August 16, 2019
Group Chat is a weekly series where HuffPost UK writers discuss friendship, diary dilemmas and how to reclaim our social lives in a busy world. 
How Do You Go Out When You’re A Parent? (The Answer Is Massively)
There’s a conversation that seems to crop up fairly regularly with people I meet – at work, at a wedding, even on the high street – as soon as they hear I’m a mother of two young children.
It goes something like this: “Three and seven? I bet you don’t get out, much!”
At this point, I usually hesitate. I almost don’t want to let them down; to let them know that they couldn’t have got it more wrong. Because the thing is... since having children I go out (whisper it) more than ever.
I know. It sounds crazy – but there’s a simple explanation, and it’s this: I have so little time away from the kids, that when I do get a child-free night ‘off’, I make the absolute most of it. The phrase ‘go hard or go home’ has never felt more applicable.[Read More: 12 Signs You Are Going Out Out – Mum Style]It’s partly because, after putting in so many hours at the parenting coalface – a 24/7 job if ever there was one – I feel I ‘deserve’ those nights off. But it’s also because I need it.
Everyone’s different, but I’m sociable and love being around people and seeing new and exciting things. The idea of going for dinner at a pop-up restaurant, followed by a cocktail or two at a brand-new bar and then a dark and intimate little jazz club? Yes. A thousand times yes.
And the tricky reality is that no matter how rewarding they are, ‘the baby years’ can feel stifling, dull and isolating at times – Jennifer Garner wasn’t wrong. 
But what I’ve realised, now that my kids are growing up and I’m no longer tied by breastfeeding, is that having children doesn’t mean I have to miss out completely. Far from it.
In fact, compared to child-free friends, I’m more likely to be the last woman standing. That person who suggests “one for the road”, when they’re calling final orders at the bar? Me. The one who suggests karaoke after the bars or clubs have closed? Also me. I get so little ‘time out’, that conversely it makes me want to make the very most of it.[Read More: If We Stopped Sugarcoating The Truth About Parenting, Maybe We’d All Feel Less Alone]
It’s also because, after seven years of little-to-no sleep, I’ve built up tolerance to it. Whereas my child-free or younger Friends might need to rest and recuperate after a few nights out on the trot, I get fewer than five hours of sleep every night – and I’m (almost) used to it.
That burning feeling behind my eyes? Well, a post-work can of gin and tonic in the park with my work colleagues helps me forget I was woken at 3am the night before by my toddler’s nightmare about a bear breaking in through his bedroom window to steal his chocolate-chip brioche.
Plus, being ‘out’ in ‘town’ (which, for me, means central London) is so exciting, and so far removed from the mundanity of the everyday bath-and-bedtime routine that it’s intoxicating. And very hard to resist.[Read More: I Said I Wouldn’t Co-Sleep – And Then I Did With Both My Kids]
That’s not to say I go on a ‘BNO’ (Big Night Out) that often. I can’t – I have a three-year-old to cuddle and kiss and put to bed, and a seven-year-old who likes me to tell her stories until she goes to sleep. These moments are precious and fleeting. They won’t want me to do it forever, and I don’t want to miss out while they still do. I have a partner who deserves my attention too, and limited financial resources to spend on babysitters.
So I make sure I’m not out gallivanting more than two (or three) times a week. But you better believe that when I do get the chance to go dancing or to a show or live gig, I’m all in.
And it’s that balance that I believe makes me a better parent than I would be if I ‘only’ stayed in at home. After all: happy mother, happy kids.
Come on then. Who’s up for a BNO?More Group Chat My Dance Friends Are The Best Friends. Fact. The Friends You Make In Your 30s Are The Best Bonus Ever Table For One: The Unexpected Joy Of Dining Alone
Latest News
Top news around the world
Oscar 2020

See the list of 2020 Oscar Nominations including best picture, best actors and actresses, and more.

The 92nd Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), will honor the best films of 2019 and will take place at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California.

Around the World

Celebrity News

> Latest News in Media

Watch It
Tyler Cameron surprises fans w/ultimate Valentine’s Day blind taste test | Page Six Celebrity News
February 13, 2020
RwNIvxbkaWA
Testing Gwyneth Paltrow's 'Vagina' Candle And Other Goop Products | Page Six Celebrity News
February 12, 2020
icD2-4ofnXk
How Adam Driver and Brad Pitt's height stacks up to other Oscar men | Page Six Celebrity News
February 08, 2020
OhHs22XYrnc
Kerry Washington Has a Seat at the Table on 'Little Fires Everywhere'
February 18, 2020
TGFOuD8H7Co
'Outlander' Cast Reveals What to Expect This Season
February 15, 2020
K4klRSTpDIM
Issa Rae Teases 'Insecure' Season Four and Her Romance Film 'The Photograph'
February 15, 2020
onEO5NgmLjc
'Bachelor' Alum Chad Johnson Eyes Colton Underwood for Charity Fight | TMZ
February 19, 2020
_E6q2AjhVOI
'The Beatles LOVE' Performer's Scary Fall Caught on Video | TMZ
February 19, 2020
mNqfDU4OOgM
Desiigner Falls Off Stage While Performing | TMZ
February 18, 2020
tfDwe6q7EvE
Selena Quintanilla Tribute Concert: Pitbull & More Performing
February 19, 2020
j2OF777wLGw
Justin Bieber Teaches James Corden "Yummy" Dance
February 19, 2020
6uxgOcPrSqg
Steph & Ayesha Curry Too Hot for IG? & Adele Steals Spotlight - "Nightly Pop" 02/18/20 | E! News
February 18, 2020
QIqobyugQ9s
TV Schedule
Late Night Show
Watch the latest shows of U.S. top comedians

Sports

Latest sport results, news, videos, interviews and comments
Latest Events
17
Feb
ENGLAND: Premier League
Chelsea - Manchester United
17
Feb
ITALY: Serie A
AC Milan - Torino
16
Feb
ENGLAND: Premier League
Aston Villa - Tottenham Hotspur
16
Feb
ITALY: Serie A
Lazio - Inter Milan
16
Feb
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Madrid - Celta Vigo
16
Feb
ENGLAND: Premier League
Arsenal - Newcastle United
16
Feb
ITALY: Serie A
Cagliari - Napoli
16
Feb
ITALY: Serie A
Juventus - Brescia
15
Feb
ENGLAND: Premier League
Norwich City - Liverpool
15
Feb
ITALY: Serie A
Atalanta - Roma
Find us on Instagram
at @feedimo to stay up to date with the latest.
Featured Video You Might Like
pQ9gcOoH9R8 g5MRDEXRk4k tudKp5Vhs3k iwWHibhssSo kQr0XHPbICM 5NeCb7JxaRk u5xQKdNqazE 56CdjlzJqSA kw7uFRs-Az0 xNv0JZWLV7w j_x1lr04a6Q lrYGH-drP8s
Copyright © 2020 Feedimo. All Rights Reserved.