A Guide To Going Out When You Have Kids
Before kids, going out was easy. You spent luxurious hours getting ready, listening to music, doing your hair and make up – then, when you hit the town, you actually looked half decent. Oh, what fun you had. You could come home as late as you wanted, and you had the wonderful luxury of a lazy Saturday or Sunday to recover and watch telly under the duvet. Ahhhhhh.
And then you had kids. And going out started to be a TOTAL NIGHTMARE. These days, when I leave the house, my hair smells of dinner, I’m in a breathless panic, I feel like I’ve left a million things left undone, and I look like total crap because I have had 0.02 seconds to get ready.
I’m worrying whether I left enough chocolate, wine, teabags and nibbles for the babysitter. I’m worrying whether I’ll have to come back again and cancel everything. Will he behave? Will he go to bed? Will he cry and be scared and I’ll get a phone call in half an hour?
It also doesn’t help that whenever I get dressed up these days I feel like Grayson Perry. I’m so used to kicking around in stained jeans and a top with Tardis stickers stuck to it, that when I get tarted up I look like a horse in drag, clippety clopping down the street in high heels.
There’s a vague feeling of being an imposter, too. Who is this ageing woman who is attempting to go out like the young people even though she’s got a kid at home? Away back to your cave, old crone, and knit a tea cosy!
Obviously, all that nonsense evaporates when I’ve had my first drink. Kid? WHAT KID? HAHAHAHAHA! Yes I WILL have another drink, thanks very much, ooh I don’t get out as much as I used to, I can’t remember what you do…more booze? Why not? ….y’know, I’m not used to being awake after 11pm, shall we have another drink? Yesh aaaaaaaaah. No I am NOT going to go home. Idon’tWANNAGOHOOOOOOME! I have a HUMAN RIGHT to dance on this table with this bloke I’ve just met who might be called John or Dan or something. Don’t make me goooooo back home… Shall we go to a club after this? Ah go on, lets go to a club. Ooh look there’s the kebab shop *hic* MMMMMMMMMM, KEBABS…
Oh yes. It happens to us all. One taste of adult recreation and we go mad. Then, after that giddy taste of freedom, the realisation always hits. You have to get home because it’s 1am and your babysitter is going to kill you. With one eye closed, you try to text to say sorry you stayed out after midnight and that you’re on your way. But instead your big fat drunk fingers spell out SOGGY ARE COMIN BACHHHHHHHH NOw/// :-9
You feel like a cut price Primark Cinderella as you fall into the nearest taxi, slur your address and try and pull yourself together. No banging about trying to get your key in the lock – what if you wake the children? So you tiptoe in, whispering like someone in a pantomime, giggling and apologetic, and you bung the babysitter a few extra quid, or, if it’s a friend, the promise of a drink, dinner and a loan of everything you own. (If it’s a family member, sod it - you can basically stay out all night and come back in the morning wearing a funny hat and holding a double bacon and egg McMuffin.)
Anyway, once the babysitter has gone, you can reflect on the evening. Unfortunately, you can’t remember any of it, because you shoehorned in a lot of ‘fun’ (ie: gin) between the hours of 9pm and 11pm. Come to think of it, everything’s a bit blurry around the edges. You vaguely decide that it was worth it, even though you nearly fell into a bin and you have kebab sauce on your bra.
Then you go to bed, tiptoeing (thundering) up the stairs and brushing your teeth noiselessly (noisily). If you went out with your partner, they will probably take it upon themselves to loudly make a midnight snack in the kitchen, something elaborate like pasta or a fried egg which will involve almost burning the house down.
But it’s OK. You made it. You went out. You might have kids, but you’ve still got it! You’re fun, you’ve got great friends, you love your husband, you love everyone, everything is lovely. My God, you are REALLY DRUNK, aren’t you? Soon you fall into a blissful, oblivious coma and your bed just feels like the comfiest place in the world…life is good.
Then your child wakes up. And keeps waking you up every hour until 6am, when they’re up for the day and decide to celebrate by playing all of their loudest musical toys.
And you swear you are never, EVER going out again.
Well, until the next time.