It’s Friday and you know what that means… Yeesssss, date night. Always begins with the promise of big things. Babysitter? Check. Dinner reservation? Check. Woken at 5am this morning and can't be fucked to get dressed up and leave the house, let alone have a shower? Check.
It’s like eating a Big Mac and large fries. So much anticipation and equal parts regret. “Why?” I can hear my non-parenting friends ask. Because staying awake past 9pm is a chore these days and being woken at 5am the next morning nursing a hangover from two glasses of wine is shit. But so is sitting on the couch on a Friday night, so I’ll suck it up.
It starts by finding where to go. We used to know all the trendy spots, now I’m searching Google for “cool restaurants”. Note to self, any restaurant that advertises they are "cool" is far from it.
Time to get ready. I’ve got from 7:02pm (twins in bed, door closed) to 7:15pm (babysitter arrives) to shower, shave (it’s been a while and I’m feeling optimistic), slap on some makeup, do my hair and find something to wear. Standing in front of my closet, it’s evident my options are limited. Frumpy mum clothes… size 6 dresses from my early 20’s that are short enough to let everyone know I had a caesarean… active wear? I wouldn’t put the latter past me, but what would I have to wear this weekend around Bondi. Alas, I’ll opt for something comfortable that fits because I’m a mum after all (*eye roll*).
Babysitter arrives. She’s lovely and enthusiastic about watching TV to earn money. I tell her to give me a call if she has any problem, but secretly hope she doesn’t because there is nothing more annoying than getting a call that your kid has done a shit and won’t go back to sleep while you’re sipping Hendrix G&Ts.
The first 15 minutes of dinner are awesome. We order a glass of wine and some appetisers. No children to interrupt us / spill water everywhere / bang spoons on tables / cry about sitting (or not sitting) in a high chair. We can actually catch up on the week and chat like normal people.
We always make it a rule, no talking about the kids. It’s our night off and we’re paying good money for it. But after 15 minutes when the general chitchat is done… what the hell do you talk about?! So we invariably gush over how cute they are, how much we love them, laughing about some old videos of them chasing each other around the table. What is with that? I spend the whole day trying to find 5 minutes to myself because they are making me want to put my head through a brick wall and then the moment I'm "free", all I can think about is how awesome the little buggers are...
Thanks to a biological need to eat extremely fast when you have children, going for dinner is usually wrapped in an hour. It’s 8:30pm, we’ve had two glasses of wine, we’re feeling tipsy and there’s talk of “all the things I’m going to do to you tonight”. Time to head home I say.
We stumble home, reminding each other to not let on to the babysitter that we're pissed. Babysitter is dismissed; she's happy to have earned $40 watching Bachelor re-runs. We head to bed... and that is generally where the night ends.