It’s not about the roasted chickpeas: Mom’s Night Out

As they walked into LifeTown, their faces relaxed. Body posture shifted. “Sometimes, you just need to get out of the house,” said Susan Sass, as she and 20 other moms arrived at LifeTown on April 24 for Mom’s Night Out. 

After a spread of sushi and wine, they headed to tables prepared for an activity just for them. Danielle Stark, a registered dietician and former Friendship Circle volunteer who grew up in Livingston, provided recipes, a cooking demonstration, and tips for healthy snacking.

Of course, it wasn’t about the delicious spiced roasted chickpeas, the cauliflower fried rice, or the arugula salad with beets, goat cheese, and lemon mustard vinaigrette. The women came to get away, to connect, to have time for themselves. They chatted about summer plans, the latest on their kids, and their latest on getting support. Some gathered around to watch as Stark demonstrated cooking techniques and answered questions, but others stayed at their tables together, relaxing and sharing without worrying about where the conversation might go.

“It’s nice to get together with people who are on the same page, who’ve had similar experiences,” said Meital Nathan. “It’s nice not to have to explain anything.” 

Mindy Lazaroff, who has an eight-month-old and two children with autism, ages 12 and 13, has little time to spare. “I don’t get a lot of adult time,” she said. “I’m so happy to reconnect with other moms!” she said as she tossed canned chickpeas with salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic.

Debbie Minsky has come to rely on evenings out at LifeTown. “These are always nice events here. And it’s nice to get out of the house. That’s the reality. I’ve been coming for years!”

She’s not the only one. Some of the moms of older children have such positive associations that they keep coming, even when their adult children no longer live at home. “It’s still a nice break,” said Nona Seid, whose daughter is now 35.

And after the cooking was done and they’d eaten their fill, they lingered together in the hallway before heading out the door.

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