The definitions of mums’ night out for me are the following:
⁃ going out on a Friday night with other mums in a restaurant that will offer excellent food and service while chatting to your heart’s content then go to one of the mum’s home for wine or coffee until late night or
⁃going out on a Friday night to one of the mum’s place with a share of food or wine, then conversing late at night while the responsible dad takes good care of the family while mum is out or hosting
The reason Friday is the best one is that even if you come home late, you still have Saturday to do the rest of the household chores and catch up with the needed rest and sleep! You still have Sunday for family time, grocery shopping and homework if there are project materials that have to be purchased.
Photo by Yutacar
Furthermore, the mum that will drive the rest of the group will have to make the ultimate sacrifice (for some) …drinks only one shot or stay sober for the rest of the night. We are two in the group alternating this task but she does more of the driving. It is not a big deal really because we are not into drinking and the company of the mums is what we are after. We love them so much.
So here are my 10 advantages of having a mums’ night out. Better start organizing your own because YOU DESERVE IT, my friend.
- You can eat food that you don’t usually get to cook or prepare.
As a mum, you get tired of the usual food you prepare daily. Your family or other people may appreciate your meals but as a mum, it is a delight to eat other people’s cooking for a change. You are dressed up for the night and ready to try a cuisine with friends.
If all the mums were happy with the food and service then it is a guarantee that they will recommend it to friends and family. They may even go back to the same diner with their family next time. Happy and satisfied mums can spread excellent feedbacks like wild-fire when they had a wonderful night out in a particular restaurant.
Photo by Paula Borowska
- Knowledge of alcohol is enhanced.
Before, I do not have the slightest idea about the different alcoholic drinks. When mums’ night out started way back in 2013, I got the chance to try various beverages from red wine, white wine, vodka, gin and cider. It took me just a couple of sips then stop. I do not like it. Really, you might think. Yes, really.
Alanis Morissette’s song Ironic has lyrics There’s a black fly in my Chardonnay. I got excited to try it but I didn’t like it as well. Recently, we do not drink as much as we used to. As a mum, it is a must to think of good health long-term.
- Friendship is strengthened.
If there is family bonding time, there is also connecting time with friends. Household chores will always be around 24/7 but your friends may not. It is easy to say no to an invitation because there are cleaning tasks, monotonous errands or even a job requirement that demands your attention.
Looking back, I don’t regret leaving the clothes that required ironing or the messy rooms that needed organizing. I appreciate the belly laughs and tears of joy about silly things with the mums. They have your back because they made time to see you. You are not alone in the struggle.
Photo by Levi Guzman
- It is a FREE outlet of unexpressed emotions, insecurities, doubts and all the issues mums deal with.
As a mum, it is normal to feel confused and overwhelmed. The responsibilities and decision-making both at home and work result in STRESS. When the plan goes awry, sometimes there are things you can say to your friends but not to your spouse. The spouse may interpret it differently. Here are the close friends to save the day. After the release of all the fears stuck in your head, it felt good because the burden became light.
There is a note of warning to this. Be careful whom you trust. Some can be good listeners and may even give good advice throughout your discussion. After you spill your guts out, the world will know your dirty secrets in minutes.
Photo by Rob Potter
My point is trustworthy friends are treasures here on earth because they will not judge. They will accept you for who you really are, no pretensions. True friends will genuinely care about your well-being and will help you.
Moreover, they have the capacity to keep secrets no matter what. Close friends can be mums like you because they know what you are going through first hand. They will say in your face things YOU DON’T WANT TO HEAR. Ouch. Don’t be too sensitive about it. YOU COULD BE IN DENIAL FOR SO LONG.
- IT FEELS GOOD but preparation is important.
Isn’t it exciting when the mums’ night out is set? Anything goes during conversations. It is an opportunity to unwind and enjoy the moment. Because the night out is scheduled mostly Fridays, we tend to prepare EVERYTHING beforehand like the dinner of the family.
Do not forget to comfort the youngest child with the idea that mum will come back and she is just out with friends. The spouse should be well-informed like sleeping routines of the children and your whereabouts.
One good tip is NOT TO PROMISE the time you are going home. As long as he receives texts that you are okay, it’s good. Keep the phone near if your spouse calls or texts you about urgent matters. The first mums’ night out will be a lesson learned but the following ones will get better.
