One of the best parts about becoming a parent is the fact that your amazing child become such a huge part of your world. And one of the most challenging parts becoming a parent is the fact that your child become such a huge part of your world. It’s easy to forget yourself in the equation some times. My friend Lynn (aka Miz Landry) is a sassy, spunky, wine lovin’ gal from New Orleans and one of my dearest friends. We both had boy’s a month apart (her Miles and my Wolfie are great buddies) and she has an incredible joie de vivre. Lynn has a great outlook on the “time for your self” deal and I asked her to share her unique One Night Out with us. It’s something I’d like to start doing myself!
Hi there! Miz Landry is here completely flattered that Dottie and Alix asked me to guest post about my favorite day of the week, TUESDAY. Why, I’m enjoying this lovely Tuesday right now, blogging away at the Alameda Free Library. A few minutes ago I was sprung free of my momly shackles to do whatever I want for a few hours. Tonight’s plan is to blog, but aside from that, there is no plan.
Love these crazy guys, but sometimes, I need to be by myself.
What’s so special about Tuesday nights? Well, after becoming a mom, I sort of fell into a funk and felt like I was never going to be me again. My husband and I came up with the idea to each have a night off. Somehow, we made it happen and we’ve been having our One Night Out for years and don’t plan to stop any time soon! Let me clarify. The Night Out is not about doing anything special. The point is, whether I spend it riding around in the minivan listening to NPR, eating sushi alone, or lassoing friends for drinks at some swank San Francisco bar, this One Night Out is mine.
Mmmmmm…sushi and sake. I also like that it’s very friendly to the solo diner. Robert, the chef at Majori knows me now.
Many parents we know take nights out. What’s different about our One Night Out Manifesto is that we have a scheduled time, rather than just going out with friends as things come up. This helps, especially in my case, because I don’t have to negotiate anything. I didn’t realize how much I craved unstructured time and how, once you have children, you have to schedule your spontaneity.
From there, there’s no limit (well, marriage vows, safety, and promising to come home are limits, but aside from THAT). One thing I didn’t want to do was join a club or something because then that feeling of obligation sets in and the whole point is to not have to commit for just a brief amount of time.
I said there was no limit (with limits), but there are rules. Only a few. With a clear set of rules, you give your self a night that is open to possibilities. While I love my children and my husband, the chance to recharge and discover the world on my own terms is priceless. I am reminded that I used to be independent, interesting, and bold. And that I still am.
North Beach is a favorite Tuesday destination. I feel like I’m on vacation.
The One Night Out Manifesto
Pick a night and stick to it. Sometimes things happen, but the reason why this works so well is that each of us know that one night a week we don’t have to ask permission, seek a sitter, coordinate, or feel guilty about our time alone. We keep weekends as family or date nights. I have Tuesdays and my husband has Thursdays.
Determine your childcare. We are fortunate in that my mother-in-law takes the kids after school on my night so that from 3:30 until curfew, I’m free. She gets time with the kids, my husband picks them up and we are all happy. There is a chance that this may change, so we are exploring a babysitter on Tuesdays so that I can take off earlier than when hubby gets home. I have made contact with a teen sitter around the corner.
Determine a curfew or a check in time. If we are going to be out later than 9:30pm, we have to let the other one know so that no one worries. This rule stemmed because one of us (me) had a little too much fun one night and stumbled in rather late. Especially for a Tuesday.
Do not use it to join a club, or do anything that requires commitment. I mean, you can, because, hey it’s a free country, but that sense of obligation takes over. Keep it loose.
Do not use the one night out to run errands. Let’s face it, isn’t that what we do all the time anyway?
That said, there are exceptions to rules. Things happen. While I have avoided most group activities, I haven’t been able to resist being a part of the Dames de Gateau, a group of cool vintage-wearing ladies who dine in vintage restaurants in the Bay Area. And, lately, as work schedules have gotten whacky, hubby and I have had to swap or skip a few nights. But, those changes make me appreciate the beauty of the one night out all the ore.
I strongly recommend you try it. Hubby and I promised to work in a similar program for date night.
As long as it’s not on Tuesdays!
Thank you so much Lynn. I love this! Keep up with Miz Landry’s One Night Out escapades on her blog, One Night Out!