This past Saturday, my husband and I waded into waters that we thought had long since dried up for us. Since having kids, there’s been a bit of a drought of sorts with our entertaining schedule and our ability to have adult conversations with others. A couple of weeks ago, we decided we would host a small, intimate dinner party at our house. We planned it for 7:30, so that our boys could meet some of our adult friends, but they would then go to bed at 8:00, thereby leaving my husband and I with the opportunity to discuss things other than the color of snot, the size of poops, the dribble drabble of baby talk, and the words that spring forward from our kids’ mouths.
Last week, with each approaching day, I became more and more giddy at the thought of seeing some of our old friends, but I also became nervous. Why was I nervous? Because I feared that I may be incapable of contributing to the conversations if they didn’t swirl around my children’s bathroom habits or their pickiness with food, or that they are learning so much. Once upon a time, I was able to have intellectual conversations about politics, the woes of society, even the Theory of Evolution. Ok, so perhaps I exaggerate about discussing the Theory of Evolution. My point is that I used to have good, stimulating conversations. Would I be able to do that again?
Saturday arrived and honesty I began to wonder about what I would talk about with these people. One couple has children, but they’re in high school. The other two couples don’t have kids so highly unlikely they’d want to hear my anecdote of how Henry tightrope walked down the bannisters and then doing a triple somersault, landed on his feet and began reciting the periodic table of elements. Ha! My kid’s not that good!
Would I be able to add to a conversation? Would my input be taken like it used to be, as one spoken by a well read female with a Master’s Degree? Would I sit there and smile, staring at the speaker like a deer caught in the headlights? Maybe I should be a good hostess and just shuffle around, refilling drinks and passing our hors d’ouevres? That last thought continued to swirl through my brain when I was stumped by a question from one of my girlfriends. Oh, these children! That was my first thought. Why, oh why, must you suck out any brain cells I have left?
Thankfully for me, the conversations were light, our friends’ anecdotes were hilarious, and I was able to have a conversation outside of poop, puke, boogers, and “woe is me” sighs. I found out on Saturday night how wonderful adult dinners with friends who either don’t have kids or whose kids are much older, can be. Please don’t get me wrong. I love our friends with kids. I really do. I still need that adult interaction where we do compare war stories from the battlefields of mommyhood. My boys still need the kids of those friends as their own friends. I still need and value my mommy friends with kids, but sometimes it’s just nice to occasionally step out of that world. And for me, to know that I can do that and still walk back down Mommyhood Lane, really makes me feel fortunate.
It’s taken me a while to get to this point in life. When I first left work and became a stay at home mom, my entire world revolved around Davey. I never made time for myself, my husband, or for us as a couple. I didn’t think it was possible to balance it all and if I tried to, I felt guilty for selfishly wanting time other than that as “mommy”. It’s a great feeling to know that I can balance it all, that I can have the best of all worlds, and that I do still have the ability for “dinner party conversations”.