I recently had some evenings away from my two dear children thanks to Daddy O. We typically take turns to make sure we each have an opportunity to get out of the house to have some time to ourselves. This could mean working out, playing in a sports league, or meeting up with friends….all good things!
After recently ruining the relaxation and peacefulness of my “away time” upon my return home, I feel compelled to record some rules for a parent’s night out, so I hopefully will NOT break them again.
1. Be sure to leave and don’t return until AFTER bedtime. As I mentioned above, I returned from a massage appointment (awesome Mother’s Day gift certificate) about 15 minutes too early. BIG mistake! Instead of staying in my relaxed bliss, I was jolted into “mom mode”
helping with dictating the cleaning-up process and getting annoyed by over-tired bedtime antics of my nearly 2 and 3.75 year old. I inserted myself when I didn’t need to.
2. You can’t treat your spouse like a babysitter. This is FREE labor – and it should be one of love (well, most of the time anyway). Daddy O. may have his own ways of doing things, and that’s okay as long as the end result is the same: sleeping kids when I return home.
3. Don’t ask too many questions. Again, if the house is quiet, and the kids are asleep, just go with it and ENJOY! I think a more open ended question – “how was your night?” may be better received.
4. Lower expectations on the “honey-do-list.” Based on how post-dinner / bedtime go, additional items on the honey-do-list may not get done. I’ve learned to lower my expectations, and be pleasantly surprised when something IS done.
5. Just breathe. If it appears the night at home didn’t go as you would have hoped, just pause and take a breath. This is kind of hard when I am sort of a control-freak, or think MY WAYS are simply better. I’m working on this, trying to learn to just let some things go.
What are your “rules” for your night’s off from parenting? How do you carve out time for yourself to recharge?