Date nights seem to be the holy grail of parental freedom to us these days, especially if my husband and I go to a restaurant together: delicious food served hot, no need to take one child to the toilet umpteen times whilst squeezing the other one into a highchair and fishing food off the floor every five minutes. Wine a-flowing and good conversation all whilst wearing the best thing you can pull out of the wardrobe at the last minute. These rare occasions to connect again just as a couple (even if half the conversation is talking about the children) really seem to do us the world of good – together and as individual Human Beings.
I suppose because those moments are so rare, I’ve never really considered going out for dinner with one of my friends. I don’t know if this is just me and my circle, but we all just meet up with our children for lunch, be it a fairly civilised cafe or casual restaurant; cheese on toast at someone’s house or a soggy panini in the local soft play. It’s not a mum-date, it’s a play-date. Anyone who’s been to one knows that the conversation goes something like this:
“Oh it’s so good to see you!!!” *HUG*
“Yes darling?!” *it’s still early on in the day and I’m just happy to see my friend and catch up with a Human Being*
“Look you’ve just had breakfast, why don’t you go and play in the ball pool with so-and-so! YEAH!!! C’mon, I’ll help you take your shoes off…that’s it, hooray!!”
*I turn back to my friend who appears to have emptied her entire changing bag on table to search for a tissue*
“How’s your week been?!” friend asks, whilst accepting my offer of a baby wipe. “How was your brother’s wedding?!”
“Yeah fine so far – oh the wedding was LOVELY…”
“Ok, let’s go….back in a sec.”
“I got you a coffee – there you are – how’s Ollie getting on ok at pre-school?”
“Ok, I think, but he’s…oh gawd hold on, I think Ava needs changing now…”
“Right – sorry about that!! Shall we try and have a conversation now?!”
“HAHAHAHAHAHA” *we both laugh and wish we were drinking vodka*
“When do you go back to work?”
“3 weeks…I’ve got to do a KIT day on…”
“Oh dear, I think yours wants you…”
I turn to see my little one with a red teary face being held hostage by a terrifying looking boy.
“Oh, lovely to see you – when are you next free?”
“I don’t WANT to go home!!!”
So, don’t you think us mums deserve a date night together?! I can honestly say, most of the accurate information gained about my friends lives is now via Facebook and WhatsApp as we cannot possibly exchange information when on a play date unless our children are asleep (um gone are those days). Too often I get home with a headache, indigestion from the 400 calories of panini and wondered when socialising became so draining. It’s brilliant to have a soft-play comrade and a feeding buddy, but isn’t it sad sometimes that we just don’t get to talk to each other like we used to?
Time out, catching up and connecting; relaxing together. Reminding ourselves that we do have choices and we can laugh at things other than our kids. Chatting about our relationships, our family, work. Remembering night’s out in the same city, as a teen and in our roaring twenties; reminiscing and then feeling hugely lucky to be going back home to kiss our babies goodnight.
I hope this has inspired you to ask your mummy mate on a date.
Mummy Rules x
(If you go on a mum-date after this post, then I’d love to hear about it!)