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ParentsJune 2, 2017

Emily Writes: Surviving Wine Mum Night

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When mums get a night off, it’s a big deal. Spinoff Parents editor Emily Writes delves deep into the Wine Mum Night phenomenon with an anatomy of a night out without husbands, wives or children.

It’s Wine Mum Night! It’s taken eight weeks to organise this night. Husbands, wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, grandparents, flat-mates – whoever it is, somebody is watching the kids. You worked around birthday parties and sick kids and work, paid and unpaid, appreciated and ignored. The village has stepped in.

It’s a proper night out.

I’m talking the sort of night where when you get home you don’t have to wake up to the kids all night AND you get to sleep in – it feels like you have to make the most of it. It’s your forever night. It has to sustain you for months, maybe even years. Forever.

You need this. You’ve been knee-deep in poo and spew, toilet training, not sleeping ever, cooking, cleaning, dealing with everyone’s crap. You need a break.

Which is why we have Wine Mum Night. And it’s a sight to behold.

Chances are either you don’t drink often because your kids never sleep so you live with what feels like a permanent hangover, or you’ve been pregnant and/or breastfeeding. Which means: Lightweight. So here’s an anatomy of a Wine Mum Night (I know, because I’ve had a few Wine Mum Nights in my time – in fact, though it’s not obvious at all, some of this post is based on my own experiences).

Getty Images: Credit: Henrik Sorensen

5.30pm – Oh the pressure! You can’t wear your maternity leggings. You definitely can’t wear your breastfeeding bra. The kids have long since claimed all of your jewellery and the teething necklace you wear every day looks like anal beads.

But you’re so keen to leave the house and flee your children/responsibilities that you don’t take longer than 15 seconds to get ready. The look you’re going for is Kristen Stewart’s MILF sister, but you look more like your almost 65-year-old uncle who insists he toured with Grateful Dead.

6pm – You meet the girls. You left early to skip bed time routine. If you’d stayed you would have been stuck laying by the cot for two hours and then you’d be too tired to leave the house. This is how you missed Wine Mum Night last time.

6.05pm – You have a moment of silence for your comrades who couldn’t make it because their child got sick, they got caught in the bedtime routine, they fell asleep at 5pm, or their husband is a massive turd and you’re going to spend all night verbally destroying him and plotting how you’re going to split them up.

6.10pm – You all agree that nobody can get drunk because we all have the kids the next day and nobody can cope with hangovers.

6.20pm – Shots of absinthe for everyone.

6.30pm – The Circle of Judgement begins. You plan revenge on one of the kids who is hassling your child at daycare. Insist no baby is ugly before agreeing that yes, that particular baby is unfortunate looking. Eviscerate your boss/partner/frenemy/Karen who stopped us being able to drink at school committee meetings. Her kid was sleeping through the night from six weeks old. What a bitch. She’s lying. Definitely lying. Bitch.

6.31pm – “It’s so bad how mums judge each other! I never judge! We need to always be kind!”

6.45pm – Agree it is boring to talk about our children who we love very much/are driving us to drink. More pinot gris. One friend suggests you all buy drugs and then says JUST JOKING but you know she’s serious.

6.50pm – Everyone is drunk. You took your Spanx off in the bathroom and put them in your handbag.

7pm – Nobody has any money. How does wine cost $15 now? Half of the group is gawking at the group of tradies who just walked in – not because they want to get them into bed, but because they’re thinking they look so tall and will all of our baby boys grow up and become tradies? What will they look like? Will they get married? Will they give us grandchildren???

7.05pm – Everyone compares C-Section scars and loudly talks about their pelvic floor and how many Kegels they can do. You tell the bartender what a mucous plug is.

7.15pm – “I’m so gay” “We know”

7.20pm – Everyone agrees we should all live on a commune together with no men. We can all be sister wives and we’ll raise our children together. There is lots of crying and hugging as we all agree we are best friends forever.

7.30pm – Shall we buy some cigarettes? Oh my god, they literally cost $100 now. Everyone smokes while insisting they don’t smoke.


7.55pm – *Screamed in monotone* A few questions that I need to know, how you could ever hurt me so, I need to know, what I’ve done wrong, and how long, it’s been, going on. Was it that I never paid enough attention? Or did I not, give, enough affection. Not only will your answers keep me safe, but, I’ll know, never to make, the same, mistake, again. Did I, never, treat you right? Did I, always, start the fight? Either way, I’m going, out, of, my mind, all the answers to my questions, I have to find…

8pm – Men are the worst. We should kill them all and rip their still beating hearts from their bodies.

8.01pm – I love my husband/boyfriend too! I don’t know what I’d do without him! OMG I’m going to call him!


8.22pm – It’s not a broken ankle, it’s fine. Wow is that the bone? Hmmm maybe my bones are always a bit pokey-out-of-skinny LOL.

8.30pm – My back has just been really bad because the baby weighs like 18kg now it’s insane??? *pulls out phone* look at these 6000 photos I took this morning. “How old?” Oh he’s 54 months old now.

8.45pm – I’m so tired. I shouldn’t drink anymore.

8.46pm – Just a pinot gris please. No, a bottle.

8.55pm – The bar cuts you off. The bartender tells you that you’ve reminded him he needs to call his mum.

9pm – You need a kebab. You tell the guy making your kebab your birth story.

9.14pm – You fall asleep with one shoe on, cradling a kebab.

9.15pm – You get home.

5am – You wake to the sound of your kids and the worst hangover you’ve ever had in your entire life. Your children reward you for having a night out by screaming at the top of their lungs for two and a half hours straight. One of them climbs into your bed just to piss in it. You go back to sleep in the wee. Your partner comes down every five seconds to ask “Where are the nappies?”

10am – You enter the vortex of hell AKA Chipmunks and eat 10 chicken nuggets then throw up in the ball pit and blame it on a child.

11am – There is no 11am. There is only pain.

Emily Writes is editor of The Spinoff Parents. Her book Rants in the Dark is out now. Buy it here. Follow her on Facebook here.

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