Tuesday, 19 May 2015

The Social Life of a Mum

social life when you're a mum
Before I had kids, I loved going out with friends. I went to pubs, restaurants and concerts. I drank and laughed, stayed out too late and endured the hangovers the next day with the help of greasy food and a hair of the dog. 
 
How things have changed since we all started having babies! These days, going out is hard work. Getting out for some social time once the kids are in bed means that now, along with the usual madness of the dinner/bath/bedtime ritual, you also have to factor in getting on some decent clobber and time to put your face on before you leave the house....which you must do on time because otherwise what's the point? You want to be home by 9.30pm.
Quite frankly, the whole thing is exhausting, and while it's worth it in the end because you get some time-out and a catch up with a friend....does anyone else just want to put on their pyjamas and sip a glass of red once night-time arrives?
So, our social lives 'before kids' and 'after kids' - what's changed? 
Locking in the date
Before kids: It's easy to find a date that suits you and your friends – in fact you have a standing agreement to meet at the pub every Friday after work. There, you can discuss the plans for Saturday, which everyone wants to be part of, because of FOMO.
After kids: It's easy enough to lock-in a date for drinks but this ends up being rescheduled about six times because of sick kids or sleep deprivation. By the time you actually meet, it's three months since the original meet-up date. And secretly, at least one of the times you cancel is because you can't face the idea of going out after a long day. So you pretend that one of the kids is too sick to leave. It's ok. We've all done it.
 
Getting ready
Before kids: Getting ready for a night out is part of the fun. You have a drink to get you in the mood. You put loud music on to get the vibe happening and painstakingly apply your make-up, taking the time to enhance your best features. You spend lots of time in front of the mirror, and probably even find time for a phone call or two to talk about what you plan to wear.
After kids: Getting ready with kids in tow is a battle. You have a cup of tea to perk yourself up. Peppa Pig is on in the background, loudly. Attempts to put on make-up and get dressed happen amidst the dinner/bath/bedtime melee which has you madly dashing back and forth between the kids and your make-up bag. There is a very real risk of you heading out with just one eye done and lipstick on your teeth. You manage to find time to text your friend that you're running late, but even this takes three attempts before you can hit 'send'.
 
What to wear
Before kids: You probably just bought something new and fabulous to wear, which you can't wait to parade around in. You feel very excited about wearing heels, which are worth the pain for the extra inches they give you. You also carefully select the right underwear for your outfit to avoid VPL. VPL matters.
After kids: The top you plan to wear has baby sick on it. You don’t have time to change so you drape a scarf over your top half. Shame it doesn't mask the smell. As for VPL, you couldn’t care less. There’s no way you’d inflict a G-string on your privates. You’re too old for that shiz. It's all about the full briefs these days, which make you feel 'held together'. And when it comes to heels, forget about it. None of yours fit anymore because past pregnancies have inflated your feet and they never went back to normal. Flats are your friends now. Comfort matters.

social life when you're a mum
Drinking behaviour
Before kids: You drink alcohol to get drunk. That's part of the fun. Tequila shots find their way into most Saturday nights. You don't mind dealing with the hangover - it's a great excuse to laze around on a Sunday.
After kids: If you so much as sniff a tequila shot, your stomach lurches. You feel tipsy after two wines, at which point you stop drinking because if you dare have another, a child will punish you for it during the night. Plus you might get a HANGOVER. Nothing in your life now is worth the HANGOVER. There are no lazy Sundays, just Sundays filled with noisy playdates and chaotic kids' parties.

Conversation 
Before kids: You quaff wine and talk life with your girlfriends.  Relationships, work, current affairs, the state of the world – you love getting passionate about the big topics. You gossip about your friends and who’s seeing who. Together you make exciting plans for travel and future nights out.
After kids: You talk about your kids. You talk about current affairs if it involves kids. You gossip about your friends who have kids. You make exciting plans for future play dates and upcoming kids’ parties.
 
The next day
Before kids: It's all good. Bad hangovers are managed with a day on the couch and plenty of greasy food. Anyway, don’t they say a hangover is a sign of a great night?
After kids: You only had two Chardonnays, but because the baby got you up at 4.30am, you feel HUNGOVER. When you’re a mum, a HANGOVER is a sign that the day is going to be l-o-o-ong. And all the comfort food in the world can’t save you from that. I'm really sorry.  

I'm right, aren't I? Keeping up some form of a social life when you're a mum is a tough gig. Even thinking about it makes me want to get my pjs on.  

So, tell me - what's your social life like these days? Do you find nights out easy, or exhausting? And are you tempted to wear your pyjamas to the pub??

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