When my husband told me he wanted to spend the night in a cheap motel with another man, I immediately gave him my blessing.
I wasn’t worried about him and his guy friend—I knew the root of this request was the longstanding bromance he has for Tom Brady, quarterback of the New England Patriots. It was football season, and my husband was excited. This year, he ended up going to four games, one of which involved him flying to Wisconsin, renting a car and staying overnight at the Holiday Inn.
I laughed, thinking about him and his buddy—two big manly guys—sharing pillow talk and eating the continental breakfast together the next morning. Truthfully, I couldn’t have been more thrilled for him.
Of course, anyone I told thought I was crazy. “You’re just going to let him go?” a friend asked.
Yep. In fact, the idea that I would have to “let” him do anything was kind of bizarre to me. After all, he’s my husband, not my son. He works hard all day, does tons of housework, spends time with his kids and takes me out on dates once a week. It was a no-brainer that he deserved a little down time to do something he really wanted to do—without me.
But not all moms think like this. When one parent goes away, it leaves the other one to take on all the chores and responsibilities. In this case, that meant me handling our 3-year-old twins solo. I looked at Daddy’s football tour as an opportunity to prove to myself that I could manage on my own if needed. Instead of sitting around the house, counting the hours until he got back, the twins and I had one of our most memorable days together at Brooklyn Bridge Park.
When my husband and I let each other do things on our own, we’re reaffirming the fact that we’re individuals.
Sure, I was a little apprehensive about getting them in and out of the car and leading them around a playground that wasn’t our everyday spot. We did more than just manage—the twins got to explore an awesome playground and, by the time, I piled them back into the car, I felt like supermom.
Or at least a woman who could rise to the occasion.
When we got home, their cute little tushes were tucked into bed 15 minutes earlier than usual. As soon as their heads hit the pillow they were asleep, and I was on Seamless ordering in Thai food. I opened a bottle of wine and watched an informative documentary on Nat Geo (OK, actually a three-hour marathon of "Keeping Up with the Kardashians"). It was fantastic!
Some moms would not be thrilled with the fact that their man was spending time away from the family, but I look at it as essential to our sanity—and our relationship. So much of who we are now is defined by the kids. If we can give each other the opportunity to explore interests outside of our roles as parents, I figure it can only benefit all of us.
So the next time your man asks you if he can go out with his guys, don’t be a bitch.
And, let’s not overlook the fact that this means when you get the crazy idea to go to a Duran Duran concert and stay overnight at Foxwoods with your best girlfriends—well, he can’t exactly say no, can he?
So, on a Friday night, my girls and I piled into a car and hit the cheesiest casino on the East Coast.
“Are you ladies here for the bachelorette party?” the valet asked when we pulled up to the front of the hotel in my Honda Civic.
“We’re here to make money,” I said, and pulled the car into the self-park.
Later that night, dressed in sequins and Jessica Simpson stilletos, we stepped out of the elevator and walked in slow motion through the lobby, turning the heads of every Jersey guy playing slots and wearing too much Ax body spray. The mommy of the group, I was the most excited to be free for the night.
“Simon, I want to have your babies!” I yelled at the stage as the first notes of the show sounded.
“Don’t you have enough of those?” asked my friend. She had a point.
When my husband and I let each other do things on our own, we’re reaffirming the fact that we’re individuals. And then we actually have stuff to talk about besides the kids. Like how hot Simon Le Bon is. Or how hot, I mean, athletic, Tom Brady is.
So the next time your man asks you if he can go out with his guys, don’t be a bitch. Tell him to go have fun. Who knows, he may let you have your night with the '80s rock star of your choosing, too.