As a blossoming introvert with an ever growing to do list, I all too willingly let go of any hopes of a social life. My husband and I both would rather spend a night at home getting work done than a night out most of the time. This, of course, results in missed opportunities for growing in our friendships with others and with each other.
Abandoning a social life has been a problem that has increased with each kid. I actually made going out once a month a goal to try to keep myself reminded of the importance of nurturing my identity as a friend, a wife and as an individual. I’m lucky to have friends and family members who take the initiative to make plans for me and with me.
We are also beyond fortunate to have family nearby who beg us for opportunities to watch the kids. This past week, my husband’s siblings organized a night out to dinner and a movie and signed my mother-in-law up to babysit for us. I was definitely ready for the opportunity to go out and grateful that the decision was made so easy for me.
It wasn’t until the day we were going out that I realized that I had never tried giving Roland a bottle. It was too late to worry about it, and I figured that given how much he likes to eat, a bottle probably wouldn’t be an issue. Luckily, I use a milk saver when nursing, so I had plenty of extra milk stored up.
The girls were both very excited to have their grandma coming over and promised they would go to bed without a fight and help out with Roland. We were just walking out the door when my 2-year-old realized that she wasn’t coming with us and had a melt down. As I was dealing with that, my 5-year-old managed to spill my mother-in-law’s drink all over the dining room table. We were already running a tad behind to meet up with the others, so we left with an apologetic goodbye to them all. Of course, my mother-in-law had it all under control and was doing her best to usher us out the door.
I tried not to check my phone more often than necessary during dinner and the movie. I knew everything was going to be fine, but I didn’t want to leave my mother-in-law hanging in the event that the chaos we left her with continued. When we got home, the girls were in bed, and Roland was up waiting for us. He was so smiley and chatty—it was as if he wanted to tell us all about what we missed and about the exciting bottle he got to use.
I went to bed knowing that Roland had eaten but forgetting that I hadn’t pumped what he hadn’t eaten from me. My body was not aware that he didn’t need the extra milk, and I woke up needing to pump in the middle of the night with my shirt soaking wet. Sometimes, I feel like I am making more rookie mistakes this time around, but it all seems to work out in the end.