The Problem With A ‘Mums Night Out’
Lily Allen was back in the news recently, but for all the wrong reasons.
She was photographed worse for wear (well, more than worse for wear) at the Notting Hill Carnival a couple of weeks ago. To be fair to Lily, NHC is a festival where this year, four people were stabbed, scores were hospitalised with alcohol and drug poisoning, and over seventy people were arrested, which kind of puts her “shocking” behaviour into context.
But why was it so shocking? Not because she was swigging from a bottle or that she appeared to pass out.
No, upsettingly the reports didn’t actually seem overly concerned for her welfare, but rather the fact that She Is A Mother.
My first thoughts on seeing the photos were “God, I hope she’s ok”, not “WHERE ARE HER CHILDREN?!!”, as I presumed her children were being well cared for elsewhere, possibly even by their father whodhavethunkit.
Admittedly, this may be a very extreme example of a Mum’s Night Out, and frankly, I hope there aren’t more serious factors at play, but for the sake of this discussion, we’re keeping it to the Mum issue.
There’s no more letting the side down when you become a Mum.
It’s different for Dads. From the wetting of the baby’s head within days of the new arrival (can you imagine the criticism a gang of Mums doing the same in a pub would get?) to the nights out with the lads because they need to let off steam, Dads can still get away with it.
Not so Mums.
Now to be honest, I can’t imagine anything worse than drinking til dawn and having to get up with kids in the morning, so my idea of a Mum’s night this weather is a takeaway and a chat, but that’s not the point. The point is that once you are a mother, other people are somehow entitled to have an opinion on what you do at all times.
It starts in pregnancy, as we all know. The unsolicited (and unwelcome) theories on what you should be eating, what you should not be drinking, how much bigger or smaller you should be, what you should be wearing, what you are definitely too enormous to wear etc etc…. but it doesn’t end there. No sir! Once the baby arrives, the advice and conjecture starts up all over again! Why you must breastfeed, why you need to have another one quickly, how you still need to shift those last pounds, when you should go back to work, why you shouldn’t go back to work…. Aaagh!!
It’s no wonder we need the odd Mum’s night out.
But no, they’ll be shaking their heads at those too. Because our only jobs now are to be short order cooks, milk machines and Mummies.
I’m not suggesting for one second we should all make like Lily and pass out in the street, but the odd big night out does not a terrible parent make.
Lily Allen may or may not have big problems to deal with; but let’s not assume that being a bad mother is one of them.