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29th Dec 2015

How To Prepare For A Mum’s Night Out In 20 Easy (Not Easy) Steps

Sharyn Hayden

So. You have been looking forward to this night for weeks, weeks! You and your pals have even set up a WhatsApp group named ‘The Big Escape’ which you update on the hour with reminders about the glory days, the epic nights out, The Ones Before Children.

You have everything organised and planned down to the finest detail – and there is loads of time to get ready before you have to leave at 6pm, right?!

Hmm.. maybe not. I’m sorry to say that as a mum now, you might stumble across a few hurdles along the way in the run up to Get Out Of Dodge Hour.

Like these ones below. God speed, Wino Wan Kenobi.


7am: Wake up to a crack in the mouth from your toddler’s sippy cup. “Juice please,” he demands with that unconvincing smile that makes you wonder if there’ll be a We Need To Talk About Jacob sequel some day. You start fantasizing about wine. Infinite tables with infinite glasses of wine on them.


11am: Toddler and baby are fed, dressed and house is semi-straightened out. Drag dress for tonight’s occasion from the bottom of the laundry basket. Read the label to learn that it’s hand-wash only and bang your head off the wall. Deliberately.



11.30am: Dress is soaking in kitchen sink while the washing machine becomes free. Take stock of self in today’s ‘uniform’ – Ass Monkey Alan’s manly tracksuit bottoms and a striped maternity top (what else?) with a random Bolognese sauce across the left boob. Wonder what has happened to your old glamorous life.


Midday: Make an extra carbohydrate-laden lunch for everyone with a view to getting your toddler down for a nap so you can get washed, put a couple of rollers in and do your nails. Baby won’t be any trouble as has not yet learned to speak and/or open nail varnish bottles. Love baby.


1pm: Miraculously, both children have fallen asleep in the living room and although you might not normally let them sleep too long (esp. the toddler), for fear that they won’t go to bed on time, you’re going out later so YOU DON’T GIVE A MONKEYS. Set the alarm for an hour’s time: mammy is getting prettified.


1.10pm: Having a shower in peace.


1.11pm: The silence is pierced by Pearl the dog’s mental barking explosion in hallway downstairs.


1.12pm: The baby is wailing.


1.13pm: The toddler starts screaming “Mammmmmyyyy!!!” at the top of his lungs and joins in on the wailing. It’s a cacophony of barking and wailing. Grrrreaaat.



1.14pm: Run downstairs while pulling a towel around you to see what the hell is going on. Your arse is half hanging out, your hair is a sudsy mess and you presently have all of half a calf shaved. Pearl the Westie is flinging herself up and down the tiles in the hallway, narrowly missing creaming herself into the glass at the front door. Someone is clearly trying to break into the house so you throw open the front door in dramatic Vinnie Jones gurrier style.

“Hiiii… how are you today?” says the random smiley stranger with a clipboard and a laminated nametag hanging on to their breast pocket.

You 100% don’t answer and let the image of you, a grown woman dripping wet in the hallway in the middle of the day with a Spiderman towel wrapped around her, children screaming and a dog barking in the background, speak for itself.

He continues (brave man).

“Now, I’m not selling anything or looking for money at all but I was just wondering who your gas provider is???”



1.16pm: Slam the front door closed and go deal with your once-calm household.


3.30pm: You have been ‘playing’ the bad guy in your toddler’s superhero game for two hours now. Who needs the gym?


5pm: You are due out in one hour’s time and still have not finished your shower. Your hair has dried itself into something resembling Christina Aguilera’s mop in the Moulin Rouge video and if you were ten years younger with no kids, you might try to get away with it but you are not. You remember turbans were in at one point, but the only thing you could fashion one out of is a babygro and some Velcro left over from Hallowe’en. Not the MILF look you were hoping for.


5.30pm: You remember in a panic that your dress is still in the sink. Lob it into the dryer for fifteen minutes.



5.45pm: Where the hell is Ass Monkey?? Baby needs a bottle. Brilliant.


6pm: Text everyone to go ahead without you and apologise for being a disaster. Turns out they’re relieved because they’re all running late too. Feel better.


6.05pm: Ass Monkey arrives home. Throw children at him, roaring things at him as you speed-wash in the shower; “They’re fed!” “There was no hot water even though we had the heat on all day so think the boiler is broken!’, “She had one poo and I think there’s something wrong with him because he wet his pants seven times today,” “Do you think there is any chance that the dog is bi-polar?”


6.15pm: Dry hair, throw on some make-up and bring the rest that you’ll do in the taxi and/or at the table before food arrives. Pull dress from dryer, it’s still damp. Contemplate taking up smoking again.



6.20pm: You are now wearing a damp dress and Ass Monkey is using the hairdryer to dry you as you twirl around slowly before him, like kebab meat on a spit. Toddler throws a tantrum because he’s just copped that you’re planning on going out. “I just want you, mammy,” he whinges. You rummage around your bag and find a mini packet of Haribos that you shove at him to distract him, and stick on the new Ninja Turtles movie (yes, even though it’s bedtime, but you’re desperate) YOU. MUST. GET. OUT. OF. HERE!


6.30pm: Taxi pulls up outside. You roar at everyone that you love them, as you hurtle down the stairs at full speed. One of the girls meets you at the front door.

“I can only find one shoe!” she cries, wielding one black sparkly shoe in your face. “I swear that kid knows where the other one is and isn’t telling me on purpose! Do you have any actual pairs I can borrow?”

You smile, because you know you’re not the only one who had a nuts time trying to get out the door. LOVE THE GIRLS.