I say this fairly often. Officially “trademarking” the phrase for my future baby book! or something…
Before Baby was here, M and I talked a little about our expectations for our lives after Baby arrived. We both agreed we planned to continue being socially active. Why would we suddenly turn into hermits?
We had a baby, not a lobotomy. Who we are, and what we enjoy, is still fundamentally the same. We like seeing our friends. We like trying new foods and going out for a drink.
So…we still do it. We bring the little one along with us. It was super easy when she was still teeny-tiny. She’d sleep through anything in her car seat. Now that she’s older and more active, it’s definitely more work to keep her happy and safe. But it’s worth it.
Our friends are one of our happy-makers. For me, seeing them, catching up on the happenings, and laughing with our friends recharges my batteries. As a stay-at-home Mom, I also enjoy the experience of speaking real words and sentences to someone who will not respond with “pbbbblth” or “bahmnmamnanana”.
It’s the little things like coherence.
M and I also went to two craft breweries on Saturday. We would have also gone to a winery, but 95 was completely shut down for hours, so we postponed. We went to Rusty Beaver, in Ladysmith, and Center of the Universe near Ashland. M is the beer fan, so he did his tastings while munchkin ate puffs, waved at strangers, and clapped to herself. At COTU, we met up with an old friend I have not seen in 20 years. Munchkin proudly grabbed Friend’s beer glass and dumped it all over Friend. She’s generous and giving in that way….
The trick to going out with babies is to know your child and your own limits. If Lil Miss starts acting up and I suspect a meltdown, I take her for a walk around the room or to a quieter spot and tell M to get the check. We try to leave before she loses it. She usually only loses it if she wants to nurse but is too distracted, or has been fighting naps all day.
M and I also know what we’re comfortable with her doing in public. Chewing on a straw or occasionally squawking? Sure. Screaming, throwing food? No.
We also make sure we communicate ahead of the outing. Who’s driving? How are we going to juggle the meal? I remind him sometimes – if you get X, you need to wash your hands as soon as you’re done eating so you can hold her while I eat. If you get Y, we need to alternate back and forth so we can both eat while the food’s hot.
I’m always befuddled by people who say “Oh, forget having a social life! You’ll never go out again! 18 years before you can have fun!” Really? Why is anyone locking themselves up and becoming a hermit? To each his own, of course. There is no benefit in judging others, but I freely admit I do not understand the logic.
Anyhoo….If you enjoy being social and going out before baby, you can continue to do so afterwards. You just make adjustments. More Happy Hour, less (or no) late nights. More casual locations, less formal restaurants. More 1-2 hour outings, less 4 hour events. Less fabulous sparkly clutches, more big roomy bags capable of holding toys, puffs, and diapers!
It’s a baby, not a lobotomy. You can be Mom and still be You.