Last Friday I had two dates with two different set of friends. I met one friend for lunch and then another set of friends for dinner/drinks. That never happens anymore. I used to meet friends for lunch and then meet up with another set of friends for dinner all. the. time.
Then I had a baby. And I kissed those days goodbye. So I was super psyched when I was able to find a babysitter and engage in this once-in-a-lifetime-activity once again. And it was a blast!
During my first few months as a new mother, I had this false idea that in order to be a "good mother," I had to become totally and completely engrossed in my son and all of his wants, needs, activities, etc. This made me feel like I was doing a great job as a mom. The problem was that in the process of trying to become this "great mom," I'd completely lost myself as a person. No bueno.
As Aiden's first birthday drew near, I realized that I'd completely isolated myself from my friends. Maybe it was because I was the first in the pack to have a baby and felt that they didn't understand my new life as a mommy. Who knows?
After realizing that I needed some adult conversation in my life (duh!), I started to make the effort to reach out to friends again. That's when I realized that it's perfectly okay (and healthy!) for me to still like things that are not kid-friendly. Like Jay-Z and Rihanna. No, they're not Dora or Diego, but it's something that I like. Something that makes me me.
Working (we need to eat and live well, right?) and going to graduate school (hooray for upward mobility!) is personally fulfilling for me.
Spending time with friends (fun!) and going to the gym to workout (well-needed stress reliever) makes me happy.
Although it took me some time, I have learned that I do not have to choose between motherhood and womanhood. I can choose both!
See, what makes me a "good" mommy isn't just that I am able to be engrossed in a game of tag or read a book or give a bath. It's not just all the "mommy things" that makes me a good mommy. It's also the "woman things" as well.
When I make time for myself and my social life it makes me refreshed, rejuvenated, and HAPPY... and that's what ultimately makes me a better mommy.