This weekend something truly magical is going to happen. Mr O and I are going out-out.
Not just a quick hour at the local with a lukewarm beer and a small slurp of Pinot out-out. We’re talking actual Saturday night, cocktails and dinner and good friends out-out. And I am beyond excited!
It’s a truth universally acknowledged that once you accept the terms and conditions of motherhood, staying in-in becomes quite the norm and you swap your high heels and lipgloss for your PJ’s and Ant & Dec on a Saturday night.
So it’s not that the loss of nights out came as a shock to me. And having had more than my fair share of the party pie in my twenties and thirties, I was completely ready and willing to accept my change in social status. It’s just that I didn’t appreciate how hard it would be to have even a teeny bit of a social life that doesn’t involve eating with the early-bird brigade or crayons at the dinner table.
When it comes to babysitters, Mr O and I aren’t fortunate enough to have hands-on grandparents living close by, unlike some of our very lucky friends (hello, we hate you a little bit). Mr O’s job involves ever changing shift patterns and my job involves working often anti-social hours, so we generally use what little babysitting favours we have on the necessary rather than the fun.
But, having recognised that regular outings as ‘a couple’ are crucial for the survival of your relationship, not to mention your sanity, Mr O and I do whatever we can (i.e beg my mother to come and stay. Thanks Mum. Love you Mum) to have at least one date night a month.
So here I am. In a frenzy of anticipation. Planning outfits (for all weather occasions obvs.) Googling the menu (steak or scallops?) And exchanging ‘excited emoji’ texts with my good friend Mrs T. (Parent of 3. Possibly even more excited than I).
Despite my whingeing and ‘tiny violin playing’, there are actually some really brilliant perks to going out (sans les enfants) as a ‘must-get-out-more’ mum.
Here are my top three – but we’d love to hear yours so please, as always, join in the chat and leave us a comment at the end!
1. Whatever you wear you will always look bloody fantastic. Everyone (yourself included) is so used to seeing you wearing snot encrusted tracky bottoms, with your hair pulled back and mascara smeared down your face, that once you’ve dolled yourself up a bit even Gok himself would find the transformation quite staggering. ‘Wow!!! Daaaaarling you look amaaaaaazing!!!’
2. What would be an ‘average’ evening out to most is actually the best bloody night out EVER to you. Service a little slow? Steak a little overdone? Who sodding well cares! We’re out-out!
3. Remember when you very first started to go ‘out’ with your friends as a teenager? You buzzed off the anticipation all week long. You debated where you would go, what you would wear, who you would see. You’d giggle excitedly at the bar ordering your first drink and drink it so fast it went to your head in five seconds flat. Well here you are again – like a magical and miraculous step back in time. Parents – grab your social-life-lacking, fun-hungry friends and go out somewhere. Anywhere. And poof – you’re seventeen again!
We all need things to look forward to, opportunities to let our hair down and take a break from the norm. Being a parent can be all-consuming. It’s tough and it’s tiring. And it’s true what they say – a change really is as good as a rest. But who wants to rest? Not us! We’re going bloody out-out!!!