I don’t know if it’s just me but ever since I became a mum, I can’t just ‘go out’. I don’t mean that we struggle to get a babysitter or that the Queen will only settle for me, it’s just that I feel like I can’t. If I really wanted to, I could go for after work drinks once a week, every week and my husband could do the same on alternate nights but, even though we’d only miss out on seeing our little one for a couple of hours (and a lot of nights she ends up in our bed anyway) we just don’t do it. And the reason is guilt. I feel guilty for wanting to go out and be away from my child. I feel guilty for spending money on dinners and taxi fares instead of putting it towards a family outing and just generally feel like I can’t do these things anymore. I used to think Catholic guilt was bad but it’s got nothing on mum (or parent) guilt.
But the best way to solve this is a good excuse. A good friend’s 30th birthday? That’s an excuse! A work’s team building day with after work drinks? Another excuse! A school friend visiting? Yay for excuses! But the best excuse of all? A hen party! Hen parties are great because they usually involve an overnight stay so you don’t even need to worry about being woken at stupid o’clock by a sleep-shy toddler. Never fun with a hangover. I recently was at a hen party for my good friend who’s also mother to a small child. There were a few mums there and it was like we had been let out for the day. It was on one of the hottest days this year and so we happily lazed about sunbathing and had leisurely dips in the hot tub before moving on to the serious drinking games.
I’d like to say we were up all night dancing on tables but I’m afraid we started to wilt a lot earlier than that – a combination of drinking all day in the blazing sun and not having to be a parent for a few hours. The beauty of renting a large house for a party was that we could all slink off to our beds when we felt like it and not have to rush to rise in the morning. I took my cue from the bride-to-be and retired to my room at around midnight. I was delighted to get home and see the Queen, I always miss her but nights out are important and even if a ready-made excuse such as a hen party doesn’t come along, just make one up.