When it comes to making time to go out and have fun with friends, things definitely get more complex if you have kids. If you manage to find the energy, you still have to make sure there's someone you trust to take care of the kids while you're gone. Despite the extra logistics, I'm all for going out and having fun. It's important to maintain our relationships beyond our families, and to spend time getting to be who we are apart from being someone's mom. That's part of why I can't get behind the phrase "Mom's Night Out."
Like I said, I am all for going out and having fun. However, I get weirded out by the "mom's night out" phenomenon being labeled the way it is. It reminds me a bit of bachelorette parties, which I like as much as the next person but which also frequently feature really problematic “last night of freedom!” messaging that has always bugged me. If women aren't free in our family roles and relationships, we need to actually deal with that, rather than just taking occasional breaks to vent our frustration with simultaneously and continually feeling trapped in our normal lives. We don't have to feel that way, and feeling that way on a daily basis isn't a "normal" part of motherhood. We can build lives that feel satisfying and free on an ongoing basis, rather than just when we manage to "escape" for a little bit.
Now, if people out there are into this phrase, more power to them. I'm not here to take that away from anyone. I’m unpacking it solely as food for thought, not fodder for judgment. It’s a small phrase, but little words often hide big ideas, and those ideas often affect how we live our lives and the overall quality of our lives. I feel uncomfortable with a lot of the ideas embedded in the concept of "mom's night out," and for a lot of reasons, including the following: