In part 1 of ‘How to combine a career and kid and a kid and stay sane‘ I focused a bit on the work and the daily routine aspect and said I’d talk about the switching off from the career and kid bit this time.
I think the best way for me to do that is to get a night out. When I’ve read similar things to what I’m about to write I thought easier said than done, but it is totally worth doing. That is, finding a regular babysitter and getting some time out.
It’s taken me nearly seven years to get this stage mind you. I’m finally comfortable booking the babysitter and then organising a night out whereas previously I would organise babysitting around a night out.
I got home recently after seeing a great show at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival – ‘Intimate Apparel’ and realised how grateful I was that I was able to have nights out sans child. It makes a HUGE (and I hardly ever write in all caps so I really mean it) difference to my parenting if I’m not parenting all the time.
The paradox is, of course, that some nights I find myself just talking about the quirky things that JJ’s done recently. One story I’ll probably tell my friends when I catch up with them is that JJ asked a group of Spanish people at the backpackers we stayed at recently, how do you say ‘vagina’ in Spanish. I was slightly embarrassed that he chose this word but they thought it was funny.
I’ve learned not to worry about only getting a few hours sleep before I have to do the pickup in the morning, although I’m a lot better now at drinking more water inbetween the alcoholic drinks. On my nights out when JJ was a baby and a toddler I’d get to bed after a night out and then freak out at how late it was and have a hard time getting to sleep, therefore making the situation worse. Now I look at the clock before going to bed and think, oh well at least I should get four hours sleep. And I also think of how little sleep I survived on when JJ used to keep me up all the time.
It’s now been a few weeks since I’ve had a JJ free night, and it’s about time I organised a night out.