Parents After Bedtime
The New “Nightlife” Taking Over Apartments Across New York City
by Patrice Polzer, of Citykin
We’ve all seen the Friday night parenting memes. The couch, the wine, the partner at the opposite end of the couch, the remote, and (of course), the NETFLIX. And we laugh . . . because it hits home. And then we cry (just a little) to ourselves. Because . . . OMG what happened to us? But there is a new parenting meme in town, and on any given weekend in Brooklyn it may involve mushrooms (aka shrooms, aka magic mushrooms), a weed delivery man, MDMA (aka Molly) and a whole lot of money saved on couples therapy (according to the couples with whom I spoke). Midlife crisis at its finest? Perhaps. Desperate cling to a flicker of the nighttime spontaneity no longer afforded by kids? Maybe. Responsible drug use that rekindles the passion flame? Could be.
Regardless of the conclusion, it’s happening and I suspect it’s not just happening in liberal cities such as Brooklyn. Allow me to introduce you to “Mommy and Daddy’s New Night Out” (which, to be precise, takes place in one’s own apartment). All names have been changed because all these parents have big jobs and some topics (like recreational drug use when you are also parents) don’t always go over well ‘round the old water cooler.
MOLLY’S COMING OVER
Words from *Cara, 36, and her husband *Mark, 37 who have two kid under five, booked a staycation for their anniversary, had family sit overnight and had amazing sex all night long. And that was only slightly less fun than the conversation. (OK, paying attention.) Here’s how it all went down:
“We jokingly suggested doing Molly — which we had only done one other time years before kids. It was one of those moments when we both paused and said, “Why the hell not?” It felt exhilarating even thinking about doing something “naughty” that wasn’t “lets watch ONE more episode of . . .” Mark met up with a friend who gave him a step-by-step plan for how to take them. (Apparently, “novice Molly parents” need a Drug Use For Dummies approach.)
We went to the hotel, followed our cheat-sheet, and had a mind-blowing night on every level. Things we’ve been arguing about that normally would result in me storming off, him shutting down, and nothing getting resolved — we were able to empathetically listen to each other about. It was crazy. We were going to dance it up all over town, but opted to stay in our hotel and talk and talk, only to be interrupted by some of the best sex we’ve had in years. The positive effects of that night lasted months and we’d do it again if the circumstances were appropriate. (READ: No kids until at least lunchtime the next day.) I have felt zero guilt since that night about our decision. Our marriage has been better for it.”
A NEW TYPE OF ORDERING IN:
*Ava, 35 is a mom of two kids, and currently on maternity leave with her second. Ava and her husband *Kai are “that couple” who tick a lot of boxes: Good looking, smart, worldly, thoughtful, executive levels at their companies — and keen to have a cannabis delivery man come to their house with a suitcase after the kids are in bed. Ava mentioned this to me in passing one day, and I nearly spit out my coffee. Not because I think enjoying cannabis is a spittable offense, but I just never would have taken them for the cannabis-delivery guy-on-speed-dial” type. This is how it works (as Ava explained):
“You text him with a smiley face when you want him to come round. He then turns up at the apartment with a briefcase full of edibles. The case is set up like a tool kit inside . . . it has lots of different compartments, with different strains inside, all very neatly lined up and that take the shape of candy, oil or bags of weed. He recommends a different strain based on the kind of evening we want to have and the mood we are currently in . . . for example, chilled out and wanting to listen to music OR going out out to a club (um YEAH RIGHT) . . . whatever the night we are hoping to have, he has a variety that will work for us. This particular night, we were staying in (SHOCKER), so we opted for a “chilled” strain. Sadly, it was far from chilled, as it just made me hyper-paranoid about the kids, so I had to go and check on them every 15 mins. They were of course fine!! I also ate an entire bag of chips and Kai ended up getting too chilled and fell asleep on the couch. I might do this again but when the kids are a bit older and sleeping through the nigh,t and ask for a strain that doesn’t make me consume 12,000 calories. And the answer to your guilt question is no. I don’t feel guilty about any of it. We all deserve a break. Especially moms and dads of infants and toddlers! “
That would be *Brian who explained to me the cabin trip we were invited on was the weekend where some of their friends bought mushrooms. HUH? This one floored me the most. AM I LIVING UNDER A ROCK?? Personally, the only association I had with mushrooms was watching the hot football player my junior year of high school writhe on the ground because he was hallucinating from a bad trip. Um. No. Thank. You. So when I heard that some of our friends took a mini vacation (without their kids, ages 4 and 1) and did shrooms, I legit couldn’t believe it:
“Someone brought mushrooms covered in chocolate and the women took approximately a quarter of the candy and the men took a half. We all then waited 45 min to an hour to see how we all felt and that feeling lasted about three hours. I then ate the other half of my candy about four hours later. I find at this age I really just want to have a few hours where I’m not thinking about the minutiae of life, the stuff that bogs me down. I am not looking to escape, well maybe I am . . . But I feel like it’s much different now at this age than if I were to do this in college. It’s not like I’m trying to get really effed up. It’s more spiritual ,and the feeling is a byproduct of where you are mentally. It’s like if you take it knowing what you want to get out of it, you’re comfortable with the group around you, he trip is going to be more pleasant and you’re more in control.
I was crying with laughter when I did it and I felt like my brain was able to go to another level. It can be a bonding experience with a partner. I cannot explain it. If I could just tickle you and make you smile and you’re thinking about nothing and thinking about everything all at the same time. Some people can have a come-down but I took such a small amount there was no hangover the next day. There is only a hangover if you are also drinking. Once a quarter with friends that you love, and your partner ,devoid of any responsibility for at least 24 hours. I swear it makes me have more gratitude for the things in my life . . . especially my family.”
So there you have it. I know a lot of degeneratives!
In all seriousness, since I started exploring this topic I’ve been floored at the scores of other parents who have opened up to me about their nocturnal habits. I was recently invited to a private home where ten moms, all of varying professional status — and by “varying” I mean the lowest level was maybe a director level — discussed their use of CBD, THC and vaping. I witnessed moms pour their hearts out about how vaping and edibles has reignited a sex drive and a lust for their husband they hadn’t seen since pre-baby. If anything, all this has done is made me far more open minded, way less judgmental about drug use in general and appreciative that I live in a city that offers a safe place for parents to strive to be the best version of themselves, even when that means the occasional night of acting like a total doped upped (literally and figuratively) parenting idiot. We can all take solace that day-to-day reality and Netflix are always nearby.
Patrice lives in Brooklyn with her two young boys and makes videos for a living, although she will not video you engaging in illicit parenting nocturnal activities if you tell her she can't. She co-founded Citykin last year with some parent friends after almost losing her mind after Google couldn't even tell her how to do a crib hack under a bunk bed in her tiny NY apartment. Surely, there was a community of other parents raising city kids sacrificing their backyard playground dreams in the name of having 53 sushi joints they don't even care about within blocks of the house? There wasn't so she formed that community. Citykin is a place to swap city tips with other parents literally rubbing elbows with their neighbors, be inspired by city families abroad and celebrate the beauty and the B.S that comes with city parent life.