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BEING A MUM ON THE LOOSE

1
Have you seen this woman?

Have you seen The Mum On the Loose?

You’ll know her, if you see her.

This is the woman who talks about her Big Night Out for a couple of weeks before it happens. Who says to her friends before the event, ’I don’t care where we go, because I’m going OUT.’

This is the woman who has a perma-grin the entire day before she gets to Go Out. Who peels children off her person with hardened ambition as she steps out of the house ALONE and skips down the street, smiling like a loon and telling anyone who’ll listen –

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from shop assistants to bus drivers – ’I’m OUT.’

This is the woman who speed-drinks like a teenager, ordering Prossecco by the glass all night because it is such a special occasion, who smokes (because social smoking isn’t bad when you do it once every 3 months), and shouts; ’I’m OUT! I haven’t been out properly since 2011!”

This is the woman who proceeds to get hideously drunk, begging for an after-party, somewhere, anywhere, even though she knows it’s only Tuesday and she’s only gone to the cinema… and she knows she has to

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be in bed by midnight or the two-year-old 5am wake-up call will really, really hurt.

Of course, the woman I am describing is me.

You see, it’s not hard to count how many nights out I’ve had over the last year. Five maybe. That’s five all together. Not five a month or anything. Or even five outings a weekend like I did once upon a time.

And the problem with just five nights out, is that it’s easy to turn into Mum on The Loose.

Whenever I am out I feel like a parody of myself. Like I’ve become the stereotype I always mocked, and yet I

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can’t help it. I can’t reign it in. I feel eager. I feel excited. I feel like a child in a sweet shop, especially when standing in a room full of adults somewhere fancy. I also feel like I’m an imposter, or like I’ve landed from an alien planet and am fixated by everything new and shiny.

I say things like, ”Wow I didn’t realise people still did this. There are actual real-life people just out and about. Do they do this every night? What do they talk about? The place feels so alive. I LOVE IT!”

If I go out to dinner I’m extra chatty and

SelfishMother.com
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overly nice to waiters. If I go out to a bar I find an excuse to talk to anyone. I especially hone in on anyone that might also have kids so I can give them a conspiratorial wink. I feel so bloody happy to be OUT that I forget about trying to be cool.

At a friend’s 40th last year, I got so overexcited by the whole event that I drank Prossecco by the bucket-load (or maybe they were just big glasses) and ignored the delicious array of stomach-lining posh-buffet-nosh. By the time I took myself to the spare bedroom I was sharing with my husband and two

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small children (all asleep), I was spinning hideously. How can I put this delicately? I was ill. Very ill. They all woke up. It wasn’t pretty or clever.

But it’s not just about the drinking. Or the eagerness. Or the excitement. It’s also about my Going Out clothes. I just don’t have any. I feel more like a ’Mum on the Loose’ when I’m woefully underprepared in the wardrobe stakes. But these days I don’t find time between working and child rearing to buy new things. Or at least that’s my excuse.

On one of my cherished ’five nights out’

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a few months ago,  I ended up at the super-cool Ace Hotel – because, yes you guessed it, I didn’t want to go to bed. It was then I bumped into some gorgeous old friends who were all dressed to the nines in black, in heels, and make up, and I realised… that I was still wearing the dribbley-snot-stained Breton T-shirt that I’d slept in the night before. I’d chucked it on, rushed about, and then found myself in Shoreditch’s bastion of cool. I was the The Mum on the Loose in bad clothes. Thank goodness, by that point, I was too merry to care.
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But even my non-caring, slightly depressed me.

It’s like I’ve lost the Sacred Art of Going Out. Which is sad as it’s a skill I used to be quite the expert in. I don’t think it’s all bad – loosing my hang ups about trying to be cool are probably a very good thing. But, even so, I think I’d like my Art of Going Out to come back.

Will I be The Mum on the Loose forever?

Or can parents of older children help me out and attest that this, like everything else, is ’just a phase?’ Here’s hoping.

 

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Molly Gunn

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- 14 Jul 15

Have you seen this woman?

Have you seen The Mum On the Loose?

You’ll know her, if you see her.

This is the woman who talks about her Big Night Out for a couple of weeks before it happens. Who says to her friends before the event, ‘I don’t care where we go, because I’m going OUT.’

