Posted: Dec 27, 2012 8:00 AM
Date night is an important component of any successful relationship, but busy moms can appreciate a twist on this time-honored tradition. A solo date night may seem uncomfortable on the surface, but spending some time alone, perhaps at a nice dinner or a movie, can really refresh the soul.

Part of being a mom is the constant pressure of countless responsibilities, schedules and to-do lists. When the mental banter becomes overwhelming, a solo night out may be just what you need to calm the chaos.

No shame

For some reason, a lot of people are uncomfortable going out alone. Perhaps they worry about what others will think or believe they'll be bored, but spending time alone can really be refreshing… and liberating. When I became a mom, a mentor of mine clued me in on the power of a solo date. She suggested that I pay close attention to my sanity level and plan to spend a couple of hours alone when I felt run down, tired or discouraged. Naively, I never thought I would actually put this advice into practice. I was wrong.

Table for one, please

It wasn't until I ate my first meal alone — in a restaurant — that I realized how rare it is to see someone sitting alone in a restaurant. Admittedly, taking that initial step to request a table for one was oddly daunting, but after the first couple of meals (usually lunch, occasionally dinner), the anxiety gave way to anticipation. I use the opportunity to dine alone as a chance to sort out my thoughts, make some lists, review personal goals or even read (yes, in the middle of the day!). Whenever I leave, I honestly feel rejuvenated and ready to tackle the next mommy challenge. My mommy super powers don't always last that long, but the ability to feel like me again is worth the effort.

Opportunities abound

If you haven't experienced a solo date night, there's no time like the present. Maybe you're not ready to start dining alone but there are plenty of other options. Consider taking in a movie, visiting a museum sans children (you'll be amazed at what you learn when you don't need to keep track of little ones and all of their stuff) or relaxing at a painting or pottery studio. Really, solo dates are about busy moms taking the time to reflect, slow down, gain perspective and recalibrate the mommy compass. Sounds heavenly, right?

Read more about discovering alone time

Do moms get to have any alone time?
Finding time for yourself in the midst of a busy day
Give yourself a time-out