So, the other night he was heading to the hole after a long meeting and was trying to convince a friend (and new dad) to go. The friend said he had to head home to baby duty, so my husband made a suggestion of doing something like our arrangement. A third guy at the meeting chimed in saying something like 'I don't think that's the point of having kids'. So, the new Dad told him that my husband has 3 kids, to which the other guy didn't have anything else to say.
Husband came home all fired up telling me what the guy said. He just couldn't believe that someone had the nerve to suggest that he was a bad parent. As if he was just leaving our three children in the cold on the back step while he attended some kind of wild party. I asked if the guy has kids, but husband didn't know, so we couldn't immediately blame the dumb comment on complete and total ignorance about parenthood.
Parenthood is not about sacrificing an occasional social engagement just so both parents can put the kids to bed at 7 and then watch crappy TV (although there is value in crashing on the couch at the end of the day and indulging in New York Ink or The Soup). It is not about losing yourself in daily routine. Guess what? The baby will be fine if Mom and Dad aren't both there for one bedtime or they have a babysitter. Parenthood is definitely not about changing your entire life to fit into baby's schedule. The baby joined your family, remember?
Parenthood IS about raising happy, healthy kids, which sometimes means that Mommy and Daddy need alone time (individually or on a date night). Human adults can only take so much crying, pooping, whining, cleaning, and laundry without a break before they completely lose their minds. Parenthood IS about showing your children that you can live a fulfilled life doing things important to you while maintaining that your family is your priority. Besides, little ones need to know they can't have everything the way they want it all the time. Surely that lesson will benefit them in the future. Parenthood IS about family, but every family is composed of individuals who have needs, and if a couple hours at the watering hole helps maintain sanity, then so be it!
Our kids are our number 1 priority, without a doubt. But, it doesn't mean we shed our former selves of all interests and wants. There is plenty of sacrificing happening on our part, but we do it joyfully. And, the occasional few hours to ourselves certainly gives us a renewed boost that we need to get us through fights, whining, peeing on the floor, temper tantrums and endless laundry. Oh, the laundry . . .
So, what's the point, then, of having kids if you're just going to go to the bar for 2 hours once a week? Or take a solo shopping trip on a Saturday afternoon? I guess I don't have a great answer to that, but we love our three kids, and will certainly continue to make our happiness as adults a priority as well. A happy adult makes a much better parent. But that's just my opinion.