t fit.
(Pro Tip #1: Do not try on your dress for Mom’s Night Out 90 minutes before it begins.)
I stood sobbing in the tiny cubicle of torture amidst a pile of pretty things that didn’t fit right, either, with just ten minutes left before I needed to hit the road – dressed – and on my way to a night of Cinco de Mayo fun.
Maybe I just won’t go. What a travesty to ruin the party with this arm fat. I’ll fake illness. A diaper disaster? Kid with a stomach virus! No one will want me anywhere near.
Anxious thoughts raced as tears fell and time ticked until suddenly I caught a glimpse of myself in the fitting room mirror. It was Kim K level ugly-cry and it was completely ridiculous.
What the hell, woman!? You are crying about going to a PARTY. Hysterical over a night away to have a margarita and share complete thoughts with people who don’t want to talk about Minecraft. Or poop. Okay, it’s a bunch of moms so there will likely be a poop conversation in there somewhere, but who cares?! Free tacos! Get it together!!
So, I stopped that negative noise and picked myself up by my bootstraps. Rather, I picked the least offensive pretty thing up off of the floor and told myself that rompers were in. (Wait, rompers ARE in, right?)
(Pro Tip #2: After finally selecting an outfit, be advised that shimmying into it in a cramped bathroom stall beside the woman just trying to relieve her bowels in peace, all the while wondering if you remembered to put on deodorant, is an awkward way to commence a night of glamour. Again, proper planning is key.)
Here’s the thing, y’all:
Mom’s Nights Out are not my thing.
Honestly, having moms in my life to have a night out with has not been my thing. For the past several years I have been a stay-at-home mom. A nursing, babywearing, hardly-ever-leaves the house without her children SAHM.
And yes, I have adored every second of those baby cuddles and nursery rhymes, but truthfully? With each month that passed a little piece of myself faded out of my memory. I knew that somewhere inside was a girl who loved conversation and laughing and connection, yet somehow, all the blessed years of mothering had rendered me just the tiniest bit afraid.
Afraid of stepping out into the world without a baby wrapped against my chest. Without a kid at my feet as my shield. Afraid that if I had a night on my own, I would be forced to get in touch with myself. And what if that girl wasn’t good enough anymore?
But she is. Oh, let me tell you, she is.
Are you a mama who could use a night under the stars that wasn’t about rushing to urgent care to tend to someone’s sprained ankle?
Are you a mama that wonders if she still has anything to lend to the conversation, to share with the world?
Here are 5 Reasons to drop the fear and live a little – you deserve a Mom’s Night Out!
1. You’ve toiled for days, months, — years, even — to get other people washed, dressed, and into a pair of (closely enough) matched socks. You deserve a night to put that effort into yourself! Go get a blowout or pedicure. Strapped for time or cash? Even a small splurge like new lip gloss will erase the memory of someone pooping into your hand as you changed a diaper just hours before.
2. You have cooked dinner all week and no one has enjoyed it. The broccoli was obnoxiously green. The soup disappointed with its third appearance of the week. (I don’t know how to cook many things.) You deserve to throw those kids a pizza slice and go eat some tacos! Hot! Without sharing!!
3. Your kids have begun to run away whenever you whip out the iPhone and pose them in front of brick walls or street murals. How can we #motherhoodthroughinstagram, people, if you refuse to get in the shot?? You need to be in photos with people who will willingly selfie. Seriously, you deserve to be remembered, too!
4. You need to mingle with other strong mamas who are making it happen! Bask in their positivity and soak in some of their glow. Check out that mama working hard to do good in the world! You can do that, too. The best part? Inspired mamas raise ignited children. You can’t light a fire if you’ve lost your spark.
5. Above all, you deserve a mamas night out because you need to know that you’ve still got it. That woman who has dreams and aspirations? She is still in there. Being mama doesn’t mean she withered away. It means she blossomed. Let the light in. Watch her grow.
6. Bonus — coming home to see your sleeping beauties will fill your heart with complete adoration and joy. Your heart might even be more full than your belly after all the tacos.
Now, go out into the world and be brave, mamas!