Who doesn’t enjoy a girls’ night out? We all love them, right? But when you have children the excitement and hysteria surrounding a girls’ night out is palpable and the preparation required is meticulous. For mums, the prospect of a girls’ night out, when you can glam up, wear stilettos, sparkly tops and squeal with laughter all night long (without having any little people hang off you), is like a flipping dream come true.
It all begins with the exchange of a hundred messages on WhatsApp to build up the excitement. Discussions take place about what to wear, transport arrangements, where to park, what the menu looks like, who’s babysitting, how the kids and/or hubby have been annoying you all week etc. Each participant has probably spent all week reminding their equivalent of the Old Git that they will be babysitting that night and that they MUST NOT FORGET. Then on the day of the said girls’ night out, from about 3pm onwards, each mum will start bombarding their other halves with increasingly frantic and threatening text messages, asking them where they are, what time they are leaving work and when they will be home.
There is then the small matter of getting ready whilst looking after the kids. This is no easy task and the only failsafe solution is to give them unrestricted use of the iPad, and/or TV. It’s perfectly acceptable, on such important occasions, to let your children use all electronic devices in the house whilst you go off and get ready. Showering, hair straightening/curling, experimenting with different shades of lipstick, attempting to create a smokey eye effect all take a good amount of time and it’s important that you are not disturbed whilst such preparations are underway.
Eventually when the equivalent of the Old Git gets home, there will then be discussions about who will be putting the kids to bed. He will try to persuade you to “quickly” do it before you head out but you know that this would be a fatal mistake. Once you get embroiled into the bedtime process, you will inevitably end up being ridiculously late. So it’s better you just run out of the front door and not look back. Hell, I even put my phone on silent these days.
Once out, you experience a feeling of intense joy and freedom. You pump up the volume on the car radio whilst doing multiple pickups of other excited mums out on the razzle. You have so much to talk about you can barely contain yourself. You arrive at your chosen destination (probably a restaurant with music as a club would just be too much to handle and would knock you out for a whole week thereafter) and then it’s party time! Everybody is so elated to be out that they find everything hilarious and fantastic. Ordinarily prim and proper, responsible, sensible women turn into giggling, over excited, naughty, noisy schoolgirls who are having the time of their lives. Good food, cocktails, unfiltered conversation, dancing and selfies make for a brilliant night out.
Then it’s time to go home. You hobble back to the car, put on your granny driving shoes and immediately start dissecting the evening with whoever else is in the car. The WhatsApp messages start pinging again with everyone saying how brilliant a time they have had and sharing embarrassing photos of the night. You get home and look/listen for signs of life..praying that the kids are asleep and not sitting downstairs watching late night telly. You get into bed on a complete high, whilst trying not to disturb the snoring lump of a man you have next to you. You go to bed feeling all peachy and happy…….until 7AM the next morning when the kids run in screaming and demanding toast and Weetabix. You then feel incredibly ROUGH. But it’s a small price to pay for such an amazing and liberating night out. No pain, no gain. Indeed, preparations are already underway for the next spectacular girls’ night out.