The 10 Stages Of A Child-Free Night At Home

The 10 Stages Of A Child-Free Night At Home

Being a parent is amazing.

No, sorry, that should read: Being a parent away from your children is amazing.

It’s a rare treat for most parents, but when it happens, it’s totally worth the wait.


The 10 Stages Of A Child-Free Night At Home

Kids are great, obviously, and being a parent is brilliant. But it’s not without its challenges.

After all, how long can you go without sleep? How many times can you repeat the same sentence in a cheery voice? How many times can you stand on Lego before you burn all the lego?

So, for your own sanity, it’s important to have a night off every once in a while.

Pack your children off to spend the night with a grandparent, a family member, or somebody you want to get revenge on. Then sit back and enjoy the feeling of being child-free. It’s awesome.

If you’ve never done it before, here are the ten stages you can expect to experience on your night of freedom:

Stage 1: The Adrenalin Rush

As soon as the door closes behind your child’s sweet little bottom, the adrenalin will kick in. Your brain will be invaded by the thoughts of the 18-year-old you – but the manic version.

It will go a little like this…

Woooooo Hoooooo! FREEDOM! I’m going to drink all the wine! And have a massive nap. And tidy the house. And start writing a book. OMG, I’ll have a bath. An actual, uninterrupted bath – free from poo, snot and bread (don’t all kids love to eat toast in the bath?)

I’m going out for a walk after bedtime. And I’ll have the TV on loud. And lie in. I’ll be really hungover. And go clothes shopping. I can listen to loud music. And wear saucy nightwear. And sleep in my own bed. The possibilities are endless…

Stage 2: Self-Love

Look at me. I’m so carefree, I hardly recognise myself. I look amazing. Look how young I am when I don’t have children hanging off my eyebags.

Maybe I’ll go all out and make myself look human tonight. I could pluck my eyebrows, moisturise, even shave my legs. I’ll look like a celebrity!

Yes, today I shall be beautiful. For a change. Man, I’d look amazing if I didn’t have kids.

Stage 3: Check In

I’d better just text to see how they are. Don’t judge me. I birthed them and I will bloody well ask how they are whenever I want to.

So what if it’s only been an hour since I last saw them. So what if I know they’re probably having way more fun with grandma than they would be having with me right now. I’m still going to text them.

Stage 4: Disbelief

I have just cleaned the entire house, sorted the garden, and reorganised my wardrobe. I’ve had a bath, and done my hair and make up. In an hour. That would usually take me about a week.

Maybe I should send the kids away more often. Imagine how much I could get done!

I could probably write a bestseller in a week, redecorate the entire house in a matter of hours, and organise a charity fundraiser in less than a heartbeat. I would be unstoppable.

If I didn’t have kids, I’d probably be one of those powerful business women you see on TV. I’d look good in a power suit – with my hair styled and not one out of place. No mum bun for me! Life could have been so different.

Stage 5: Wine Time

The important thing to remember about wine time is it didn’t exist before you had children.

Once you’re locked into the social rules that govern family life, you can only drink wine in the evening. Before you were trapped in the system, any time could be wine time.

So, because I’m technically childless today, I’m allowed to revert back to the old (better) ways. Today at 4pm is not too early for wine. In fact, 4pm is wine time. Wooo Hooo!

Stage 6: Last Check In

Just an hour after the initial check in, and it’s time to check in again. Yes, I know they’re busy making chocolate cake, gorging on sugar, and running grandma ragged. I just need to make sure everything is okay, okay?

After all, they might be missing me. Besides, I’m planning to drink all the wine in a minute, and so I won’t be able to text. Probably best to do it now so I don’t look like a terrible parent later.

Stage 7: The Silent Treatment

I’m not going to be one of those mamas who spend their entire child-free night talking about the kids. No way. I’m just not going to talk about them. I’m going to talk about other things.

Like… Err… Hmm… Oh. (Sigh). Sod it. I’m just going to talk about them. They are awesome, after all.

Stage 8: Panic

Oh god, oh God, oh GOD! How could I have slept so late? Where are the kids? I’d better check on them. Argh, they’re gone! No, wait, I remember. They slept at their grandma’s. Ah, yes.

That explains the headache. Too much wine. Right, well, since they’re busy harassing grandma at this ungodly hour, I guess I’ll go back to bed. Living. The. Dream.

Stage 9: Anticipation

All of this time to myself has been amazing. I feel recharged, energised and ready for whatever life has to throw at me. And now I’m ready to see those gorgeous little rascals again. Most of all, I can’t wait to smell them, cuddle them, and hear all about their night away.

Time away from the kids is lovely, but the moment of being reunited with them is even better. Nothing fills my heart more than seeing their beautiful little faces light up.

Stage 10: Mourning

It has been so lovely to be ‘me’ for a little bit. It’s good to be able to hear myself think, do exactly what I want, and worry only about myself. I miss that. I miss having the time to read books, get lost in my thoughts, and explore the world at my own speed.

Well, me, I hope to see me again soon. Meanwhile, I’ll be busy looking after those adorable kids of mine. Don’t forget me!

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Fiona Peacock is a writer, researcher and lover of all things to do with pregnancy, birth and motherhood (apart from the lack of sleep). She is a home birth advocate, passionate about gentle parenting and is also really tired.

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