I jokingly hashtagged a social occasion a few weeks back as #mumsgonewild. It was a little bit tongue-in-cheek; we weren’t all mums, we were all in a 20 km radius of our homes and for various reasons we were all home by midnight. Certainly not the material of a reality TV episode or tabloid magazine cover but it was the first time in god knows how long that I’d actually found myself out at not just one, but two bars in a night. And I drank… not so much that I don’t remember the evening, but enough to know that I was definitely buzzed.
And I loved it.
The only other time I can remember being buzzed in the last couple of years was at a friends’ wedding in Perth earlier this year. The whole trip was so fleeting and surreally amazing (you mean, we’re at a brewery in the middle of the day, drinking beer like we have no responsibilities…oh, we don’t) that I couldn’t work out where the buzz of travel and adventure and weddings and love ended and the drinking buzz began. This recent night, short though it may have been, reminded me how much I loved it.
Apart from that holiday, I’d not had more than one or two drinks in what seemed like forever. Not while breastfeeding, not while pregnant, not while trying to conceive and even before that. I stopped drinking as part of my plan to lose weight for the wedding so I hadn’t had any sort of significant drinking session since 2011. It’s a long time. And while I’m definitely able to socialise sober and do so on a regular basis, there’s always my inner control freak who likes holding the reins.
I fully support people who choose not to drink. There are people in my own life for whom I think that it is an incredibly valid personal decision. I’m not out at bars every weekend, I never drink so much that I black out and I’d certainly never put CJ at risk with any drinking behaviours. But out in that Irish pub, knocking back the Jameson & Lemonade (far too drinkable), I felt a part of me return, a fun part, that has been dormant for a while. There’s a joke amongst my friends that “everyone likes drunk M-daddy”… yet it gets to me that mums aren’t allowed that same release. That there’s something inherently irresponsible or unusual about a mum who wants to go out and get her drink on. That we should be solely defined by our relationship to our children, to the detriment of everything else we used to be. I love being a mum, but it’s not the only part of me, and having a few drinks does not make me “wild”, it makes me human.
Now who wants to raise a glass to that?