Going out Guilt

Friday, January 18, 2013

Why can't I just get a night out on the town with my hubby (or whoever) and not feel guilty?

Why do I feel utter, and complete guilt having fun without my kids?

It never leaves. It's like the plague.  I'm having fun, I'm drinking, I'm swearing (okay, I do that anyway), I'm GONE.  Not there for bath time, not there for storytime, not there for the Bedtime Routine.  No pulling of the hair to get the knots out of the curls, no getting all of the stuffed animals just properly placed in the bed, no reading Fancy Nancy books, no bedtime cuddles.

I can't seem to ever get a babysitter for the sake of having a little date night with my husband.  A little dinner out with friends.  I always feel like my kids are going to hate me for leaving them...and remember it for years to come.  Like a bad memory, they hold, and hold and hold....until they become teeanagers and tell you.

What's awful - is I can remember how it felt when my own mother left me with a family member or babysitter.  It was bittersweet - but still ultimately felt awful.  Like I was missing her, missing out and just sad.  It never felt completely great to be left with grandma, the cool teenage babysitter, or whoever.  It just always felt like getting pawned off on someone else.  Do 2 and 3-year olds feel that?

As much as we (adults) try to make ourselves feel better...ohhh...they love grandma and grandpa...ohhhh, they run to the babysitter when she comes over....does it ever really make us feel better?  Because, by the time 8PM rolls around, and you're out and about, you know your kids are missing you.  Missing you putting their jammies on, missing you reading their stories, missing you cuddling with them.

It's a strange dynamic for me.  I'm a stay-at-home mom (so they label me, but I like to call it "about-town-mom"), so I do get more quality time with my kids than maybe some working mothers do.  But, I am also a part-time working mom, and sometimes my work does not fall into non-nap time hours .... sometimes it falls right, smack into prime time play hours (9AM-12PM) or (5PM-7PM).  And so sometimes, I am not fully engaged, on the floor playing with my kids like I should be.  So, do I really wanna go out with my husband or friends and risk lack of quality time ?  The immediate answer is, "Yes, who freakin' cares, I am around the monsters all day!", but the hindsight answer is always, "no."

My friend's husband is turning 30 this weekend.  My husband and I were invited to the 30th Birthday festivities which involves a 5:30PM dinner and basketball game after.....and.....going out on the town after.  I don't know if I can hang.  I, for whatever guilty-mommy reason put off finding a real babysitter for the whole night...and instead opted for my mother-in-law for the 5:30-9:30PM shift.  I just can't commit to more time than that.  I can't committ to being away longer than that.  I don't know why.  I desperately want to hang out with my friends and husband, but I also want to desperately lay in my bed no later than 11PM, sober, and get good sleep for the next day.

Will the push/pull get easier as my kids get older?  Not sure. 

For now, I'm pushed to be with my kids as much as possible, even at the expense of quality time with my husband.  He's an adult, his emotions can be repaired (I think).  I don't know how many friends I'll be left with in the end, or how many "good", times will be had, but I can't go to sleep at night any other way.

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