Once upon a time, I used to go out and have fun, without spending as much as a week planning for it beforehand, or several weeks cursing myself for it afterward. Maybe it's just a consequence of getting older; maybe it's a consequence of partying way less since having a kid; maybe it's a consequence of being tired all the time. Whatever the case, late nights are among the many things that are way different after having kids than they are before (at least, while those kids are still young).
I'm lucky to have had a fun, satisfying life before and after having kids. However, sometimes it's nice to remember the carefree good times I had when I had fewer responsibilities. So every couple of months or so, I decide to meet up with some childfree friends and spend a night having some non-family fun. Fun in theory, at least.
It's definitely fun at first. I get to relax a little, see people I haven't seen in a while, and not constantly scan the room for potential dangers at toddler height. But inevitably, I get a brutal reminder of just how severely my party muscles have atrophied. After trying to cobble together a meal out of "light bites" and finding myself staring down the barrel of a vicious hangover (totally unfair when you haven't even had that much to drink!), a night of reading and re-reading Goodnight Moon doesn't seem so bad.
I know I'm technicallythe same person I was before I got pregnant and holed up with my husband and kids, but some nights "pre-motherhood me" feels like a different species than who I am now. A more effortlessly stylish, put-together species, with a much higher tolerance for alcohol, noise, crowds, and teeny-tiny overpriced food. Sigh.