It’s Friday, a day that was once spent full of anticipation and avid clock-watching until it was time to get home, down some Spar Vodka before heading out to some shit club with your pals to have the BEST NIGHT OF YOUR LIFE.
However, like most mums, after having Noah and Ben my tolerance for alcohol has went from 6ft, 400lb Viking to 14 year old who’s half a Blue WKD down at a house party. Gone are the nights where I’d win drinking contests for £5 notes against the fellow drunks that my friends and I would invite to my flat for parties (a successful, independent go-getting woman in the city’s got to eat, those 2 for £4 pizzas from the Tesco Metro won’t buy themselves).
Now, I’ve become one of those women who drinks three glasses of wine and starts to hear her own breathing inside her head, while casually joking to her friends “Oh god, starting to feel that a wee bit already! Haha” (translation: GUYS I’M WRECKED)
So, here are the stages of a typical night out for me now, post-parenthood.
STAGE 1: PREPARATION
You’re doing it. You’re getting out. Your quarterly night of freedom is a mere few hours away. Before kids, your ‘getting ready’ routine probably looked something like this:
Now, you might find that you’re leaving in one hour and still resemble something like THIS:
You’re going out to see friends and have a good time. You probably won’t even drink that much! You don’t need to, you’ve GROWN. You’re a responsible adult and doting mother. Plus, you’ve planned a lovely day out tomorrow to the Sealife Centre because a night out isn’t getting in the way of spending valuable time with your beautiful children. Hangovers won’t be a problem because you’re only having a couple. You’ve got this. You can DO IT ALL.
STAGE 2: OUT aka LYING TO YOURSELF
You’re out. You’ve had two wines. This is great. Just like old times! You start to think that, maybe, the ability to handle yourself on a night out has never left you! You’ve just not been given the opportunity to prove it to yourself. You could probably have a few more and be fine. Besides, YOU DESERVE THIS. You’ve been complaining for months, passive-aggressively muttering under your breath about getting a night out every time you look at the mountain of washing to fold, or every time you hear your 4 year old cry from upstairs “Muuuum, THERE’S A BIT OF A PROBLEM WITH WIPING MY BUM, HERE”
The decision has been made, you’re going to have that wine and fucking enjoy yourself…and you’ll
definitely probably still be completely fine for the 9am departure to stare at fish.
STAGE 3: REGRET
You’ve had one bottle of wine. Regret creeps in. Your friends are going strong and planning where to go next while you’re in the corner, emotionally looking at pictures of your kids on your phone and thinking about how you’d usually have already been asleep for 2 wonderful hours by this point. You feel betrayed by your own body. You used to be able to drink three times this much. THRICE THE WINE. What have you done to deserve this?
You need to leave. You make your shit excuses and get into a taxi. You find yourself trying to slowly empty the contents of your bag onto your knee in a totally relaxed, casual fashion in the hopes that the taxi driver won’t notice if you have to stealthily lower your head and spew into your bag in the next 10 seconds.
Upon returning home, everything is wrong with the world. The temperature of your entire face is abnormally high. Wetherspoons rosé and regret seep through your pores. Your husband lovingly greets you.
“Hi, have a good night? Nice to see everyone? Are…are you feeling ok? You sure you’re going to be ok for the Sealife Cent…”
You can’t reply. You stand frozen, staring, unable to speak. You must accept that the second you open your mouth, it’s game over.
Mistakes have been made. This is your life now.
You wake up in the morning, feeling as though you have descended into hell itself. Of course, there’s no time to sleep it off, though. Oh no. Remember, you’ve got a lovely picnic to make for a lovely trip to the fucking Sealife Centre because you’re a stupid, absolute idiot of a woman who thought she could HAVE IT ALL.
You find a renewed appreciation for your quiet, stay-at-home life with your Netflix shows and your wonderful children and vow to never complain about not getting a night out ever again…
…until you find yourself attending to the next pile of washing or bum-wiping ‘problem’. At that point, repeat steps 1-3.