Tiny bags with no nappies in and wine-breath at the Moses basket. Caroline Corcoran gets you prepped...
There comes a point post-birth when you’ll realise that not every night of your life will involve sterilising the bottles, shovelling down something dubious you found in the freezer, trying to locate your pyjamas in the dark without waking up the baby then racing to bed as early as you can humanly manage (before lying there trying to remember if you washed the Grobag/ signed up to next term at baby French/ sent off your maternity leave form/ etc etc etc). And that point will culminate in the arrangement of The First Post-Baby Night Out, AKA the night you get your hands on a wine, in a public place, someone else looks after your baby and you go nuts. Here are the rules…
1. You will get inordinately excited about the size/ minimalism of your handbag
It doesn’t contain 17 muslins! There is not even a small chance you will find in it a soiled pair of trousers! It is a stylish bag chosen for no other reason than that you like it! Sweet lord, this is exciting. Would it be weird to text the NCT girls a picture of it?
2. You will feel like you look quite nice then spot a wet patch on the breast area
The best thing at this moment is to give it a quick blast with the hand dryer then drink enough that it’s quite feasible that the stain is just a cocktail you lobbed down yourself on the way back from the bar because you’re so wild and fun and drunk.
3. You will rush to the Moses basket when you get in then panic that you’re breathing wine fumes at the baby
Oh god, is he basically now drunk? Are you the worst mother ever? You’ll get over this worry about ten seconds later when you fall into the deepest sleep you’ve had since you gave birth/ got pregnant and had to get up to wee every half hour.
4. You will feel excitement you haven’t felt since you were 16 and in a club called Kudos
You’re out, you’re in heels, you are not wearing leggings, you have a ridiculously exciting small bag and your mate from baby sensory is being chatted up by a man named Dan who’s about 22. Hell, you might even go to Kudos if Kudos didn’t open at the obscenely late hour of 11pm, which is the time you have booked your Uber for, obviously, because that’s awfully late as it is.
5. You will talk about your baby, no matter how much you intended not to talk about your baby
Especially if you go out with your mum friends or your partner. Ideally if you want to stick to your rule, aim to go out with some female friends that don’t have kids and who will glaze over if you start harping on about the specific appearance of your child’s smile again.
6. You will send 17 texts to your partner/ mum/ babysitter even though you swore you’d switch off
What it seems like you’re doing: having an interesting conversation over a Sauv Blanc and some chips. What you’re actually doing: wondering how long it will be until you can feign a toilet break again so you can send a checking-in text or ask them for a picture of your baby sleeping.
7. At some point, you really will switch off though and that will be awesome
Probably around the point you get that extra cocktail, tbh, or someone tells you you’re never too old for a jagerbomb.
8. Eating out will take on new heights of excitement
Since the last time you did it (properly, AKA not with a small child attached to you as you shovelled down a sandwich one-handed) you were pregnant and simultaneously reading the menu while Googling names of cheeses to see if you could eat them. This time: sashimi with brie on the side, thanks, followed by a lovely raw cheesecake and espresso martini.
9. It will all feel a tiny bit surreal
You’ve been in a bubble since the baby arrived and now you’re out of it and the fact the taxi driver/ barman/ inordinately-young chatter-upper doesn’t know what’s happened to you in the last few months seems bizarre.
10. Nothing will ever feel as bad as that hangover
Why why whhyyyyy would you have done this to yourself? Is it ok to change a nappy if you think you may still be about 10% drunk? How many sugars is it acceptable to have in a tea? And seriously: will they ban you from baby massage if they smell the scent of a pub Pinot Grigio drifting over the lavender?