Date nights as a parent are a lot different to what they were B.C. (before children). Forget a casual night out at the local. Date nights – when you have small people – require organisation, planning and the stars aligning so you can actually make it out of the house, alone.
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Forget a last minute idea, date nights as parents require planning that would put most military operations to shame. First, you need someone to mind the smalls (they look down on leaving kids under five alone to fend for themselves, apparently). For some parents, this may involve bribing a family member to look after your offspring. It could cost you dearly because being family, they’re acutely aware of how feral your children can actually be. Your Christmas present had better be a good one.
If you’re not fortunate enough to have family around, you’ll need to enlist the services of a babysitter. This will cost you too, but this time, I mean literally. Most babysitters will end up costing more than your dinner out and you’ll silently weep as you hand over the equivalent of hours of work to someone who literally just sat on their arse watching your T.V.
Prior to the babysitter arriving you'll have to clean your house within an inch of its life. Remember, don't let them think you live how you actually live. Hide dishes in the oven, washing in your room do whatever you have to do to prevent them from seeing the usual state of your house. Also, be sure to check the loo. It's highly likely someone's taking a dump and left a floater for the next unsuspecting user. Ah, kids.
It's also now common place to leave a meal out for the babysitter. Oh yes, my friend. If you've scored yourself a good, professional sitter you need to know that the tables have turned. You are no longer the client, you're the one being interviewed. People want them to mind the kids for a reason so you'll have to show that you're worthy of holding a place on their books. Keep in mind that they will likely compare you to other local families so educate yourself on preparing a meal for their arrival. Sorry, your spag bol won't cut it if you want them on speed dial to kid-wrangle and these angles are worth their weight in gold.
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Your date night, for most mothers, involves spending the afternoon making sure other people's needs are met. The house will be clean (for the babysitter), the dinner is made (for the kids) and you husband's shirt is ironed (cause apparently he doesn't know how the work the thing).
Forget the hours that you used to have for getting yourself glam for a night out. Your beauty routine now consists of applying some makeup in the bathroom mirror while you watch children try and drown each other in the bath behind you.
If you've thought ahead about where the night may lead (wink) you may have done some lady grooming. If not, grab a razor and shave the parts of your leg which are visible. We all know that you'll do it without using shaving cream so tell yourself that red, raw rashes are tres sexy. You fox.
It's a given that the babysitter will arrive while you're still in your "mum clothes" and she'll silently question whether that's chocolate sauce or something more sinister in your hair.
The kids will likely decide to "help" you get dressed which will involve you convulsing on the bed in an attempt to fit into your skinny jeans. They'll offer some self-boosting commentary such as "your bum wiggles when you walk", and "your tummy is saggy".
You've got two options, stick with the jeans and opt for Spanx which extend way above the waistband (again, sexy) or a dress that older than most of your offspring. I'll leave the choice to you. Whatever you choose, a small person with sticky hands will smear something on it just as you're about to leave anyway.
If you decide to don a heel for the night be sure to remember that your feet are not "match fit", so to speak. It's been a long time since they saw a pavement (I think your hens' night may have been their last outing) so accept that you'll kick them off on the way back to the car and be left with blisters for the next week.
You've been waiting for this for so long. You've googled menus in the lead up so you already know what to order. And the wine! The wine!!!
At the restaurant, you'll get your meal but because you're so used to inhaling anything that's put in front of you, you forget to actually taste anything. You do really commit to the wine list, though.
It's only been an hour but you're already pretty pissed. You only had two glasses but breastfeeding has reduced your ability to handle your booze.
Despite agreeing not to talk about the children, you spend the entire evening talking about the children. The table next to you would prefer you left out the details of the current gastro bug doing the rounds of your day-care, though.
You decide to try out the new Uber service everyone is talking about (OOber, oooooba, who the hell cares, you're pissed). It's great, a lovely man drops your right at the door! He even had mints in there which was a good thing because your mouth feels like you've been eating cotton balls.
Once inside, you'll make polite conversation with the babysitter trying to pretend you're not totally wankered. It's just like being 16 again. You can't wait for her to leave but she wants to tell you about your kids. Ugh.
Once you're done pretending to care how many bedtime stories she read, you and hubby collapse into bed.
Gif via Giphy
It's date night so you've gotta, you know. Given that you're both pissed as newts it's a starfish competition like no other. Somehow you manage to have sex with neither party doing anything much at all.
You fall asleep and wake in the morning to a child standing next to your bed (not unlike a serial killer) asking why you've got a pair of undies on your head and why dad's sleeping in a tie with one shoe on.