Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Mama Needs a Time Out

This Friday I am doing something I have never done before. I am going away for the weekend, without the kid or his father. And I'm so mad at myself for never having done it before now.

My son turns 21 months today. For 21 months I have been with him every night and most of every day. Sure, Dad and I have had a couple of dates and a few times I was out with friends until the crazy hour of 11 or so, but never have I slept in a location separate from my first born. Never. For the first 18 months of his life we were breast-feeding, so that was my excuse. He might want to nurse at night. He hasn't been away from me before. Blah Blah Blah. Stupid excuses. Lazy excuses, really.

And you know what I'm going to be off doing? Taking a road trip with one of my oldest friends (more than 15 years) to visit two other good friends who live about 5 hours away. My road tripping friend is also a newish mom, and we are gleeful about having five hours in the car (each way!!) to talk about whatever we want, sing at the top of our lungs, and beep at cute boys (In a former life there might even have been flashing, but no one wants to see these post-baby boobs. Well, except my son. He points and laughs.) We are going to enjoy some spring festival with our gay cohorts, but really I'm more excited about gabbing, drinking adult beverages, and seeing a drag show (not my first).

So here's my advice to every new mom with an infant. Plan a weekend away now. Make it for a few months from now. Go with a friend who's company you enjoy and do something you don't need special clothing or buckets of cash. You need time away from your family. And honestly, your baby needs time away from you to bond with Dad or Grandma or Auntie. Please don't be lazy or afraid or guilt-ridden or deluded like I was. You will all be fine. You deserve to kick back and talk about whatever you want. You deserve to get a little drunk if you want to. You deserve to act a little foolish. You deserve to be a woman out in the world on her own (even if just for a night). You are not just a milk-producing machine or baby rocker. Other people can feed and burp a baby. Other people can put the baby to bed or pace the house with baby screaming. You are not the only one capable of these things. Although you do rock at all of them.

So call a friend. Make a date. Do it. Seriously. Or you will be in my shoes and kicking yourself.

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