Thursday, November 17, 2011

Mama's Night Out

Tonight I had a much needed night out.  This is the third evening I've stepped away from my girl since she arrived.  The first was many months ago for a quick happy hour with some other new mamas, and the other out for a movie with my family while Nick stayed at home.

This evening was another mama's happy hour.  The restaurant was dark and loud and full of people, all of whom looked childless.  But that was probably because there were no kids out.  The food was great, although it took forever.  I guess you could say that the whole thing felt like the pre-baby days, in a way.  It seemed like a world apart from my typical reality.

The conversation touched on family, life changes, raising babies and transitioning into motherhood.  I met one of the mamas when we were both pregnant, due just two weeks apart.  We'd get together with a handful of other ladies for mocktails and brunches, prenatal swim classes and long conversations about something we really knew nothing about: becoming mothers.  The other two ladies have since joined our group, each of them with two small children at home getting snuggled into bed by their daddies.  We certainly had enough to talk about to keep the conversation flowing.

We reflected on how different our lives were a year ago.  How different our lives are than what we expected.  How much harder it really is than what we expected.

Although this may sound silly, I really like hearing that from other new moms, especially new moms whose children don't have Down syndrome.  It's nice to see how similar we really are.  Sure, I know there are some differences.  Our challenges may be a little different, but we are all challenged.  And it's nice to recognize that.

But I think the most poignant moment occurred as I was walking to my car.  Parked a few blocks away, I was excited to pop open my umbrella and make my way through the wind and the leaves plastered to the sidewalk as I walked under the streetlights.  Feeling a thrill of what I can only really call freedom, it was a moment where I felt so definitively "me."  That old friend, that "pre-baby me" was so independent.  She thrived on having time alone, on walking down the street with her arms swinging, purpose in her step.  And I felt that me as I walked down the street tonight.  I felt the me not weighted down by a diaper bag, not slowed down by buckling a baby in the car seat and folding the stroller into the trunk.  I felt that little lightning thrill of just walking down the street as myself, after having dinner with the girls, high on my escape from the responsibilities at home, if only for a couple short hours.  Exhausted as I was from the events of the day and my ongoing sleep deprivation, I let myself enjoy that moment of feeling so singularly like myself. 

But the other part of me got excited turning the key in the car.  As I drove down the street I imagined the little almost 16 pound bundle of sweetness tucked into her bed.  As I envisioned kissing those sweet little cheeks I started to smile.

And I was able to recognize me for the self that I am now.  Still me.  Still enjoying a few moments of independence.  But still excited to get back home to my girl.  Me as a Mom.  I like it.


  1. So glad that you had a great time!

  2. It is amazing what a few hours away can do to energize you and make you be a better mom! Trust me as a mom to 3 now, there are more similarities in parenting a child with special needs and "typical" child than there are differences! Some of our worries are just a little more magnified. Hope Cora enjoyed her time with Daddy!

  3. We all need a break now and then but I agree with you that it is so nice to come home to our babies! And, oh my goodness, Cora definitely has your eyes!

  4. Cute picture. Good to get out every once in a while.

  5. How nice to get away for a few hours. I always want to have some "adult time" but always find myself thinking of my children. Amazing how they change your life.

  6. I wrote a little comment in response to your comment on my blog. I could have put it here, but I wasn't sure you'd know what I was talking about.

  7. Beautiful. I love getting a chance to hear your thoughts put out so well. I love you so much. Both of "YOU"


Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me!