As a parent, nights out are few and far between. Finding an evening when you can both summon up the energy to look presentable in public, book a reliable babysitter and have the children well enough and tired enough to happily leave someone else in charge for the evening, is about as difficult a quest as the search for the Holy Grail.
Where a night out used to be anticipated weeks in advance, and viewed as another opportunity to buy a new pair of shoes or get your hair blow dried, now it is more of an unwelcome chore. In my experience, there are 8 main reasons parents don’t go out very often.
- You’re exhausted. The thought of getting changed into anything other than your pyjamas is grounds alone to knock the whole idea on the head.
- Babysitters. They are difficult to find, cost a fortune and, if you do find one, this then means you have to tidy the house before they arrive.
- Peace & quiet. Once you’ve cleared away all the toys in the sitting room, you would really just like to sit down and enjoy being in the room as you intended it to be when you bought all that nice furniture several years ago.
- TV. Having been subjected to CBeebies and Thomas DVDs, you actually quite like the idea of a night in front of the TV watching something grown up.
- The children’s ‘going-out’ radar. Despite your best attempts to get them into bed nice and early and not display too many obvious signs of your intentions to leave the house without them, they will know exactly what you’re up to and do everything in their power to delay you, stress you out and generally make sure that you’re so frazzled by the time you do leave the house that you’d rather just park the car somewhere and have a good sleep than sit at a restaurant table and have a conversation.
- The price of freedom. Assuming you overcome all these obstacles and do make it out, the taste of freedom will inevitably result in you drinking far too many G&Ts, dancing embarrassingly and singing loudly.
- Topics of conversation. While everyone else chats about the latest films they have been to see, their luxury holidays and the latest celebrity gossip, you will find all you can contribute to the conversation is another ‘ever-so-cute’ story about your children.
- The next morning. This will be a hideous cocktail of hangover, utter exhaustion (because you didn’t get home until 4am and the kids were up at 6am) and excitable children. You then resolve never to do this again. Hence the problem comes full circle.
But it’s not all bad. After all, you now have a great excuse to stay in, get a take away and a bottle of wine and watch The X Factor! Bliss.