A Mom’s night out – something we often feel like we can only dream of ( before Corona changed everything anyway.)
A few weeks ago I invited the amazing Annette Schmidt to write something for us. She was very excited to share with us about the importance of a Mum’s night out.
Introducing Annette Schmidt
Annette Schmidt is a toddler tamer and writer at Coffee, Chaos, & Dry Shampoo – where she helps mothers live a healthy, semi-crunchy lifestyle without compromising their time, budget, or sanity to do so. She does this by providing evidence-based health and parenting content, as well as sanity saving tips to help you survive motherhood and manage your finances.
Why Having a Mom’s Night Out Makes You a Better Parent
Being a mom is more than a full-time job, from cooking and cleaning to caring and entertaining, majority of your time is devoted to your family.
And the few minutes you do get to yourself, either early in the morning or late at night, is usually used to binge watch your favourite show or catch up on your favourite book.
While this time is equally as important to maintain your sanity, it’s just as important that you carve out time for yourself outside of the home by having a moms’ night out.
By taking a few hours to yourself each week you can re-energize and recharge, meaning you’ll be able to better care for your children. And before you start using time as an excuse, consider starting with one night a month.
It could be a monthly book club with friends or simply an evening happy hour. The important part is that you are taking the time to enjoy yourself.
Besides time, another excuse you’re likely facing is one created out of mom guilt.
That if you do find these extra few hours in your week or month, shouldn’t you be using them to spend more quality time with your family?
The answer is no. Not only will this burn you out faster, but it does nothing to help make you a better parent.
Instead, use these extra hours to refill your own cup. You’ll become a happier mother and ultimately a better parent, here’s why.
Combats Stress and Depression
If you’re consistently burning yourself out and taking little, if any, time alone you are likely putting yourself on the fast track towards being overly stressed and potentially falling into depression.
Both of which highly impacts your parenting.
When you are overly stressed you are less likely to handle situations with the same amount of patience and kindness. And not because you’re a bad person or a bad mom, but because you are literally overwhelmed in all meanings of the term.
According to a study by NCBI, “Depression is significantly associated with more hostile, negative parenting, and with more disengaged (withdrawn) parenting.”
However, if instead you’re spending time on what makes you happy (besides your children) you’ll find yourself being more patient during stressful situations and happier all around.
You’ll also be setting a good example for your children, because whether you like it or not then can sense when you are both happy and unhappy. And which of those two behaviours would you rather they model?
Teaches Social Skills
When you go out with your friends it helps you strengthen your own social relationships and build trust with others, and your kids see this. And when they see you building long lasting, trusting relationships it encourages them to do the same.
So, while you may think a mom’s night out is simply for you, realise that your actions have long lasting impacts on your children and how they will grow up and develop friendships of their own.
For example, if they see a mother who isolates themselves then they may grow up thinking that isolation is normal or even ‘safe.’
When in reality, creating social relationships have heavy impacts on our overall well-being and health.
According to the Mayo Clinic, “Adults with strong social support have a reduced risk of many significant health problems, including depression, high blood pressure and an unhealthy body mass index.” And they even found that adults with vibrant socials lives tend to live longer.
So, it’s not only important for your own health, but the health of your child that you develop meaningful and trusting relationships with those around you.
The best way for you to help teach your child individuality is by rediscovering your own identity beyond motherhood.
This means exploring your own hobbies, skills, and talents. And even give yourself space to pursue some of your past dreams. Whether it’s writing your own book or running a triathlon, give yourself the permission to take on that challenge.
Once you’ve done so you will fill so refreshed and refilled, meaning you will have even more energy to help care for your family.
And by showing your child that you are a person with additional interests, you are showing them that motherhood doesn’t mean you are confined to the home or confined to being a carer.
By setting this example you are helping show your daughters that they can be amazing mothers and still hang on to their individuality. And you are showing your sons that their wives are more than just the family care giver.
You can find some great and affordable ideas on how to have a Moms’ night out here.
And before you let your Mom guilt creep back up and discourage you from taking a Mom’s night out. remember that by setting a good example for your children you are providing them with a lifetime of skills that will help them live more positive lives themselves.
Many times, as mothers, we think that by giving our all and burning ourselves out we are doing an amazing job.
When in reality, many times we just need to take a step back so we can see ourselves and our children more clearly, making us better women and mothers.