Recharge Your Batteries

“Will you be back for bedtime, Mom?”

“No, Dad is taking care of bedtime tonight. But I’ll give you the biggest hug and kiss now.”

I happily accept a tight hug from all three of my children and then I head out the front door to my friend’s waiting car. After I close her door, I breathe a sigh of freedom laced with a hint of guilt. I just read Cat & Nat’s Mom Secrets: Coffee-Fueled Confessions from the Mom Trenches.

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They go into great detail about “mom guilt” and how their kids remember the one soccer game that they didn’t attend, but of course don’t think about or appreciate how that was the one and only soccer game mom missed but that mom attended all the others.

I know my children will have a great evening and be just fine. They’re just used to the routine of me being the person who cuddles them and reads them books before bed. Just as they cherish their one-on-one time with me, they need to see that I cherish one-on-one time with my friends, too.

We arrive for supper—moms only—and hours of uninterrupted conversations. We’ll catch up on our passions and parenting struggles and concerns. We’ll talk about anything and everything. Tonight, we’ll share our concerns about our children starting middle school and how to deal with bullies. Many of us experienced bulling at this age and we therapeutically recount our stories.

Making the time for an evening away is like making the time to exercise. It can be challenging to schedule and to get motivated, but you’re always so glad after you’ve done it. It’s great to connect with other parents and support each other or just complain about your kids sometimes. Everyone needs an outlet to vent. Everyone needs support to share the struggle.

Often our nights out start with a few moms inviting other moms and one person coordinating and letting everyone know they can invite other people, too. One evening we realized a few parents connected whose kids had been asking for playdates. Between all eight of us that night, we had children in every grade from K–5 at our school.

The morning after my night out I am less irritable, more patient and ready to play with my kids again. I also have new parent tips and strategies. It’s always interesting to learn about other parenting styles and how other families spend their time.

The next morning my kids tell me about their fun evening and my oldest even asks how my friend time went. I’m feeling zero guilt. Even when my son says: “I never want you to go out again.”

I implore you this school year to reach out to other parents at your kids’ school. Connect and schedule a monthly or quarterly group going for supper, drinks, coffee or even a night out to the ballet or an escape room. You’ll thank yourself and maybe one day your kids will thank you, too.

Serena Beck
Serena Beck
Serena Beck works full-time as a Technical Writer. She loves to write, travel, and swim at the beach with family and friends.