How to Plan a Moms Night Out

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I used to be a sunrise champion in my pre-kids days. Me and my girls loved to hang out until the earliest rays of sunlight were visible again. If I’d have to choose what I miss the most, it would be those nights and the ease and spontaneity of it.

Nowadays, things are different. Sometimes it s*cks that planning even has to be part of it; however, making the effort can be totally worth it and necessary! Me and my mom friends have tried and tested what works best, allowing you to get going and set one up yourself! 

So, what are you waiting for? Perhaps those bleary-eyed sunrises are not so distant after all.

Why Should You Go on a Moms Night Out? 

If you’re a mom, you’ll know that motherhood can be isolating and that you’ve somehow been transformed from your own person into basically being owned. You used to have your own life and now you’re lucky if you have 15 minutes spare a day. Going on a night out gives you the opportunity to disconnect from these responsibilities and recharge your batteries, even if just for a few hours.

When I find myself stuck living in ‘mom-gear’ for weeks on end, driving on autopilot without proper breaks or a magical reset button, I am possibly not the best company to be around. Disconnecting from me being ‘mom’ and reconnecting with me being ‘me’ is priceless. Having a chance for conversations other than bedtime, discipline, explaining why they “can’t have” or “should not do”’ anything they want, is an absolute must for me.

Who (Not) to Bring on a Moms Night Out?

Unless you’re simply done being a mom for the moment and need to experience being your old self again, you may want to avoid going out with friends who don’t have children. For a start, your stamina may not be what it used to be and you might find that you’re unable to cope with more than two drinks. This could leave you feeling unequal and unable to ‘keep up’ and therefore unhelpful to your situation.  

Choosing friends who are also mothers might be your best option. Not only will they understand and respect your routine and situation a bit better, but they may also be the greatest listeners allowing you to share the hardships of motherhood. 

But don’t forget; moms nights out are still meant to be fun! So, here’s a checklist for who to bring:

  • Mom friends—it’s just the easiest, unless you’re looking for complete hedonism. 
  • Moms who are like-minded and in it for the fun—no parenting circles here, please.
  • Moms who fit your preferences when it comes to dress code and activities
  • Moms with same-aged kids and/or into the same hobbies could be a starting point for you to get a group together.

To Eat, or Not to Eat?

Dinner and drinks may be the most common activity for a moms night out and it can be one of the most convenient ones too. If it’s kept fairly casual then moms can come and go at their own convenience. This will allow you to catch up in a relaxed setting and enjoy a meal without having to clean it off the floor and ceiling after.

Personally, I would avoid going to the movies. Whether at home or in the cinema, I inevitably fall asleep halfway through, if not sooner. It’s just not worth it, and there’s also limited opportunity to catch up with friends. If there’s a movie that you’re dying to see together, consider a matinee and drinks after, giving you the best of both worlds. 

If you’re looking for something a bit more uplifting and in style with your pre-mom nights out, consider dancing, a concert, or a show. Try to choose something that you can really look forward to, such as a favorite band or DJ. This will build up pre-night excitement, and hopefully, enable you to enjoy your time to the max and avoid escaping through the backdoor to run home.   

Getting Ready

Getting ready for a moms night out starts way before the nights out you went on before. You can see this as an annoying side effect or work with it; anticipation can be half the fun, so use this preparation time to get excited. Picking your outfit and scrubbing up is an enjoyable activity after all! 

Things to Consider When Planning a Moms Night Out

  • Start planning well in advance. One to two weeks is necessary for most moms to plan their time off, find a babysitter, or organize for dad to be home. Once a date is set, stick to it. You’ll always have last-minute drop-outs and cancellations.
  • Pick a weekday. Choose one that’s not completely dead, as weekends are usually for family time. You’ll still want things to be fairly lively on your night out, though.
  • Leave early and don’t cut it short. Plan the start and end of your night to be outside of the hectic hours of dinner and bedtime. Let somebody else take care of this because a night off should be a night off. Be sure to stretch your precious evening out for as long as possible.
  • Dress to impress or dress to comfort. Whatever the activity, choose whatever suits your mood. Your friends shouldn’t judge you for not looking your best, but do consider making a bit more effort if the activity is a concert or show and requires a bit more style. You don’t want to feel under-dressed as this could lead to you feeling out-of-place.
  • Plan ample preparation time. If you’re going out and going big, make sure you have enough time to yourself to prepare. Shower, wax or shave, nails, and hair? Arrange your babysitter or dad to be home in time for you to have the time you need.
  • Plan the morning after. You may regret skipping this step. Even if you don’t go out until the early hours of the night and drink yourself into a coma, motherhood does start again as soon as you get home. Agree with your partner who does what, have breakfasts and lunches ready to minimize effort and get a little extra sleep before parenthood kicks in again.
  • Don’t plan any unnecessary activities. If you can, avoid any deadlines, stressful meetings, or loud and busy playdates the day after your moms night out. Plan a day on the sofa watching your kid’s favorite movies and drinking hot chocolate. There’s no need to suffer when it can be avoided.
  • Make nights out a habit. Once a week may be slightly optimistic, but you can still turn this new-found fun into a regular habit. Take turns in organizing the nights out and make a pact to go along with whatever’s chosen. You never know, you could end up being more adventurous than before! If you find that others end up slacking or making excuses, then take over yourself. 

Footloose and Fancy-Free

Moms nights out can be a necessity for those who need to disconnect from being just a mom from time to time. There’s no reason to feel bad or guilty about it; it is what it is. People need breaks from all types of jobs, parenthood included. Recharging is vital for the amount of energy that’s required for this role.

You don’t need to push the boat out every time, even if it’s just going to a friend’s house to watch a movie over a glass of wine. Find those mom friends who have similar interests, dress up or keep it simple, and make it a regular thing. Hang out, just girls amongst girls, and be the best mom you can be again.

Cristin is a co-founder of Smart Parent Advice, and the loving mother of two wonderful children. In her free time, she can often be found in a yoga studio or catching up on her favorite shows.