Mums Have Vices Too

unnamed.pngThis one from Alexandre Holder is thought provoking.  I think its fair to say that in my youth I had an unhealthy relationship with booze. Practically every night-out ended up with memory loss and although I had ALOT of fun I also did many many thing I regret.

All of the above is probably why I can name on one hand the number of times I’ve got drunk in the last 6 years. I don’t trust myself. Being in control makes me feel secure. But am I missing out on fun? Or am I just biding my time till my kids are a bit older? Who knows. Here Alex shares her feelings on the matter:


 

  • By vices I mean drinking and partying, but not as the dictionary also lists: prostitution – although zero judgment here.

  • This list might be really obvious, it could literally read as ‘I’m a mum and sometimes I go out’, but I can still feel judged for needing a night out occasionally.

  • There are two things to tackle with this subject. The first is the idea that mums shouldn’t have vices, being a mum should be enough.

  • The second is that, like decent sleep, the cinema and trying clothes on in an actual changing room, going out-out has to be planned for and managed once you’re a parent. We’ll tackle the realities of this in a moment…

  • But firstly let’s discuss the nattily titled ‘Madonna / Whore Complex’ – Where women are reduced to two states, you’re either a mother or you’re a whore. It sounds extreme, but there’s definite societal pressure to switch off any aspect of your personality that isn’t motherly, once you become a mum.

  • This mum ideal is seemingly mutually exclusive to anything fun, selfish or brazen.

  • As long as your kid is safe, there is no one way a mum should behave.

  • We’re all multi faceted human beings and having a child doesn’t switch off every aspect of personality that isn’t motherly.

  • We also have other roles to play other than mother: friend, partner, colleague, sister, etc.

  • Dads aren’t expected to change personalities like mums are. ‘Wet the baby’s head’ is a common phrase used to describe Dad’s celebrating a birth with alcohol.

  • I’m writing this as Kylie Jenner is being ‘Mom-shamed’ on Twitter for going to Coachella and leaving her 2 ½ month old daughter at home (presumably with 9 nannies). Twitter is full of tweets like this aimed at Kylie: ‘If you wanted to party don’t get pregnant #WhatAConcept’

  • Putting that tweeters words aside, let’s chat about how the hell to do the partying thing as a new mum? It takes so much planning.

  • You have to schedule in hangovers. I am a shitty mum on a hangover, even a couple of glasses of wine means I’m no fun and a little tetchy at 6am (my sons wakeup time).

  • It took me a while to realize that unless I’ve prearranged a lie in and either earned the tokens to stay in bed while his Dad gets up or drafted in a relative, then going out, or even having a couple of glasses at home is just not worth it.

  • And I don’t tend to drink on a Friday night because it means I’m chasing a hangover all weekend and that’s my time with Cass.

  • We went on our first big night out when Cass was 7 weeks old. His Grandma came and stayed over and we went out until about 3am. I pumped and dumped the Aperol infused milk. Looking back, it was probably too soon for me, and if I had another baby I don’t think I’d be as desperate to party that soon. But that was something I had to learn for myself.

  • When my son was 6 ½ months, my boyfriend and I went to surprise our friends for a 30th birthday party in Majorca. I’d just finished breastfeeding and we went for one night. For lots of reasons that felt perfect: There was no waking up hung-over amongst baby paraphernalia as we were away. It was such a special occasion it felt worth the planning and the painful head the next day.

  • Although, that can also be a problem, that it takes so much effort to go out  – baby sitter, family help – and then you do and it’s quite a flat, anti-climax of a night out.

  • Especially when you meet none baby friends who go out all the time so will turn up to a prearranged evening in the pub tired and half-cut from the night before, where as you’ve spent the week texting your mother-in-law to make sure she can babysit and bought new jeans for the occasion. Those nights are always deflating but you learn to not expect so much from going-out.Screen Shot 2018-05-28 at 09.32.30.png

  • Although it’s hard not to when you’ve mainly been talking to a baby all week.

  • But you have to remind yourself that sometimes nights out used to be crap, and sometimes they’d be great, and the same still applies to ones now, despite (or maybe because of) the fact that you’ve might have meticulously planned them.

  • Occasionally a night out is exactly the medicine you need. If you’re feeling down, in a baby/toddler rut and haven’t been out in a long time then treating you and your partner to a couple of hours in a pub can make you feel sane again. sitters.co.uk is a brilliant help, it’s like uber for babysitters but with references.

  • I once, and I only tell you this as a word of warning, threw up outside my local pub at 4pm (don’t worry, Cass was with his Grandma). It was a hot sunny Saturday, I hadn’t drank in a beer garden for 18 months and had totally lost the ability to casually have a few spritzes in the afternoon heat. Trying to keep up with friends that haven’t done 9 months of sobriety followed by 9 months of sleepless nights is why the phrase ‘mum drunk’ exists. Our constitution isn’t the same.

  • Although the ‘Start early, end early’ attitude is a pretty good deterrent of hang-overs. Which is why day-drinking is so popular with parents and why Prosecco is always on tap at all children’s birthday parties.

  • My friend (and I think this is rather genius) pays a babysitter to stay the night, it costs £140 but they get to lie in until 12. It’s A LOT of money, granted, but it means her and her partner get to go out together and enjoy the hangover slumber together and not have to look family members in the eye the next day.

  • Hangovers take their toll when you have young kid, there’s just no time to get over them, and some times an evening babysitter just isn’t enough.

  • Also just to counter all of this, strangely by accepting that sometimes I love hanging out with my friends and drinking, I’ve also been able to accept that often I love not drinking.  It’s all about where I am mentally and I no longer just drink because everyone else is or it’s a birthday party. I feel liberated from social pressure.

  • So to end, promise me two things: Don’t ever watch Bad-Moms. And never ever peek at a mumsnet forum discussing mums who sometimes party.Screen Shot 2018-05-28 at 09.32.23.png

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1 thought on “Mums Have Vices Too

  1. So relatable just because I’m now a mom doesn’t mean I can’t still be me.. I take my hats off to moms who do completely change when they have children but most of us certainly do have our vices. We work damn hard why shouldn’t we

    Liked by 1 person

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