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  • Sandy Green

NEW YORK CITY, DATE DAY, AND A GREAT MISTAKE

My weekend started off with a dumb mistake. Technically, the mistake had been made earlier, but I only realized it on Friday night. As I sat on the couch, scrolling through my phone, I realized that my good friend’s 35th birthday was the next night. I had emailed weeks ago saying that we’d be there and I was SO excited to celebrate with her. Since having Avi, I haven’t been able to give my New York City girlfriends nearly enough love and I was looking forward to this excellent excuse to get dolled up and go out in the city. But as the days blended into each other, as they tend to do, the actual date of the party slipped my mind. On Friday night, I realized that I had completely forgotten to get a babysitter.

I started to stress, but Jared (being the awesome husband that he is) pushed me to go without him and enjoy a rare girls night out. When I looked at more closely at the invitation though, I started to stress again. Dinner started at 9:30pm. Besides the fact that 9:30pm is just about my bedtime; how would I have the energy and wherewithal to drive home at 11:30pm? And then lightning struck. If Jared was staying home with Avi, I didn’t need to come home at all. I could drink, stay out late, spend the night in the city, and sleep in! I immediately called my parents to make sure their New York apartment was free and the plan was set. My dumb mistake had turned into a goldmine!

I drove into the city and got ready in the apartment on the Upper West Side. I could have taken a cab downtown but I was actually excited to ride the subway. It was a night of good friends, wine, and Italian food. We talked all night, and not about babies or work. I shared a cab home with the birthday girl and didn’t get back to the apartment until 1am. I was exhausted but so happy. The next morning, I slept until 8:30am. Despite being hungover for the first time in years, I couldn’t miss the opportunity to experience Central Park, so I downed a bottle of water and went for a run. I felt so energized. Fast forward to Monday. I work for a Jewish organization and our office is closed on holidays. Monday was a holiday that Jared and I don’t personally observe, so we decided to keep our nanny and have a date day. We started at one of our all-time favorites - A Korean Spa called King Spa - and then went outlet shopping. We talked about so much more than Avi and connected in a way that we haven’t been able to in a long time. We recounted our favorite dating memories and remembered who we were before we were parents.

I won’t lie - this beautiful weekend came with some guilt. First was the guilt for choosing to be away from Avi. I already work all week long; the weekends are supposed to be our time together. How could I choose to be away from him in the limited time that we have? Then came the guilt for leaving Avi with Jared. I’ve been working a lot of nights lately and Jared is often left at home to deal with dinner and bedtime. And last came the worst guilt of all - guilt that I REALLY enjoyed myself. I loved spending time with my girlfriends. In the craziness of life, I hadn’t realized how much I missed them. And my date day with Jared was crucial for our relationship. We need to be putting aside time for the two of of us. This guilt was slightly lessened by one important thing though - those moments that I did have with Avi this weekend were the absolute best. On Sunday mornings, Avi takes swim lessons. I usually sit on the side of the pool and casually watch while I talk to other parents. But this Sunday, I couldn’t take my eyes off him or the smile off my face. And by the time and we got home from our date day on Monday, I couldn’t wait to give Avi dinner and snuggle him before bed. And when I look at the weekend as a whole, I still spent a ton of time with him.

It’s so obvious how necessary these breaks are! The results were immediate. But emotions are not always rational, so I’m making peace with the conflicting emotions living inside me. Joy in the moments of freedom and the guilt that sometimes accompanies that joy. Maybe I won’t always feel the guilt. Maybe I will. Maybe it will come and go in waves. The truth is that weekends like this don’t come around very often, so I’m just going to try to enjoy them when I can and worry about the guilt later.