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Dear Mummy Buck, I’m in a dilemma. Do I party with or without my kids?

My friend is having her son christened and has invited me, my husband and two kids.  I really want to go but I don’t want to take my kids.  Am I a bad mum for feeling this way? 

I know there will be other kids there, so could take mine and encourage them to mingle with the other children.  I dread the questions, if I turn up without my kids in tow.  I will be judged, I know I will.    

I’ve seen the guest list and there’s a few going from the ‘organic squad’ at school.  The same ones that bake from scratch for the Cake Sale at school, scoffing when I send in shop bought Fairy cakes disguised in a Tupperware tub, you just can’t fool them! 

What should I do? Am I a bad parent for wanting to leave them at home?

Mary Bawls, 35

Mummy Buck says:

Are you mad?  Sure, you’re in no way a bad parent.  You’re a parent clearly in need of some ‘me time’.

We all need time out – no kids included.  To have an evening free from hands tugging at you, whinging and whining on, without so much as a pause to draw breath about how boooooorrrrrrrrrrrred they are and want to go home is not missed.

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These ‘events’ can last a mind numbingly long time.  You can leave exhausted from having fixed a grin for hours, trying hard to look like you’re ALL having a gas.

Hunger sets in, and quite honestly it’s a relief to stop smiling and eat.  Yet your kids won’t appreciate this.  So while you chew your cocktail sausage, they’ll sit complaining how hungry they are and how they don’t like ANY of the food on offer.

Your mumbled ‘well you usually eat that’ won’t make a shred of difference.  They will sit in protest under the table refusing to come out.

No one else will seem to have this problem, especially not Academic Adam’s Mum.  She doesn’t have any problem with hers as she’s way too busy watching you to notice her darling son up at the table double dipping, while sampling the food discarding what he doesn’t like…..back in the bowl!

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However, sometimes it can be advantageous to take the kids.  If I suspect the ‘party of the year’ is going to be nothing more than one long bore accompanied with fake smiles and shite music I drag take mine along.

They’re my ‘get me out of here early’ card.   You can do that when you have kids with you.

If it helps put your mind at rest, I was out the other night with a good friend of mine, you may have heard of her, the renowned parenting expert and wine connoisseur Chardonnay.  Professionally known as Dr. Minesalarge.

We enjoyed a blinding night out, drinking and dancing.  Throughout the evening she kept slurring saying how good it felt with no bleeding kids hanging out of her arse.  She was able to take her foot off the pedal and swear like a trooper without worrying the kids would be quoting her word for word at school the next day.

At her practice, she ‘sees’ a lot of parents in her weekly (first two sessions are free) therapy sessions.  These are parents exhausted from working 24/7 with no pay, too tired to be bothered going out.

Her advice; get out and enjoy some ‘me’ time.  Rediscover who you are.  Introduce yourself again to the human race without the prefix ‘Hi, I’m so-and-so’s Mum’.  She believes it’s good for children to know there will be times when their parents are out in the company of others without them.

Only last night I booked in another night of ‘me time’ prompted by my son’s latest stunt.

After popping to the loo to get a much-needed break, I gave the game away by locking the door, sending out the sound I was going to be ‘resting’.

At that very moment, my teenage son let out an almighty roar ‘Mum, quick, come here I need you’.  Cursing loudly, I set off like a rocket concerned, only to find him at his computer, seemingly intact and healthy holding his phone up in the air.

His emergency, he was in the middle of a game of Fortnite and needed his phone put on charge.

You could, as you say, take your kids and encourage them to play with others.  A good idea in theory but in practice rarely works.  If I was a betting woman, I’d say the chances of them talking, rather than staring at each other all night is slim.

I’d go as far to bet that 5 minutes from the end they’ll suddenly disappear and re-appear with a new ‘best friend’ in tow.  They won’t want to go home now so a new battle begins.

I can’t even book a day off work to enjoy a moment of child-free time without my house phone ringing.    This sound tells me it’s either my parents or the school ringing.  Usually, the latter asking me to pick up my sick child who has come down with a bout of ‘forgotten homework’.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not totally heartless.  I do feel guilty from time to time, only the other night I felt a terrible pang of guilt when I blamed his nibs for eating the last bit of ice-cream my daughter was frantically searching the freezer for.

Important Note

Remember they won’t always be this young.  One day they’ll be teenagers who will know everything there is to know about life.

You won’t have any dilemma over whether to take them out or not.  They make this easy for you by refusing, point blank to go.   They would rather stick pins in their eyes then be seen out with an embarrassing parent at some ‘oldies’ do.

So, should you go out and enjoy yourself child free?  You most definitely should.

Mummy B.