We all say that we need to get away from the kids every once and a while and hang with our best gal pals but how often do we actually carry out that plan? Rarely. Well, ladies, it’s time we put our money where our mouth is. The first hurdle that we need to overcome is mom guilt; guilt that we’re leaving the kids behind, guilt that we’re enjoying our time without them, and guilt that no one can do as good a job as we can in taking care of them. Here’s five ways to prepare your family, especially if you have young children, for a mom’s night out.
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How to prepare your family for a mom’s night out in 3 Steps
I know, it may seem silly but you see us moms are really really good at coming up with every excuse in the book to not get out of the house without our children in tow. That’s not a bad thing but I wouldn’t be the Me Before Mom chick if I didn’t encourage you to remember that you are your own person. After all, there was a “me” before there was a “mom”. That also goes before any other title you have in your life – wife, girlfriend, fiancé, daughter, etc. The list could go on and on but you get my drift.
Step 1: Plan your mom’s night out in advance.
Kids respond to change better if they have time to process it. It’s a tricky dance you have to play though because if you tell them too early in advance about your pending night out, they’ll fret and that’ll leave you with time to turn on the mom guilt. While you’re planning your mom’s night out with your gal pals, come up with an activity that sounds appealing to most. You’re not going to make everyone happy here, most will be, but the goal is to get out and enjoy each other’s company without little Suzy tagging along asking when it’s time to go home. For my family, telling them at least three days in advance seems to be a good amount of time for the kids to process but not enough time for me to feel guilt.
Step 2: Look at your family’s calendar as a whole.
Not only do you need to plan your moms’ night out with your mom friends on a day that works for most people but look at your family’s calendar as a whole. If there are certain times of the week or month that will cause added stress then you need to honor that and plan around it. For example, my husband is an accountant, so planning a night away from the kids late March – mid-April is just stupid on my part. It’s a stressful time for my kids because they miss their dad and my littlest is still young enough that she has separation anxiety. You should also look at the amount of change that’s happening in your child’s life – are they starting school, have you moved recently, have their changed schools or daycare providers? Why rock the boat with a night out with your friends when you’ll come home to a stressful situation?
Step 3: Say a quick good-bye to the kids.
The bigger deal you make saying good-bye to your kids, the more dramatic it will be for them when you walk out that door. You’re not leaving them forever, this is not the last time you will see them. Don’t play into their fear of you leaving by making this night away more important than it really is. Your child is safe, you are coming back home, your positive energy will calm your child. Our kids really do feed off of our attitudes and the energy we’re giving off. If we’re stressed or worried about leaving them for a moms night out, they’ll be stressed and worried.
Tips for planning your Moms Night Out
- Keep it simple – the more elaborate the plan the more details go into planning it, the more stress goes into the night out.
- If you haven’t been out for a night before or if you’re still nursing an infant and don’t want to take them with you, try to stay closer to home.
- Need ideas? Check out my post on ideas for your moms’ night out.
- Try to make it a monthly thing for you and your friends. It’s easier for your family if it’s part of a routine.
- Avoid doing the night out at someone’s house unless their family is going to be away or out. It’s hard to decompress if there are little ones around.
What is a moms night out?
A mom’s night out is exactly what you think it is: a night when a mom goes out with her friends. Now, this could cost a pretty penny with all the lavish fixings and luxuries or it could cost nothing. The beauty of having moms night out is that it can be whatever you want it to be.