This is the woman who has a perma-grin the entire day before she gets to Go Out. Who peels children off her person with hardened ambition as she steps out of the house ALONE and skips down the street, smiling like a loon and telling anyone who’ll listen – from shop assistants to bus drivers – ‘I’m OUT.

This is the woman who speed-drinks like a teenager, ordering Prossecco by the glass all night because it is such a special occasion, who smokes (because social smoking isn’t bad when you do it once every 3 months), and shouts; ‘I’m OUT! I haven’t been out properly since 2011!”

This is the woman who proceeds to get hideously drunk, begging for an after-party, somewhere, anywhere, even though she knows it’s only Tuesday and she’s only gone to the cinema… and she knows she has to be in bed by midnight or the two-year-old 5am wake-up call will really, really hurt.

Of course, the woman I am describing is me.

You see, it’s not hard to count how many nights out I’ve had over the last year. Five maybe. That’s five all together. Not five a month or anything. Or even five outings a weekend like I did once upon a time.

And the problem with just five nights out, is that it’s easy to turn into Mum on The Loose.

Whenever I am out I feel like a parody of myself. Like I’ve become the stereotype I always mocked, and yet I can’t help it. I can’t reign it in. I feel eager. I feel excited. I feel like a child in a sweet shop, especially when standing in a room full of adults somewhere fancy. I also feel like I’m an imposter, or like I’ve landed from an alien planet and am fixated by everything new and shiny.

I say things like, “Wow I didn’t realise people still did this. There are actual real-life people just out and about. Do they do this every night? What do they talk about? The place feels so alive. I LOVE IT!”

If I go out to dinner I’m extra chatty and overly nice to waiters. If I go out to a bar I find an excuse to talk to anyone. I especially hone in on anyone that might also have kids so I can give them a conspiratorial wink. I feel so bloody happy to be OUT that I forget about trying to be cool.

At a friend’s 40th last year, I got so overexcited by the whole event that I drank Prossecco by the bucket-load (or maybe they were just big glasses) and ignored the delicious array of stomach-lining posh-buffet-nosh. By the time I took myself to the spare bedroom I was sharing with my husband and two small children (all asleep), I was spinning hideously. How can I put this delicately? I was ill. Very ill. They all woke up. It wasn’t pretty or clever.

But it’s not just about the drinking. Or the eagerness. Or the excitement. It’s also about my Going Out clothes. I just don’t have any. I feel more like a ‘Mum on the Loose’ when I’m woefully underprepared in the wardrobe stakes. But these days I don’t find time between working and child rearing to buy new things. Or at least that’s my excuse.

On one of my cherished ‘five nights out’ a few months ago,  I ended up at the super-cool Ace Hotel – because, yes you guessed it, I didn’t want to go to bed. It was then I bumped into some gorgeous old friends who were all dressed to the nines in black, in heels, and make up, and I realised… that I was still wearing the dribbley-snot-stained Breton T-shirt that I’d slept in the night before. I’d chucked it on, rushed about, and then found myself in Shoreditch’s bastion of cool. I was the The Mum on the Loose in bad clothes. Thank goodness, by that point, I was too merry to care. But even my non-caring, slightly depressed me.

It’s like I’ve lost the Sacred Art of Going Out. Which is sad as it’s a skill I used to be quite the expert in. I don’t think it’s all bad – loosing my hang ups about trying to be cool are probably a very good thing. But, even so, I think I’d like my Art of Going Out to come back.

Will I be The Mum on the Loose forever?

Or can parents of older children help me out and attest that this, like everything else, is ‘just a phase?’ Here’s hoping.

 

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Molly Gunn

Molly Gunn is the Curator of Goodness at Selfish Mother, a site she created for likeminded women in 2013. Molly has been a journalist for over 15 years, starting out on fashion desks at The Guardian, The Telegraph & ES Magazine before going freelance in 2006 to write for publications including Red, Stella, Grazia, Net-A-Porter and ELLE. She now edits Selfish Mother and creates #GoodTees which are sold via TheFMLYStore.com and John Lewis and have so far raised £650K for charity. Molly is mother to Rafferty, 5, Fox, 3 and baby Liberty. Molly is married to Tom, aka music producer Tee Mango and founder of Millionhands. They live, work and play in Somerset.

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