Moms’ Night Out! A coveted part of many moms’ lives. You get to take a shower, put on some makeup, and wear grown-up clothes. And the best part? You get to talk to grown-ups – and ones you like, for that matter.
Here I was in my dress that finally fit me again, babysitter engaged, and my friend waiting for me in the car. I gave kisses all around and said, “Goodbye,” “I love you,” and “See you soon.”
That’s when it happened.
I had the car door almost closed when I saw my 3-year-old running out to me with tears streaming down her face. “Don’t go, Mama!”
My heart felt crushed.
I had a choice to make. Do I close the door and be off to have much needed time sans kids? Or do I get out of the car and tend to my sobbing child?
I chose the latter and sent my friend on her way.
Some people may see this interaction and suggest that my child was manipulating me. Or perhaps it may seem that the children run the house. Maybe it seems like canceling our plans was a rude thing to do to my friend.
But that is not the way I looked at it.
First of all, I am my own person and I make my own choices. I chose my child tonight, in her time of need.
Secondly, no one “runs” our house. It requires much teamwork and sacrifice by all of us, as well as common respect regarding everyone’s feelings.
Thirdly, if it had just been a one-on-one with my friend, this very well may have gone down differently, but it wasn’t. She was off to meet four others and was not at all put out by my last-minute change. Kudos to my accepting tribe!
My new plans included picking my little girl up and bringing her inside. I sat with her until her little body was able to release all the big emotions inside her, relaxing to a place of calm.
From there I was able to hear her fears about my leaving and not coming back. I was able to know how to help her feel safe, and I figured out a better preparation process for her for next time. And most of all, we were able to fuel our relationship, deepening our trust in one another with open communication.
By making this one decision to stay home tonight, I let her know: I hear you. I see you. You are safe.
Jessica has been married for 13 years, and is a mom of two girls, ages 6 and 4. She graduated from the University of Central Florida with a degree in Early Childhood Education and a Masters in Reading Education, but chose to stay home to help raise and homeschool the girls in a gentle, conscious way (her dream job).