Staying home with my son is unquestionably the greatest joy and privilege in my life. Even on the hard days, I find myself rocking him to sleep in the evenings, sniffing his hair, squeezing him close, and giving thanks that I somehow got so lucky.
I’ve been blessed to have found a wonderful circle of moms who help fill my days with play dates, walks, advice, laughs, and the occasional need to cry. Living so far away from our loved ones, these girls have become a second family.
We meet officially once a week, but often find ourselves spending extra time together at a park or zoo when the sun is shining and the weather is nice. And while we have a great time together during our days, we’re often distracted by the little ones tugging on our pant legs. It’s hard to hold a meaningful conversation while pulling dandelions out of my son’s mouth.
And so, we’ve started to do a Mom’s Night Out.
We’re doing it once a month or so, leaving the dads at home with the babies and heading out as a group for good food and even better conversation. Last night, the four of us headed to one of my favorite fancy vegetarian spots here in Seattle. Even though I was just meeting up with the girls, the same ones who literally saw me hours prior in bermuda shorts and a nursing tank top, it felt good to slip into a dress, touch up my makeup, and dig out the kitten heels that have been collecting dust for many months.
We ate, we talked, we laughed – we finally had the ability to really hear each other’s stories without the distractions of our tiny sidekicks. Motherhood is something that can create such a powerful bond. I see it with my own mom, who today remains friends with the women she walked and talked with thirty-some years ago. Something about surviving that first year together, it’s powerful.
I feel spoiled that I’ve been able to get a few nights out recently between dinners out with my mama friends and a few date nights with my husband. And while they may be few and far between, they are really all I need. Each one serves as a nice reminder that I do have a life and identity outside of my son’s nursery.
And after a nice night out and a delicious dinner with friends, I am more excited than ever to tiptoe into Cullen’s room in the morning, ready to be greeted by his sweaty mop of reddish curls.
Read more from Emily on her personal blog Daily Garnish, where she creates healthy vegetarian recipes, recaps her latest running adventures, and chronicles life as a new mom to her son and two crazy dogs. You can follow along on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest too!