Why 'Moms' Night Out' Should Be Banned

Make no mistake: I am all in for Team Mom. It's the hardest (not to mention longest) job in the world. So yes, of course, every mother deserves to have time on her own to spend with friends. It's kind of nice to only have to dress yourself, say, or not have to sheepishly ask your server to please bring out those chicken nuggets as soon as they're humanly ready.

With that in mind, I wish no mom would ever say they're having a "Moms' Night Out."

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I know, I know! Them are fightin' words. But let me explain.

What I'm rallying against here starts with the actual name of the event. Without question, being a mom is a life-changing event. Once you have a child, you, quite simply, are no longer the person you once were -- physically or emotionally. But there's something patronizing about how "Moms' Night Out" sounds, like none of us have a) identities other than being a mom, or b) social lives except for these rare occasions when we all band together.

When a bunch of scientists get together for a beer, do they call it, "Scientists' Night Out"?

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That stereotype is only fed by how some moms tend to act when they go out together sans kids. (If you have no clue what I'm talking about, then you haven't been to a suburban Applebee's at 7 o'clock on a Wednesday and heard a group of women screaming at their server for another round of "Mommy Juice.")

Knowing we're having a "Moms' Night Out" overtakes us with a weird, unspoken need to prove that we're not only moms. We dress up too much and drink too much. We recall the crazy things we used to do before our kids were born and boast of the crazy things we're still capable of doing -- except, you know, now we're moms.

I guess you could argue that this is just letting off steam. Maybe those scientists do the same thing. But I can't help thinking that "Moms' Night Out" evokes a feeling similar to what it's like to visit high school after going off to college. Your old classrooms suddenly look tiny; the students still there, hopelessly young and immature. In other words, you no longer fit.

And that's okay.

Some of the favorite nights out I've had since my kids have been born have involved other moms, my husband and other dads, and a mess of kids. Instead of trying to "get away" from our families, we're including them -- and accepting the fact that slightly more tempered and, yes, slightly more tethered, our families are part who we are now. Which is pretty great.

What do you think "Moms' Night Out" should be called?

 

Image © iStock.com/MichaelDeLeon

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