Guest Blog Post by Kay Harrison, a journalist and frazzled mum of one.

Sometimes it’s necessary to cast off the shackles of motherhood, head out with your mates and act like you’re 18 again (a pretence you can normally keep up until you catch sight of yourself in the pub toilet mirror – or start complaining that the music is too loud).

My first night out as a mum was a shock to the system – a system already shocked from childbirth. A friend had died suddenly and there was no question of not going to his funeral, even though it meant abandoning my three-month-old in Yorkshire with his dad while I spent the night in London.

Pre-child, I would have agonised over outfit choice. Now, all I cared about was if I had a handbag big enough to fit a breast pump in.

The send-off was never going to be low-key, given the fact my mate had worked for a wine, beer and spirits trade magazine. And it was indeed wild and messy and emotional. A stark reminder of the childfree days I’d just given up. I even got to finish whole conversations – and they weren’t about poo and wee.

Later, I got five uninterrupted hours’ sleep, curled up on a floor somewhere in East London. I caught the train back the next day, wrung out, wrecked AND mentally restored.

And that’s the thing. Yes, you love your children. But the odd night off parent duties – whether it’s bitching over bhajis or whining over, errr, wine – is equivalent to a week at the Priory. With added feet rubs.

These nights out rarely happen overnight.

They can be months in the planning, involving lengthy Facebook group messages with more twists and turns than Gone Girl. Then you have to fight the overwhelming urge to wimp out at the last-minute as you feel beaten by a day looking after small people. Oh, and they also require an Alpha Mum to take the reins and set the dates (never me – I’m useless).

I’m still getting over my last night out with some old school friends, in honour of one who needed to let her hair down after the arrival of baby no2. And give herself an excuse to actually wash her hair.

Her husband was kicked out for the night, taking the kids with him, and the toy kitchen and Bumbo seat in her living room were hidden under a fluffy throw.

We crammed our feet into too-small shoes and partied like it was 1999 (well, maybe 2009). It was our turn to drink through straws, dance badly, cry and scream.

I woke the next morning in bed next to her, mascara smeared over my face, contact lenses firmly glued to my retinas, lying in a patch of her boob milk.

And, weeks later, the memories of that night out are still making me laugh. Even when I’m on my third wash of the day and chiseling dried Weetabix off the wall.

Written by:

Kay Harrison (Journalist and frazzled mum of one).