The Value Of A Night Away From The Kids

Scott Webb / Unsplash

“Just one more,” I declared just as boldly as I had with my last glass of wine.

My husband and I just went away for the night, out-of-state, to a wedding, leaving our four young children behind, for the very first time overnight.

We had a six-hour drive together, and it was quite a transition to acclimate to the lack of drama that we were used to—”he’s looking at me,” “she hit me,” “I’m going to throw up,” “I need to pee,” “the baby just threw her sippy cup again,” and so it goes.

But not today. We drove in peace and had some silence, some conversation, some laughing as I kept asking for just “one more bite” of my husband’s bagel that I said I didn’t want. It’s amazing when you have found someone with whom good conversation is equally as nice as comfortable silence. Both are refreshing.

During the ceremony, we were without a baby on our laps or someone trying to squeeze between us. Instead, my husband had his arm across my leg, and I sat closely next to him. During dinner, we laughed as we talked with other parents at our table about the daily adventures of marriage and parenthood, and at times, we laughed so hard that we cried.

Regan Long

Throughout the entire reception, we drank “just one more,” and by God, we danced. This very evening I was “celebrating” nine straight years of being pregnant and/or breastfeeding. For such a large portion of this past decade, it was no longer about me nor about my husband the majority of the time, but about our children—our growing family.

But tonight was different. It was about him. It was about me. It was about us as a couple and us still as young individuals who enjoyed and, desperately needed, time out socializing. It was about letting down the Mommy Gates of Anxiety—these pillars which are hard to take down—and enjoying not having to jump up when someone spilled their drink, or referee multiple fights per hour between our toddlers, or be summoned to change another diaper or help someone on the potty.

We laughed—a lot. I was surrounded by women whom I swear God had strategically placed near me and who had me laughing so hard that it hurt. It hurt from smiling so much. It hurt from drinking and dancing for so long.

But, you see, I needed that hurt.

We had one more drink each time we said it would be our last. We danced until our feet could no longer move as each song that came on was another favorite. It’s amazing what a night out, an evening away, can do for you and your marriage, and well, frankly, a mother’s well-being.

It turns out that one more drink, one more hour, one more song turned into, well, just one more. And it turns out that adults can use—and need—”just one more” as much as our kids do.