I always feel this ping of guilt immediately following the desire to get out sans kids.
I know it’s a normal feeling. Both the desire to get out and the guilt. I also know the idea of a stay-at-home parent making time for him/herself is generally encouraged, as is the idea of couples needing time out without their children. That knowledge, however, doesn’t always negate my guilt. However, sometimes the excitement is enough to do just that.
The guilt comes from thinking about how things would be in nature. In nature, without the confines of modern living and technology, I probably wouldn’t need time away from my kids. I wouldn’t need to do anything without them. I mean, just watch the documentary “Babies”, where they focus on the tribal life of mothers in Africa.
Of course, that also means I would have tons of family around helping me with my kids at.all.times. Ok, let’s face it: a totally natural life just isn’t possible the way our society is set up.
This Friday, any tiny bit of guilt I might normally feel after leaving the house disappeared as soon as I stepped off the train into New York City. I love that city. Especially this time of year, with the crisp, frosty air, the scent of roasting chestnuts , and all the lights.
Ok, ok, there are some less pleasant scents, too…
I grew up within an hour of the city, after college I briefly lived right outside in Jersey City, and we now live about an hour away. We don’t go in all the time. In fact, we rarely do together (Andy makes frequent work related trips in), but one of the hardest parts about living out west was the inability to take last minute trips this time of year.
Friday morning, I dropped the kids off at my in-laws for a sleep-over and made my way to the train station.
Wait, that makes it sound like no big deal, right? Did I mention that my in-laws live outside of Philadelphia? There was a lot of planning (i.e. remembering the frozen breast milk I pumped a few months ago and digging out some bottles buried by clutter due to infrequent use) and driving involved, but so worth it.
Yes our house is spotless and completely organized… in my dreams.
We had a great time and all the stress and running around paid off. I rode the train in with my mom and we met my dad and Andy at our hotel. They were both already in the city for work. Since the kids were sleeping over with maw-maw and paw-paw, we decided to make it an event and stay overnight as well.
After we arrived, I changed since I was the only one not ready yet (surprise, surprise) and we met up with my sister and her boyfriend. It was about 2:30PM and we had tickets to the Metropolitan Opera at 6PM to see Les Troyens (a 5 hour French opera – 3 acts – that starts with the Trojan war) so we went in search of food. Jumping ahead a few hours, guess who didn’t make it through 5 hours of opera? Oh well. It was an awesome first act! From there, we walked about 10 blocks through Columbus Circle down to Rockefeller Center (see goofy pictures above) and then another 10 or so blocks through Times Square and over to Bryant Park where we had dinner.
My feet still hurt a little, but no major damage done. We all walked, talked, and laughed a lot. It was really cool for Andy and me to experience each other with a kid-like freedom we haven’t felt in a while. We’ll have to try to do this again soon.
How do you feel about date night? Do you try to get out without your kids regularly?
*I’ve decided to start Fitness Fridays on 12/28/12 as a kick off to the New Year