Photo by Adi Goldstein
Alternatively, it could be the dads turn to have a night out in one of the dad’s home. You are just being fair. If it becomes a part of your social activity every year then you started a tradition that makes everyone feel good.
- You can get advice or another point of view.
An issue has nagged you for weeks. You blurted it out to the group and asked for an advice. Your close circle of friends will have a say on the matter and it is up to you to filter which ones will make sense.
All of you mums could be crying during the night out because the subject is upsetting. Occasionally, there are breakthrough solutions for the troubled mum. All it took was a night out and she got an answer to a pressing matter.
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez
At times, a way will be made because the person you are talking to know someone who can help. Furthermore, your friend might say a keyword that will give you an idea. Finally, you can customize the choice you have made based on their ideas and yours. Listening to another mum about your issue wakes you up to a realization that “Hey, it is not a big deal after all. I need to relax. I can handle this.”
- You learn information mostly based from experience.
When the boys were younger, they always called me while I was driving.
Example: Son: Mummy.
Son: Mummy… Mummy…Mummy… Mummy..
Me: What? One mummy is enough… What do you want?
Son: I just saw a flying bird.
Seriously? There was a minimum of 5 mummy words before they told me what they had to say. I told them repeatedly that 1 mummy is enough.I told the mums about it one night out because it was driving me crazy! It turned out that I was not alone. Their children too even teenagers called them multiple times before saying their topic. HA! I thought I was the only one suffering from this. I rest my case.
In addition, information is available on the internet but if the data are proven with experience, then I try those tested methods first. You can learn a lot of general facts from mums’ night out. It could be about:
- Raising children
Example: As parents, do not contradict each other in front of the children. It results in confusion.
Example: The secret is to add sugar. It makes the dish tasty. That’s the reason why.
- Personal development
Example: The mum informed the group about a seminar about handling your finances.
- Epic mistakes worth sharing (I don’t want that to happen to me!)
Example: Read the fine print.
- Sale, discounts and free stuff
Example: Hey! The rice is half-price this week.
Example: Don’t forget your spouse. He needs your attention too. Experiment.
- It maintains your sanity.
One time my son was talking to me about his classmate in school. I know I could hear him but the words don’t register in my mind. I was so absorbed with my own thoughts that my son finally exclaimed, “Mum, you are not listening!”
I answered him with a weary and confused “What?” He gave a heavy sigh then continued his story. I captured random words: YouTube, handball, lunch and the word hungry. On the contrary, the keywords that wake me up no matter what are: homework, submit, buy and problem.
Photo by Aaron Andary
When the day becomes like this, it is time to unwind and have a mums’ night out. You are tired, stressed, sleepy and cranky. After a night out with the mums, you are ready to face the world again invigorated. It took you out of your rut.
- It is one way of taking good care of yourself.
Resentment emerges when you have to sacrifice most of the time. I know you love your family but sometimes the duty that comes with it makes you sick. Going out with other mums reminds you that it is okay to treat oneself once in a while because you love yourself too. The well-being of the mum affects the overall mood of the household. The family is not anxious because they notice that mum is cheerful and not snapping everyone’s heads off.
Photo by Krista McPhee
- You create memories to reminisce that will make you giggle in your lifetime.
I have a friend in the group who has her smart phone ready for documentation. The selfies she was able to capture were really good. Also, we always ask the service staff to take our photos. Most of the pictures ended up posted on Facebook while the rest are not for public consumption.
There are three memories that stand out among all the mums’ night outs:
- We saw an adorable baby koala passing by across the road. The driver stopped the car and we just gushed how cute the koala was. The koala successfully crossed the road.
- We went on a road trip after eating at a restaurant. One mum recorded our non-stop laughter in the car. In the end, we ordered chocolate loaded sundaes at Mcdonald’s just because we wanted to.
- When one mum was experiencing a difficult time and all the mums set up a night-out just to be with that worried mum for encouragement and support. You will schedule a time for people you love.
Photo by Joanne Turner
There you have it. Mums’ night outs are the best! Our way may be different from yours but we definitely get lots of benefits from it. I hope you will find time to organize one because it is FABULOUS.