Every mum can relate to this scenario… So, I was watching a movie when the music suddenly went to maximum volume. PANIC! ‘You’ll wake the kids!’ I nearly screamed, grasping for the remote, when suddenly, I remembered I was in Gold Class and my kids weren’t within a 10km radius. Did that make me relax a little bit? No. It made me want to text hubby and ask: Did they settle into bed okay? Did they eat all their dinner? Did he remember Tyson’s antibiotics?
And then I’d missed a whole scene of the movie and yes, I still jumped for the remote every time the volume went up.
Why is it that a mother just can’t seem to let go and relax?
It has happened for me. The first time was a while ago; 6 mums, pyjamas, nachos, chocolate, wine, eyelash tinting kit and uninterrupted adult conversation.
That’s the first time I remember going out, without the kids and not feeling guilty. Possibly because it was at a neighbour’s house a couple of doors down, within shouting distance of hubby if necessary.
So here’s what I’ve learnt about achieving ‘guilt free me time…’
1. Like all things, it takes practice. The more often you go out minus kids and return to find them still alive and functioning without you, the easier it will get.
2. Plan ahead. Spontaneous girly nights out can cause unnecessary stress for the kids and for hubby. Prepare the kids by starting to talk about it with them a few days ahead. Kids are creatures of habit and they will notice if you’re not there to tuck them in but if they have time to brace themselves for it, the world will keep turning… As long as you promise to give them a kiss immediately upon your return, whether they’re awake or not.
3. It’s okay to hold onto your phone, as long as you keep it on SILENT and ask your girlfriends to point out if they notice you staring at it incessantly. Repeat after me: ‘My kids are in safe hands’ – say it again and exhale.
4. Remember, this time is vital to your wellbeing, not to mention your sanity. You’ll be a much more relaxed mum and wife for it and your whole family will benefit from a refreshed, revitalised YOU.
5. Adult conversation. No mention of Peppa Pig, Thomas or Dora. No nappies, tantrums or clean ups on aisle 3. Embrace it. Enjoy it. It’s rare, it’s fleeting, it’s glorious.