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I Have to Ask My Husband Before I Can Leave the House

Photograph by Twenty20

A lot of things have changed about life since becoming a parent of twins four years ago. One of the weirdest is not being able to leave your house without checking in with someone.

Gone are the days of just walking out the door for a stroll. The last time I walked down the avenue in my Brooklyn neighborhood by myself, people actually asked me, "Where are the kids?" (My answer: "Honestly, I have no fucking idea.")

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Even if you want to take an angry stroll to clear your head, you still have to tell your husband where you're going, what time you'll be back and that the kids already had cupcakes at school for a birthday party, so no more sweets for today. Oh, and the laundry in the basket is clean. SLAM!!!

The other day I had a doctor's appointment in the city, and I felt giddy with freedom. Whoo-hoo, I thought. If getting to read a book on the train and maybe go into stores without a pair of 4-year-olds, I'd put on an open-front gown and lie my ass on deli paper with my legs spread every day.

It seemed wrong to ask the guys to come home from work, just so we could go to some party where we'd probably talk only to each other.

What I forgot, though, is that when there are kids, all trips have a clock on them. After my appointment, I went into the Gap, exchanged some too-small winter hats for the twins, ate a Chipotle and realized it was time to get back on the train.

Still, my hubs and I are great about letting each other take nights off—like last week when my husband went with his friend to a football game. This week, my friend and I got invited to a swanky book party with famous architects and free drinks. The day of the party came though, and we both realized that 6 p.m. party was way too early for either of us to be "released." We had kids to feed and bathe, and our husbands would not yet be home from work.

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It seemed wrong to ask the guys to come home from work, just so we could go to some party where we'd probably talk only to each other. So we opted out. It was slightly disappointing, but mostly OK. Six o'clock is the perfect time for a party if you work a normal job in the city. But if you're a mom, well, that is prime mothering time.

There will be other times for fancy parties with architects and, hey, we can still get cocktails—after the kids are asleep, of course.

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