I guess technically I hit a milestone this weekend. For the first time since either boy was born, I left the house by myself. I drove over an hour across town to hang out with my pre-marriage friend and a few of her friends. We had dinner together and then played the nerdiest game in the entire world (Trivial Pursuit: Book Lover’s Edition), which I discovered I also own later in the evening. Then I drove a full hour or so back across town. All by myself.
It turns out I don’t much mind my own company. It also turns out that I can indeed go five hours without once mentioning a poopy diaper. My friend and her friends were all single; only one even had a boyfriend (what do you expect from a group of nerds who spend Friday night playing Trivial Pursuit?). I knew they didn’t really want to know what cute things my kids were doing, so I didn’t even bring it up. I’m not sure they knew I was married, much less had two kids.
As much of my identity is wrapped up in being a wife and mother, it was a good exercise for me to not be merely that for a few hours. I was able to be the part of myself who is not dependent on others to provide her identity. In a way, it was a time for self-discovery. Who am I really when I don’t have my husband or kids to fall back on?
In this ongoing theme of rediscovering myself, this evening fell in perfectly. It was great timing and very healthy for me. I don’t know that I’ve really solved anything, but it reminded me that I do need to spend some time by myself every so often, to do things that interest me, not that I think my kids or husband might like to do. I need to spend time with people who are like me in ways other than being a mother.
And I think it was good for M as well. He got to spend an evening alone with his boys and test out how he is as a father without me around hovering. Apparently the boys were absolutely perfect. PJ was helpful and didn’t throw tantrums at all. M did great and had an easy time of it. Lucky man. I hope he doesn’t think my job is that easy all the time. But at least now that he knows it’s not that bad, he may encourage me to go out on my own a little more often.