I made a midnight run to Walmart tonight and I discovered that I have some deep seated issues about going out late at night. I know exactly when these issues started, too: when Noah was born.
Before his birth, I was out all hours of the night without a second thought. I’m a night owl by nature. I regularly go to bed at 2 AM, wake up with the kids at 9 AM, and go on with my day. I enjoy my alone time at night where I can recharge my mental batteries for the next day.
I would work the night shift and I loved it. Night shifts were quiet and full of interesting, quirky people. I didn’t deal with lunchtime rushes or many children. Bosses were more lenient. I would go out with my cousins until 2 or 3 AM, blasting music with the car windows down (sorry) and doing absolutely nothing but being out. Joshua and I spent a lot of time at Walmart in our tiny town because it was the only 24 hour place and it was something else to do at 3 AM. That or IHOP. I know, exciting life, right? We bonded well, I can tell you that.
After Noah was born, though… it’s like I turned into a pumpkin. Going out after 9 PM feels sinful. Going out almost at midnight, alone, while everyone is sleeping? I almost couldn’t do it. I was over halfway to the store and I still felt like I should turn around and scurry home. I even speedwalked through the store.
I’m not sure what causes this feeling, either. Joshua has certainly never made me feel like I’m not “allowed” to go out. The kids are safe with their father and Liv doesn’t nurse as much at night now so I’m actually pretty free to do whatever I want. I’m awake anyway. It’s not that I’m scared of the big bad boogeyman (or human man) because I’m cautious… but I do think my mother may have instilled some fear in me about that anyway.
It also doesn’t help that people ask me over and over if I’m really okay when I go out. Grocery shopping on my own? “Are you okay?” Walking down the street? “Are you okay?” Alone with two kids while Joshua goes out? “Are you okay?”
I may look young but I’m not without backbone or a fast mind. I can handle emergencies with a calm demeanor. I’m just as safe as any other 20-something out and about… and a lot of those women don’t mind walking places if there are a lot of people. What is it that makes me so hesitant to take 30 minutes to myself and run out to the store?
It’s stupid, is what it is. So I did it, and I’m enjoying my Sprite very much, thank you.