The mums’ night out: when you’re so over the hill you can’t even see the hill anymore

Organising the night out
*group chat* *bazillions of messages every time you check your phone*

Mum 1 – I’ve got a wedding that day – then there’s a family do that weekend. Mum 2 – That night husband is working so can’t go out then. And that one there’s a work do so can’t do that one. Mum 3 – That next one we’re on holiday and the one after that it’s our anniversary so had better not book that. Then I’ve got that thing the week after. Mum 4 – Oh and that one is one of the kids’ birthdays so not that either, then the next one there’s a family barbecue…so er… I guess we’re all free in about 6 months? That sound ok for everyone?

A week before

Oh god I’ve agreed to go out next week, I’ve just remembered. What will I wear? *looks through wardrobe half heartedly* Those lovely pre children jeans? Nope, can’t even get them over my knees. That mini skirt there? Oops no, not that either, that makes me look like a sausage.  A proper meaty sausage that has a tear in the skin so some of the sausage meat bulges out in an unsightly manner. Oooooh I know, what about that beautiful dress from about 8 years ago? Ah. That appears to have been half eaten by moths. Ok. Well I guess there’s that tent-like smock thing? It does appear to be the only thing that fits so it’ll have to do. Maybe if I add a belt or something, how does that lo – oh Jesus – that looks even worse, I really should lay off the cakes and biscuits. Ok, looks like this is the one. *trudge downstairs*

Husband how does this look? Fine? What does ‘fine’ mean? Could you be a bit more specific? ‘Nice’? Really? Does it make me look fat? No? Why are you lying? It clearly does. I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU JUST SAID I LOOK FAT.

Think about painting your nails because it’ll take a week to get all ten fingers done in between all the distractions & consider plucking eyebrows so they don’t look like two caterpillars chasing each other.
Wonder whether, if you did the cabbage diet for 7 days straight, you could end up fitting in something other than the tent. Remember that cabbage is disgusting and end up wearing tent-like smock anyway with unpainted nails, bushy brows, and just settle for telling everyone you meet that you have two children so are still carrying a bit of baby weight. When they say “ahhhh how old is the littlest one?” Mutter “three” as quietly as possible and hope they think you mean three months and not three years.

Getting ready

Getting ready for a night out used to involve all your girlfriends piling into one room, several bottles of wine, pizza,  music, more makeup than the whole of debenhams, a pile of GHDs and a good old gossip. Once you have beasts it turns into trying to put a bit of slap on whilst watching the kids in the bath, and the mirror’s a bit steamy so your foundation doesn’t settle properly (because the room’s damp) then getting splashed every five seconds and smudging your eyeliner, because you’re attempting winged eyeliner again even though you know full well you can’t do it. And all the while having to answer questions like “why are you painting your face mummy” and “where are you going” “can we come” every 5 seconds.
There’s no music: “I HATE THIS MUSIC TURN IT OFF MUMMY, TURN IT OFF NOW” *wails until music is turned off* unless you count the dulcet tones of beast 2 crooning ‘tinkle tinkle’ over and over again, and no wine because you’re going to have to drive somewhere first, what with having been a grown up a few years earlier and having moved to a sensible village. Then you have to fish the little beasts out of the water, thrashing and flailing, ruining the last of your smudged mascara. Attempt to negotiate with the bedtime terrorists about teeth brushing / pyjamas / stories / whilst trying to drag a brush through your hair – realising of course that it’s probably the first time it’s been brushed it all day. If you’re feeling fancy, a go with the curling iron or straighteners might be attempted, but you’ll spend the entire time shouting “I thought I said don’t touch them? They’re hot! Do you want to – ARE YOU TRYING TO BURN YOUR FINGERS?”

So you go ahead and put on your tent, and wrestle yourself into some body-shaper tights in the vain hope they might shave off a couple of pounds. Decide that tomorrow you will definitely start that diet. Properly this time. Dig out some forgotten perfume, give it a spritz and feel pretty decadent for smelling so awesome. You might look like an actual potato with legs but at least you can afford the fancy tights now that you’re over the hill at 30. That’s right, the M & S ones – you’d never have spent that much on them back in your early twenties. Decide that in your expensive tights and fancy perfume, which last saw an outing at a wedding 18 months ago, you look fucking awesome & your husband is lucky to have you. Swan out of the house.

