Tonight I went to my very first Moms Night Out with a group of moms from our Stroller Strides classes. We all met at The Pit, a local barbecue place here in Raleigh for some drinks, good food and a lot of "baby talk".
I was initially very hesitant to attend an event like this. Partially because I have never been to anything like this but also because Bea goes to bed at 7:30 and after all, I am the one who puts her to sleep! Our normal routine after bath each night, is for me to nurse her to sleep and then rock her for a while. Then I gently place her in her crib, rub her little bald head and kiss her cheek.
I think you all know what I sucker I am for routines and that I have been known to be a little obsessive about them. I'll admit it- I wasn't totally comfortable with the idea of leaving Casey in charge of putting Beatrice Kate to sleep. I was even less comfortable with the idea of someone other than me doing it, period.
But, I eventually gave in. RSVP'd "yes" and off I went with two of my Bradley Class mom-friends by my side. And you know what? I LOVED IT. I had a great time tonight.
Yep, the sky didn't fall in. The world didn't end. Casey was able to bottle feed Beatrice Kate her nightly milk and tuck her soundly into her crib; where she is at this very moment as I type.
It turns out that I learned a couple of things tonight: 1) My husband is a totally capable and loving parent (yes, I knew that already, but it was reaffirmed tonight) 2) As much as I don't want to admit it, my baby doesn't need me 100% of the time anymore 3) (and most importantly) It's OK for us new moms to take some time to ourselves.
In fact, I would even go as far as saying that we probably should be taking time for ourselves. It was so helpful to chat with other moms, find out what their kids are up to, what milestones they're at, what finger foods their trying, when they might attempt to wean (who are we kidding, there's no weaning willingly happening here).
It was refreshing and I think that taking time away like that, albeit even for 3 hours, could make me a better mother. It allows me to step outside of my "baby bubble" and feel like a contributing member of society again. It's easy to get sewn up into the world of playmates and pediatrician appointments. I think being ingrained into the world of Mommyhood is probably what contributes to the isolating feelings of postpartum depression.
I needed tonight's event. I'm happy I went. I can't wait for next month! Who knows, maybe I'll get a little crazy and have... a beer and dessert. We moms know how to party down.