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My baby, the Nightclub, and Me

October 17, 2010

Someone get the “Best New Yeye” award ready; last night I took my son to the club.

Let me explain.

A friend we hadn’t seen in over a year came to town for a few days. We could only manage to coordinate a late dinner gathering and decided we’d try out a new Nigerian restaurant in the area. The idea was to meet at 9, eat by 9:45 and be home by 10:30. It would still have been a little late to have a baby out, but not too crazy (right?).

Anyhow, we all know what can happen to the best laid plans. In a complete change from our normal lateness, we arrived to the restaurant on time, but our dear friend was running very late. That kinda didn’t matter anyway, because the weather went all cookoo on us, bringing about strong winds and rain. And, of course, we had left the baby’s blanket at home!

Since dear friend was still running late, we went home, got the blanket, and returned before he arrived. Time check: 10:00 pm. Bad sign. We should have called it a night then. But, of course we didn’t. I think were caught in the illusion that we could enjoy a night out like the sexy, single childless people. We would be the sexy, married couple WITH a baby. Ha!

Dear friend finally arrived and it was all love. The restaurant was super busy, but we flagged down a server and got our order taken by 10:30. It was definitely pushing it, but I imagined great, fresh food coming out of the kitchen in under 30 minutes.  As you’ve no doubt guessed, the food didn’t come out in 30 minutes…not even the appetizers.  By that time, our hunger became slight grumpiness, and my little baby who is usually sleep for the night by 9 pm was so confused about life that he looked like

 


Image of The Restaurant on another day, pre-nightclub

 

a

deer caught in headlights.

Time check: 11:30.  Juices and drinks.  Not a single morsel of food.

By 11:45, something strange started to happen.  The music got louder.

Restaurant-

goers disrobed from their fall sweaters and coats.  The music got louder.  The owner and servers began moving tables and chairs from around us.  The music got even louder.  I became as confused about my life as the little one.  How the hell did I find myself in this restaurant-turned-NIGHTCLUB at midnight with my 4 month old child?  And hungry to boot.

Oh, I felt like the worst mother on the planet.  I just knew that everyone around us was thinking/tweeting/facebooking about this irresponsible mother with her new baby out at midnight in a club. Soon enough it got to be too ridiculous and we left, with the restaurant NIGHTCLUB owner handing us our food on the way out.

The whole event got me reflecting on a few things.  The one that I keep coming back to is that I need to be realistic and transparent with others about my limitations.  I can’t be everywhere and do everything.  Also, plans change and I shouldn’t feel guilty or flaky about canceling plans when a situation becomes unfavorable, absurd, or otherwise intolerable.  Regardless of whether or not the other patrons were judging my parenting in reality, I felt uncomfortable about the situation and completely had the power to change it.

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15 Comments leave one →
  1. InnerDiva permalink
    October 17, 2010 3:41 pm

    Wow, you didn’t tell me the restaurant was a club! Regardless of anyone else’s facebook/tweets/etc, I think you’re an AWESOME mom.

    • October 17, 2010 4:14 pm

      I meant to tell you, but got mentally sidetracked when I started remembering how good the food turned out to be. Yum!

      Thanks for the vote of confidence. The little person doesn’t seem traumatized by it. I was the one feeling all crazy later. It’s just emotions taking me over. 🙂

  2. October 18, 2010 2:26 am

    At least the food was good – something had to have gone right! I know that when we make plans like that, maybe a little out of our normal schedule and think that our 3 month old will be okay with it…the same thing happens to us! It all goes terribly wrong, we leave something really important at home…or whatever. But still we try…

    I think that you’re right though, and it’s hard for us to admit that we have limitations now that we previously didn’t have. I remember that being difficult with child #1. Now that I’ve got child #2, I adjusted to it better, but my husband has definitely had to learn to cope! Keep your chin up…you’re a great mom!

    • October 20, 2010 12:27 am

      Thank for the support. It’s like just when you feel like you’ve gotten the hang of some aspect of this parenting business, there’s some minor moment that makes you question whether or not your parenting license should be revoked.

  3. October 18, 2010 9:38 pm

    Yikes! I’ve definitely been in a similar situation…well not in a nightclub with my child. But I’ve had her out much too late and because I thought it would be ok. It’s ok when things like this happen. None of us are perfect and you had good intentions! Don’t beat yourself up about it. I’m sure the little one has already forgotten. Glad to hear the food was good!!!

    • October 20, 2010 12:29 am

      He was such a trooper. Usually, he turns into a grumpy old man if circumstances prevent him from getting to sleep on time. I was the only one caught in a horror.

  4. October 18, 2010 9:59 pm

    The line that really resonated with me in the post was, “…I need to be realistic and transparent with others about my limitations. I can’t be everywhere and do everything. ” I am often at fault for giving others the impression that I can be everywhere and do everything, too. I often feel guilty for saying “no” to extra responsibilities, outings, and expectations.

    At the end of the day, it is me, and me alone, however, who is stressed, trying to figure out how others came to expect so much of me.

    I’m sorry to hear about your ruined dinner. ;(

    -Jessica

    • October 23, 2010 7:40 pm

      Sometimes I do it pretty well – judging what’s too much and turning it down. Then I start to feel like I have something to prove; I can be a new mother and everything I was before at the same time! It’s a process…transitioning into mother-first-and-so-what mode.

  5. October 25, 2010 4:55 am

    It is SO hard to say no when you THINK you can. I get into this all the time with three! Always overestimating my capabilities. But I have to admit I’m far too tired by 900 to commit to late dinners. You are brave!

  6. Sweet Strength permalink
    October 26, 2010 5:07 pm

    Give thanks for the experiences that grow us…you’ll be able to tell him this story one day and smile about it. Glad you guys got to see the city at night (when I first moved to the Chi w/KL, I only saw the city night lights about 3 or 4 times that year, aside from the sun going down at like 4pm)…also glad for the good food. 🙂 Motherhood is a journey…you’re doing well. And he is wonderful. Love and Light.

  7. Emah permalink
    October 27, 2010 11:06 am

    I also believe you are an awesome mother. I think you will probably remember blankie next time too. Glad your food was good. Love you.

    • October 28, 2010 1:55 am

      Thank you, Emah! I felt so bad about it that night, but when I think about it I laugh about how crazy I must’ve looked with worry.

  8. g-ma permalink
    October 29, 2010 4:39 am

    we can be toooooooooooo hard on ourselves at times it is ok we live we love we learn the awareness of motherhood is everlasting it helps you not to feel guilty about the new level of life that u have entered as a mother ur since of fullfillment is intrinsic not extrinsic and no excuses are necessary to give i am mother and i will not allow any outside uncomforts entry and if they do then look out u will be blown away my time is occupied i am mother from here on blankie will always be apart of the journey smile remember to be mother u have to take care of mommy u r important at all angles u must let yourself exist and breathe to enjoy the journey of motherhood welcome to one fo the most fullfilling moments in your life and i mean moments blinking can be dangerouslol lol muchlove thanks for the invite xoxoxooooooooooo

    • November 1, 2010 2:35 am

      Those are like motherhood affirmations. Maybe I’ll start putting them up in places around the home. I struggle with really owning the right to say “I can’t.”

  9. October 31, 2010 5:32 am

    Amen! Seems like I learned this lesson the hard way. But, after a few ridiculous situations (driving around with a 5 week old in the middle of winter to meet up with folks, my baby being cranky and actin’ ugly b/c they sleepy or sick and I’m out “late” which is “early” for everyone else involved), I had to really realize that I just couldn’t do it no more! But, in a way its kind of liberating. It made me put my foot down in ways that perhaps I never had before:)

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