Is it wrong to party after having children? Should all partying stop at the beginning of parenthood? Is there a fine line between what is right and wrong when it comes to partying after babies come along? Being a parent is an awesome privilege and a huge responsibility, but does that mean parents give up everything in their lives and spend every waking moment with their children? It does not make someone a bad parent to need a break and have a good time every once in awhile. All parent need to get out and let their hair down. Some parents may want to go to a club or a bar, have a few beers and shoot pool. Others may opt for a more traditional night out with dinner and a movie. Others may want to get together with friends and just hang out. All of these are acceptable. What is not acceptable is coming home to the children while intoxicated, bringing the party home where children are present or not coming home at all. First and foremost is parenthood. Even if taking the night off, there are still responsibilities. I remember the first time I went out after becoming a mother. I did not enjoy myself at all. I felt guilty and irresponsible, I felt like the worst parent ever. After many talks with other parents and my children growing older, I decided to venture out again. It was much more relaxing because I realized that children need a break from their parents, too. My children are all grown or near so and I do take the occasional night out on the town. It gives them a chance to stay up late and spend time with pre-approved friends, watch pre-approved movies that I don't want to see and eat up all the sugary snacks they can find. This also gives me a chance to relax, spend much-needed time with other adults and relieve some stress, even if only for a few hours. Partying after becoming a parent is not a bad thing if done responsibly. Find a baby sitter who can be trusted. Get dressed up, go have a good time without getting trashed or arrested. Come home at a decent hour, preferably before the sun comes up. Be ready to jump right back into being a parent. Do not make partying a habit. It does not need to be every week or even every month, but when doing it, have a great time and do it responsibly. It will give everyone a much-needed breather. Go have fun, then go home and tell the children how much they were missed and loved. It will do the whole family a world of good. (Have a question? Email michellerhodes72@gmail.com)