In the BC (Before Children) years, getting ready to go out was a wonderfully long process that included bubble baths, a meticulous music selection, and the painstakingly slow application of make-up – all accompanied by a glass of something tasty. Potential outfits were lined up like suitors, chosen at leisure and discarded before a final decision, often by a vote from the ‘posse panel’. These GNO (good/girls’ night out) preparations were a communal process, and I loved the laughing, the trading of clothes, make-up and accessories and the bubbling excitement about the forthcoming night of frivolities. Food never really paid a big part of those evenings either – like a camel in the desert, I used to go days without sustenance and remember with fondness the time when a piece of toast and an orange constituted a balanced meal.
Then everything changed. My gorgeous girls arrived and put paid to all that… time. I barely know the meaning of the word now, apart from that it marches on, there’s never enough of it in a day, it’s running out and it’s showing on my face.
Now if I’m going out, I have to eat a jacket potato at 5pm as my blood sugar levels dip precariously low if I’m forced to wait until 8pm before I look at a menu. If I have time to have a shower after I’ve supervised homework, fed the kids, made the sandwiches (a task I enjoy on a nightly basis as much as I enjoy having my un-varnished toenails individually ripped from un-pedicured feet) then I definitely do not have time to ponder what to wear and tend to waste precious time staring at my wardrobe before bursting into tears with the wailing cry of, ‘I’ve got nothing to wear!’ I’ve no time for the luxury of applying one coat of mascara and waiting... waiting... waiting for it to dry before applying layer two. The whole shebang is applied in 10 seconds flat, particularly if the taxi is already outside with the metre running.
But, on the plus-side, I have discovered a really raunchy smudged rock-chick look just by accidentally sticking the wand in my eye. And anyway, who needs hours to get ready? When you’re a mum you get your gear on, get your slap on and you go girl.