A local chain restaurant started a promotion recently that has rocked my world, I’m not going to lie.
It’s called $5 Martini Monday and lets just say – it’s totally brilliant.
They know exactly what they are doing. They know who they are targeting with those delicious fruity, fun-colored drinks for cheap. On those lonely, near-dead Monday nights in the restaurant world, they know with the mention of $5 pomegranate-soaked vodka they can draw several of us in there faster than my 4-year-old can say, “Kraft Mac ‘n Cheese is for dinner.” Moms like us. Moms who need a night out.
Monday comes fast and it comes hard. I often wonder if my kids’ teachers think Monday means “assign every single subject, every project, every book report and send every possible permission slip home” day. I hear Beethoven’s foreboding Symphony #5 in the back of my head every Monday afternoon when my kids get off that schoolbus. Just envision me in slow-motion, screaming “Noooooo!” running to lock the kitchen door, because it’s 2 p.m. and I still haven’t put a dent in half the things I planned to do today. I know what’s next is a barrage of coats, shoes, backpacks, lunchboxes, dirty hands and cranky cries of hunger and the dissatisfaction at all the tasks that need to be done in the next two hours. The grumpiness of Monday afternoon is tangible in my house. The week can be long, and sometimes it takes a little pick me up on a Monday to carry me through until Friday.
Every once in a while, moms, we need a night off. We need a night without a little person hanging on us, whining “Mommmm,” for the 67th time. We need a night without the bath time bickering about who took someone else’s mermaid doll or the cries and whining that follow shampoo in an eye (with three loud girls in the bathtub each night, my ears are ringing by 6:30 p.m.) We need a little break from that endless bedtime routine which can break even the most calm and collected veteran mom. I can only read Llama Llama Red Pajama so many times people!
Being a mom can really do a number on your brain. I’m talking about that mushy brain – where you wonder what happened to all the academic brilliance you had in college, or the wit and charm you had while dating your husband, or even the expertly focused brain you used in order to get you through an excruciating 12 hours of natural, drug-free childbirth. Nope, now you’ve got mom brain – you know, the kind where you are putting the milk in the pantry or putting Aquaphor on the toothbrushes and you can’t think of that three-letter word for those cute candy dispenser toy thingies. The I Can’t Get The Paw Patrol Theme Song Out of My Head kind of brain. It can cause any good mom to want to run screaming from the house.
(It’s Pez all you mom brains out there, Pez).
My husband knows when I’m on the verge of running, screaming from the house. After nearly 15 years of marriage, he knows there are just some Monday nights when I need this. For one night, he’s going to take the reins of this out of control household from dinner through bedtime. For the sake of keeping mommy out of the looney bin, at least for one more day, he is like my Fairy Godmother telling me to go drink, laugh and enjoy myself – at least until midnight (or at least until I lose a shoe).
Over the past year or so, I’ve had some challenging days – issues in my marriage, with my kids, in my relationships with relatives, health scares. Other times I’m just exhausted. I’m tired of the daily routine, waking up like a zombie, going through the motions – tired of laundry or cooking (ok, ok microwaving), tired of being a taxi to school, gymnastics, soccer, piano lessons and back again. There are times this mom just wants to throw in her (Skyline chili-stained) dish towel. We’ve all been there.
So it’s a relief to know I just need to send one S.O.S. to my fellow MNO pals. Most of us have those few friends you can call on, the kind who will meet you no matter what, no matter the time, no matter the shenanigans that went down that day at her house. She knows. These are the friends who will drop everything and steal away with you for a couple hours after dinnertime – probably still clad in yoga pants – for a priceless night off. The laughter, the camaraderie and empathy you get with time amongst fellow moms can do wonders to fuel a tired mom. The boost I’ve gotten from talking out problems, sharing sad stories, blurting out embarrassing stories, or asking for advice from women I know and trust – it’s been exactly what I’ve needed. I am not saying these special nights out necessarily have to come with alcohol, I’m just saying some of my best stories come out after two martinis and a shrimp appetizer (and sometimes they come from a bar floor where someone may have just fallen because she was reenacting a very animated story about potty training).
Think of it as entertainment also for an Uber driver later on. We moms are all about giving aren’t we?
Everyone’s life is so regimented these days. Time spent with our families, activities with kids, mealtimes – everything is planned out by the minute. Nobody has a spare second. My every waking hour sadly is marked on my kitchen calendar and on my iPhone – I may as well scribble in times for bathroom breaks and showers, too. But I strongly believe every once in a while, it’s good to let yourself have that night away.
The kids will still be alive when you get home. The dishes will probably still be sitting in the sink and there might be a pile of laundry falling off the couch. But sometimes a spontaneous night out is rejuvenation that you can’t put a price on. Well, maybe you can. It’s about $5. But trust me, it’s going to be well spent.
Cheers moms, to Monday!