Last night I had the most fun time that I have had in a long time. I was able to release myself of my motherly duties, dress up as the woman outside of being a mum, put some make up on, do my hair and go out with the girls. I was able to complete conversations without having to get up to get someone else’s dinner/drinks or be interrupted with the words mum, mum, mum, mum, mum nagging at me, and I was able to drink, laugh and dance.
This was sooo much fun….until I tiptoed into my house at 4am only to be awoken an hour later by my 3 & 4 year old jumping on my bed and pulling my eyelids open, telling me ‘I woke up because it was daylight out my window’. Really? it was daylight when I get home, so pleeeeeease let me sleep.
Thankfully I have an angel husband who took over from there and allowed me to suffer my self-inflicted torment in peace. But it did get me thinking about a conversation that I had with a friend of mine last night about the stigma that some mothers have placed on themselves about how to socialise once they become a mother.
Some people believe that their role of a mother entails giving up this kind of ‘outing’ and that we should opt for the more conservative social ventures, like dinner only, maybe a coffee with the girls or a trip to the hairdressers to get their social fix.
Some people go to the other extreme and believe that motherhood ‘will not change me’ and continue to party on every weekend, suffering through the minimal hours sleep and handling their hangovers amidst nappies, demands and visiting the toilet to ride the porcelain bus, desperately hoping that they really can do and have it all, regardless of the pain, all in the name of the stigma they believe is attached to the label of being a mother.
So which one is right? Do we change our social habits when we become a mum and conform to the conservative, polite and reserved person that we saw portrayed by our parent’s era, or do we party hard like we did when we were 18 and pretend that nothing has changed in life and we are still as indestructible as ever.
I don’t believe it typically needs to be either way actually. How does it work for you?
I always maintain that motherhood does change you physically, mentally, emotionally, morally and ethically. Every part of you changes. So possibly with that change, your social interests may change too, or maybe they won’t. It all depends on you, the individual.
Personally, it doesn’t appeal to me to go out til 4 in the morning on a regular basis, and possibly not even on a monthly or 6-monthly basis, but occasionally I like to just let my hair down, dance the town red and do a little harmless flirting, which does wonders for the self-esteem by the way. But generally its usually the general catch ups, BBQs and social events that I can take the kids to that makes up my social calendar.
I think it’s just a matter of accepting the reality of the life you are now living as a parent and integrating that life with other interests you now have too.
I once had a friend who said to me that you figure out what you want to do and then plot and scheme around your kids to do it. I’ll never forget that valuable piece of advice.
I don’t think that you should attach any sort of stigma or etiquette to your label of being a mother and how you should behave because you are still a woman inside that mother that you are and you can live it up and enjoy yourself any way that it fits within your own integrity.
Mums are allowed to have fun. Goodness knows there are enough demands placed on us in our role as a mother, so why should we have even more demands placed on us of the way we ‘should’ act when it comes how mothers socialise?
This time-out can be few and far between, so why not use it the way you enjoy it, not the way you are taught that you ‘should’ enjoy it.
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