Your Turn Thursday: How do you keep in touch with your not-mom side?

 not feeling “like a mom” in this photo (taken in Vegas earlier this year).

I’m writing this from a bagel shop in Manhattan, where I’ve been attending the BlogWorld Expo with a client (who also happens to be a good friend) for the last few days. We fly home tonight, and while I’m looking forward to seeing my kids again, I have to admit a few days of freedom, professional inspiration and of course, clean crisp sheets on a hotel bed I get all to myself have been wonderful.

This trip was about work, but it’s been a lot of fun, too. I saw Porgy and Bess – which I’ve wanted to see performed live since I was about 10 – on Broadway (it was wonderful.)

I met up with a friend of mine from high school, who is now a chef and has turned out to be such a great guy that I’ll forgive him for serving as a physical reminder that we’d gotten a lot older since I saw him last.

I had happy hour at a seafood restaurant that looks like the inside of a cruise ship with a couple of editors-turned-pals from Babble.

I even wore heels. (And may or may not have fallen down inside a revolving door, but what happens in NYC…)

When I was a newer mother I rarely set aside time to cut loose and act like a non-mom. I guess maybe I felt like, since I had children, I had to keep my “mom” hat on at all times and not tarnish my motherly self-image by dancing to loud music in a club or getting into silly debates with friends over drinks. But even though I know some of the best parts of me have been improved, enhanced…even created by motherhood…at some point I remembered that even though I am a mother, I am still me.

And I really need to connect with those parts of myself that aren’t all about Being A Mom from time to time. You know, things like wearing heels and dresses that don’t have peanut-butter smears down the front. Laughing hysterically at a definitely-not-kid-friendly movie. Hitting a dance floor. Laughing hysterically for no reason in particular.

Either way, I need it. I’m a happier, more relaxed mom – and just feel more like myself – when I regularly set aside time to just…be me. Not “household manager” me, or “keeper of the diapers” me, or “please eat with your fork” me, but the me I’ve always been.

So I want to know: How do you stay in touch with your not-mom self?

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