"Why do you go out so much? " This is one of my parents favorite questions for me. It is usually coupled with a healthy dose of "Your mother never went out when you kids were young, she was happy at home" and or "What do you need a break from?". I know my parents mean well and I am very blessed to have a husband who knows I need a break and is understanding and supportive of my friendships with other women. It still raises doubts in my head though... I begrudgingly admit. It's not that I don't love my family or that I want to dump my responsibilities on Ben to get "even" for being with the kids all day. I have witnessed women who use "girl's night out" in both of these circumstances and... we're no longer friends. I need time with girlfriends regularly to just be me.
When I am with Ben, I am Ben's wife. When I am with my our kids, I am their mom/teacher. When I am with my girlfriends... I am just Amy. I do not have to think about if anyone likes what I am ordering for dinner because I won't be sharing it. I don't have to count heads or stand in the bathroom for the ten minutes (right after the food comes) because my friends can take care of themselves. I can talk about my feelings and shoes (in the same sentence) and no ones eyes will glaze over before I am done. I can ask "am I crazy or would you have reacted the same way" and get more than a one word answer! LOL
I value my friendships with my girlfriends and I will want and need them even more as my children grow up. I want to set a good example for my kids that friendships take time and energy to grow. I need to have time to continue and explore the things about me that made Ben like me enough to want to share a life with me and maybe even find some new interests! I tell my kids regularly that I am a wife and a mother because I wanted to be not because it was my only option. It is important for me that they understand that they are my priority right now but my life does not revolve around them. I know first hand how much pressure that can put on a child (especially a grown one).
So... I go out. Once a week if at all possible, with my girlfriends and we laugh, talk, eat, talk, shop, talk, maybe see a movie and then talk about it. LOL Afterward I come home refreshed, and a better mom and wife.