At some point after having a baby, when you’re beginning to adjust to a tiny human ruling your life, you start getting bored with the same four walls and you know you need to get out of the house! Let’s be honest, babies, although cute and adorable (most of the time) they’re not much company and there’s only so many one-sided conversations you can manage. You start to crave the company of people who can wipe their own bottoms and wont vomit all over you without warning. Basically you need a reason to get out of the house that doesn’t include you spending a fortune in home & bargains on things that, quite frankly, you can do without!
That’s when you start looking for, gulp, baby groups. I’ll be honest when I had the munchkin I just didn’t bother so I did end up going slightly stir crazy. This time I knew I needed to get out of the house so that didn’t happen again. I discovered I’m quite lucky as where I live there is something to do in the area or at one of the local children’s centres on most days.
Going to one of these groups for the first time is daunting, or maybe that’s just me. Meeting people for the first time when you’ve had less than 3 hours sleep and had to clean milk sick out of your hair 5 minutes before leaving the house does nothing for your confidence! You go regardless as you’ve geared yourself up for it with the vague hope that someone might take pity and talk to you.
After a while you settle into a routine and you see the same mums at the different groups you go to. You chat, (someone took pity) you watch the babies grow, if you’re lucky you’ll learn their actually names rather than just ‘Sams mummy,’ you become friends on facebook, for those couple of hours each week these are the ladies who know exactly what you’re going through!
Then someone suggests a night out. Without babies.
A mummy date.
Now, in theory this is a brilliant idea. What new mummy doesn’t want some time to just be themselves again? It’s quite easy to lose who you are when you have a new baby, your life is now consumed with your tiny creation. But, if you thought gearing yourself up for a baby group was bad, preparing yourself for an actual night out comes with a complete new set of worries!
For starters, if you’re like me and still carrying the majority (all, plus some) of your baby weight and shape 9 months on, just finding something that fits and deciding on something to wear causes a headache. You’re meeting at the local pub, so do you go smart casual? Casual? Smart? Jeans? (ha! like they fit) Dress with leggings? Dress with tights? Flats vs heels? You’re not sure what everyone else will be wearing, you don’t want to be over or under dressed and you don’t know these girls enough to send a quick text to get a general consensus and some of them are much trendier than your wardrobe allows.
Will you have anything to talk about? Normally the babies are the focal point and distraction, will the night be filled with awkward silences? The only thing you have in common up to now is the fact that you’ve pushed/had removed a baby out of your body recently.
Practical arrangements need to be made, who’s watching the baby? How you’re getting there and back? Playing it safe you drive, just in case it all goes horribly wrong you can leave early and they’re probably not ready for the sobbing into your drink that sometimes occurs after one too many vodkas!
Will anybody else turn up? They’ve said they will but it would be so easy not to. Heck! You’ve even thought about ditching at the last minute.
Will they like you? You want to make a good impression ’cause you quite like these women and you’re a nice person, some might even say funny, you don’t want them to regret inviting you out! If it’s not a complete disaster you’ll want to go out again.
If you’re brave, very brave, you go despite your worries and apprehension. You of course set off fashionably late so you’re not the first to arrive, you take a deep breath and you go.
This happened to me recently. It turns out, everyone had the same worries and as usual these ladies understood exactly what I was going through.
Being a new mummy can be a really lonely place, it’s important and I know, not always easy, to get out there to be around women who get it. So my advice to you, no matter how hard it feels is to take that deep breath ’cause the likelihood is, they’re feeling just like you.
Go on that Mummy date!
You never know, you might have one of the best nights you’ve had in a long time!
To the mummies who invited me out, thank you. I laughed until my jaws hurt and I can’t wait to do it again.