I'd like to offer a bit of unsolicited advice to my childless friends who are planning to someday embark on this crazy journey called parenthood....
Go out to eat.
Go all the time. Get reservations at all the new, trendy restaurants you've been wanting to try and do it now. And don't you dare, for any reason whatsoever, walk into an Applebee's or some other place like that that has children's menus and keeps stockpiles of coloring sheets and crayons in the hostess stand. Some day Applebee's is going to seem like "a big night out" and there's no reason to ruin that future excitement for yourself by wasting time there now.
Go to a nice place that has an extensive wine list and does not serve chicken tenders. And also, go at like 8pm and wear heels and an outfit that's dry clean only. After your fabulous meal, do me a solid and linger over another glass of wine and order dessert. Engage your dining partner in uninterrupted witty banter and use lots of swear words and actually enunciate the swear words clearly and don't spell any of them. Do this now my friends, and take pictures if you need to so you don't forget what it was like. And then, send me the pictures so I can remember what that was like.
You can't understand now how much you will miss this experience once you have a child.
I know what you're thinking..."We'll just get a baby sitter and we'll go out like we've always done!" That's what I thought too. Yeah...not so much.
The other thing that you can't understand now is that even when your body is physically away from your child for a short time, your mind never is.
In the early years, you'll be constantly worrying if the person taking care of the baby has remembered to feed them and change them and not kill them. Not to mention, if you're away for more than a couple hours you'll have your achy, leaking boobs to contend with. That's super fun. In addition, babies and children typically get up at the ass crack of dawn and they don't care what time you went to bed or what shenanigans you were up to the night before. They have this annoying habit of wanting to be fed before 10 am which you must deal with no matter what.
As they get older it gets easier, don't get me wrong. But the part of your mind that the kids occupy is permanent. No matter what you're doing, (even if it's, I don't know, just off the top of my head....meeting Justin Timberlake or something like that) you'll still be in "mommy mode" somewhere in your head.
I'm definitely not complaining. I would not trade chicken tenders and crayons for enjoying tiramisu, adult beverages, 8:00 dinners and late night shenanigans on a regular basis if I could. Those beautiful little people that we made together are worth a lifetime's worth of those things. I just wish I had known to appreciate that part of my life a little more before it was over...
Maybe then, perhaps, I wouldn't get this excited when I do get the chance to go out for a real night out:
That would be me..about to devour a Banana and Nutella Panini when I was out for dinner with a good fellow mommy friend of mine the other night...
And this would be the pitcher of blackberry sangria we shared that I felt the need to photograph because I was so excited about the prospect of ingesting a girly alcoholic beverage in public. While wearing a dry clean only outfit. After 8pm. Astounding.
My friend, Ana, and I try to do this once a month or so. It's so nice to connect with another mom and experience the freedom of a night out sans chicken tenders. I can't even tell you. I love my husband and nights out with him are important too, but it's just as important to carve out "girlfriend time." There are things you just can't discuss with a boy that need discussing. And also, my husband would never share a pitcher of Sangria with me which is also a regular necessity in my life from time to time.
This is Ana:
Ana, which is not her real name, witnessed a violent crime a few years ago and is in the Witness Protection Program otherwise I would show you more than just one of her eyes.
Okay, I totally made that up. Actually, she was just doing her impersonation of Wilson from Home Improvement.
It's her favorite impersonation. I'm not sure why but she insists on doing this wherever we go. I'm just so grateful to have another female adult to go out with that I don't ask questions.
Okay, I totally made that up too. Ana's actually pretty normal. As normal as a person willing to be my friend can be, that is...
At any rate...
How do you other moms out there take time out for yourself? And to my skinny childless bitches, are you taking advantage of your diaper bag-less years? I hope so! What kinds of things do you crazy kids do after 8pm nowadays? Fill me in!
I'm linking up for Follow Me Wednesday!