Everyone knows once you become a parent your life is no longer your own. Long gone are the days of a spontaneous dinner and a movie date. Last minute weekend trip up north? Fat chance. Even a trip to the salon requires a full blown schedule juggling session. I have been a mom for years and it never ceases to amaze me how much planning goes into any event that involves leaving my daughter at home. When I am planning a date night with my husband or happy hour with a girlfriend, I always feel like I am preparing for some huge event. When I was planning my wedding there were timelines that tell you when to order flowers, send invitations, etc. It occurred to me that it would be helpful to have a “Mom’s Night Out Planning Timeline”.
4 Weeks Before Event: Talk to friend on phone and plan a date to get together for dinner and drinks.
3 Weeks Before Event: Call friend to reschedule because you husband forgot to tell you that he was going out of town the day that you had planned (even though you mentioned the date at least 4 times over the past week).
2.5 Weeks Before Event: Attempt to secure a babysitter only to be told that she is already booked for that day. Beg her until she says yes to you, cry if necessary, you REALLY need this night out. Resort to bribing her and telling her you’ll pay her double what the other family is paying her. Success.
2 Weeks Before Event: Realize that the last “news update” you heard was about Dora’s upcoming Summer Adventure and the last “deep” conversation you had involved whether swim diapers really work. Brush up on current events.
1 Weeks Before Event: Start planning your “Big Night Out” outfit. Rummage through your closet and realize your only options involve pants with elastic waistbands, business attire, maternity clothes and your wedding gown. After debating with yourself for 30 min whether or not you can “dress up” yoga pants (you can’t), head to Target for a cute summer dress. Walk out 2 hours later with a cute summer dress you found on clearance(woo hoo) and $90 worth of toiletries (damn, Target will get you EVERY time).
8 Hours Before Event: Make a list of every single contact number that the babysitter might need. My cell phone, my husband’s cell phone, my husband’s work phone, grandparents (on both sides, naturally), friends, pediatrician, the stomach specialist that my daughter saw once when she was two days old (just in case), local fire department, local police department, neighbors. It may be easier just to leave your cell phone for the babysitter.
6 Hours Before Event: Decide that it would benefit all parties if your child is well rested. Ask your child to take a nap. Nope. Demand that your child takes a nap. Yeah, like that will work. Beg your child to take a nap. Fail. Bribe your child to take a nap. Who cares if you are creating a monster, you can deal with that after your big night out.
4 Hours Before Event: Remove the blue eye shadow, glitter lipstick and teased/braided hair done by your stylist/daughter during “Beauty Parlor Hour”
3 Hours Before Event: In case you are carpooling to the event, remove all sippy cups, Goldfish Crumbs and Yo Gabba Gabba stickers from the vehicle. Be sure to check WAY under the seats, you’ll most likely find an old banana peel, animal cracker and 2 week old apple juice. Pat yourself on the back for locating the odd smell that’s been bothering you every time you get in the car.
2 Hours Before Event: Rush around your house stuffing 3 baskets of unfolded clothes in the closet, kicking toys under beds and Febreezing the shit out of your house. You wouldn’t want the sitter to know how you really live.
1.5 Hours Before Event: Make a beeline to the bathroom for a quick 5 minute shower. Right as you are washing shampoo out of your hair you hear a loud crash . Runs towards the noise wet, naked and with soap in your eyes. Arrive just in time to see your daughter finger painting your dog.
1 Hour Before Event: Realize that you’ve completely forgotten how to do “going out” makeup and quickly Google “Sexy Nighttime Makeup. Find a 6 min Youtube tutorial and follow it step by step. Turn to your daughter who giggles,claps and says “Yay, mommy’s a clown”. Redo makeup.
30 Minutes Before Event: Bathe and feed you child. Get guilted into reading Curious George 5 times in a row.
15 Minutes Before Event: Babysitter arrives. Spend the next 15 minutes diffusing a massive meltdown. Apparently your child has just developed separation anxiety.
5 Minutes Past Event Start Time: Frantically search your house for your purse that your daughter decided to play hide and seek with.
10 Minutes Past Event Start Time: Enter you car, turn down Toddler Tunes and be on your way.