Sure, as they get older you gain more and more of it back but you willingly and consciously (most of the time) give up your right to complete freedom when you have a kid. That’s been the hardest part of parenthood for me. I want to run to Target and try on shoes. I want to see a movie, at home or out. I want to walk my dogs leisurely to the park. I want to respond “yes” to my friend’s wedding invitation without even thinking because of course I’m going to be there.
If I don’t get the opportunity to be out, away from my child, enjoying adult things at least once a week, I start to lose it. If I don’t get 30 minutes a day alone, I start to lose it. That’s just who I am. And I guess I’m starting to learn that it’s ok to ask for those things.
Women seem to forget to ask for this stuff because we feel so grateful to our husbands and partners (if we’re lucky enough to have them) for working all day to keep a roof over our heads and food in our bellies. It seems thankless to ask for time to ourselves. I never did. Until this week when I finally approached my husband and told him how important that time away, being 100% myself (including the “f” word and mascara) is to me. He didn’t argue, though he didn’t understand it immediately.
I explained how it is in women’s DNA to be in charge of the baby all the time, and we’re proud we get to have that. We forget how to be ourselves when the kids are little because we are constantly saying things like, “Yes, that is a green train,” and, “Please don’t feed your poopy diaper to the doggies, ok?” These aren’t grown up things to say. We become other people in order to do what’s best for our children. And we’re really freaking good at it. But if we don’t get out and interact with people who don’t show us their bellybuttons once every 5 minutes, we start to forget who we are.
So we made a deal: I get to go out with my friends one night a week and everyday when Abe takes a nap, everybody leaves mommy alone. In return my husband can go to the gym any day of the week and we’ll accommodate his schedule, and I also will continue letting him live despite the fact that he bites his nails throughout the entirety of every show we watch together.