When you’re out

Back in the good old days before beast 1 and 2 came along, and even before husband beast came along, a weekend wasn’t a weekend unless Saturday night was spent in some packed out dive with sticky floors, strobe lighting, pounding bass and overpriced drinks, or failing that, some kind of social happening where alcohol was the main feature. You’d spend the night dancing away, not a care in the world beyond whether you’d get a kebab or chinese on the way home and wondering if the cute guy on the dancefloor was interested.

Post-kids, all of that changes. The idea of a sticky floored bass thumpy dark nightclub gives you cold sweats for various reasons:

The price to get in: A tenner for entry and there’s no guarantee it’s actually good in there? I don’t think so mister.

The smell: grubby toilets, musty furniture, spilt alcohol and a little pile of sick in the corner. Eau du gag.

The bouncers: they now call you madam rather than miss and say “nah you’re alright darling,” and try not to snigger when you ask hopefully if they need to see your ID.

The other patrons: Surely they can’t be older than 12 but they’ve managed to get in somehow and are dressed like something out of a music video in clothes which make your comfortable tent look like a sack. A tenty sack. Watching them totter around on 6 inch stilettos, your Clarkes kitten heels suddenly feel…kinda mumsy. Your earlier euphoria at having on a bit of slap and perfume swiftly wears off when faced with nubile young Abercrombie models all checking tinder for their nearest match rather then actually talking to the other people. Although they wouldn’t talk to you anyway because they’re way too cool for that so I guess it makes no odds.

The music

The day will come where you’ll walk into some kind of establishment and say “what the hell is this music? In fact it’s not music, it’s just noise. Come on ladies, we won’t be able to hear ourselves think in there. Let’s go somewhere else.” *sweep out gracefully then trip over your heels and face plant the nearest wall because you’ve had one too many gin and slimline tonics*

When you do finally find somewhere half decent, which will always be an 80’s or 90’s club,  drunk on spritzers and sweet, sweet, freedom, one of the group will shout “let’s have a dance everyone! Woooo!” and that’ll be you shaking your booty (badly) to Whitney and wham, the spice girls and s club for the next 3 hours. A few of you will be doing the mum dance (handbag on the floor, shuffle round it, wave hands in the air every few beats) and one of the group will have really let loose and be on the table fancying themselves to be one of the girls in coyote ugly. The bonus to this of course is no excersise being required for the next week because dancing burns calories, don’t you know?

In between throwing some mean shapes on the the dancefloor, showing those wipper-snappers what it’s really about, someone will be suggesting jägerbombs. It always seems like such a good idea at the time. Not so much the next day. 

Around midnight, several of the mums will begin checking watches and muttering about the time, worrying about how little Benjamin likes to get up at 5am so if they leave RIGHT NOW, jump into bed, fend off the husband’s advances and fall asleep IMMEDIATELY, they might get about 4 hours’ kip.

The next day

Pre beasts, days after drinking would be spent recounting last night’s events, who did what and to whom, eating your body weight in junk food and lazing on the sofa watching reruns of your favourite tv show. Yeah you were hanging, but you were hanging with the option of going to bed and sleeping until the next day at any point you wanted. Nowadays a hangover isn’t just a hangover, it’s an invitation. An invitation for your husband to be as irritating as possible and your children to be extra shrill and extra stinky.

Feel like you might vomit at the thought of buttering our toast mother? How about you have this massive turd that won’t flush down the toilet or this big pile of sick to clean up, do you fancy that? And while you’re doing that, we’re just going to run around screeching and poking each other so it feels like someone’s boring into your head with an electric drill. Would you like that?

Quite simply, the hangovers are not worth it. They’re 10 times worse than 10 years ago just because you’re 10 years older, and what with having two beasts to entertain all day to boot, the idea of a hangover now is more terrifying than that feeling you get when you see someone you hate in the supermarket and your kid chooses that exact moment to shout in delight: “mummy! Look who it is! Are you going to say hello? HELLO!” Then you end up in the same ailses as them every single time you manage to shake them off. Awkward.

Night out complete, the whole cycle starts again because a month or so later the group chat will restart, like a Phoenix rising from the ashes, and the usual instigator (we’ll call her sue; sue’s akways the one that starts it off) will say, “guys it’s been too long again! We really should meet up more often! When’s everyone free for a girly night?”

Erm, that’d be never sue. Never. Thanks anyway though.

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3 thoughts on “The mums’ night out: when you’re so over the hill you can’t even see the hill anymore

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