Pre-kids I’d be out a few times a week in the evenings. Whether it was dinner outings, work events, dancing to our favourite DJs’ tracks in clubs or parties, the week always involved a good night out. Now I’m a mama, things are obviously different. So when I do have a night out I need to be organised as I can be. The getting ready part of a night out is important to me. I want to feel great about what I’m wearing. It’s a bit of free pampering and me-time. It’s what I call a me-treat. This means I have to be a bit organised (note: just a bit and nothing goes to plan). I can’t always do night outs so sometimes I plan outings with friends at the weekends for a few hours. So here’s 7 tips on getting ready for a mum night (or morning/afternoon) out…
1. Work out your own dress code for the night out…Dress down or dress up? Is it a casual thing where jeans, a top and Stan Smiths will do or it is a party where you want to look glammed up? Think about this in advance of the event. Find an outfit that you’re happy in. This is a good way to feel confident and content. Avoid the last minute wardrobe rush when you realise your favourite outfit is not clean, totally creased up or you can’t find it anywhere!
2. Work out how much time you need to get ready…This depends on what the outing it is. I need time to do my make up, quickly do my hair and change my mind about my outfit at least once. If I have 30 minutes to get ready that’s fab. If it involves doing hair properly then I need an hour in total. Realistically it’s not often mamas have an hour to get ready right? Most of the time I end up getting ready in 15 minutes!
3. Work out when you are going to get ready? The when is really important here. I know things can change and the kids may suddenly need us but hey ho that’s when juggling and improvising as mamas saves the day. If I’m heading out close to or just after bedtime, I may need to do my make up before I start the bedtime rituals for the girls. Have an idea of when you will get ready so you don’t feel rushed.
4. Get someone to look after the kids whilst you get ready…My girls are at an age where they play in the bathroom or bedroom with me whilst I get ready. But there are times when Baby Munch just knows I’m heading out. This means extra cuddles mummy that can’t be resisted. You can cuddle and try to do make up at the same time but not recommended if you’re doing mascara, lipstick or eyeliner! I’ve been lucky that my mum has looked after the girls for my last two nights out so I could carve out some decent get ready time. Even 15 minutes to myself really helps.
If you’ve booked a babysitter, see if they can come a bit earlier so you have your getting ready time. Or if your partner is at home, ask them to look after the kids at a particular time whilst you spend time getting ready.
5. Getting your clothes and handbag ready…Deciding what to wear in advance means you can check that everything’s in good shape. Sometimes, I plan my outfit or choices earlier in the week. Do you need to dry clean or wash that gorgeous dress after the last outing? Does your favourite going out top need a little iron? If so, try not to leave ironing to the hour before going out. Do any ironing when the kids are in bed earlier in the week. Do your favourite shoes need to be re-heeled? Arggh!
Pack the handbag (or even do a list on your phone on what you need to take). My quick I’m out tonight handbag list usually includes lipbalm, MAC lipstick, MAC compact powder, hand cream, keys, phone, tissues, tube perfume, debit card for my travel and a bit of cash. Do you need to pack a make up brush or a compact mirror so you can do your make up in the car, cab or or on the train?
6. Charge up your phone…It’s a real doh moment when you realise you’re leaving the house and your phone doesn’t have much juice. Even more important when we are away from our children. So as soon as you start getting ready, charge up your phone. I also leave it charging it on top of my handbag I’m taking out so I don’t forget my phone (easy to do if I rush out of the house). Or pack a portable phone charger in the handbag.
7. Involve your kids…I love asking three-year old daughter about “what I should wear tonight?” It makes “mummy’s going out” a bit fun for her too. I start with the open question and she may say a necklace, dress or trousers. If it’s a big night out she may suggest “your Frozen dress” (don’t worry guys, I don’t have one of these). Sometimes I give her a choice and ask “Should I wear the orange dress or pink dress?” I love hearing her opinion. The other night when I did a talk on blogging, big Munch suggested I wear red and pink lipstick. This actually worked! She associates me wearing lipstick with going out which is cute.
Oh and I’ll throw one more in. Letting your kids know you will be home later…We have always been upfront about when mummy and daddy are going out with our three-year old. Even if we leave the house after Big Munch is in bed I feel it’s better for her to know that we aren’t home so she expects someone else to come and see her if she needs anything. It’s kind of letting her know that “bye” means we always come back home. Make time for a proper cuddly goodbye with your kids. I know Big Munch will want me to read her books before going out. I know this is a parenting personal choice and at times parents need to sneak out of the house to avoid upsetting goodbye moments. Anyway, work out your own strategy for getting out of the house (on time or on reasonable late time).
What are your tips for getting ready for a night out? Are you a last minute person when it comes to choosing your outfit or more of a planner? What are your tricks for getting ready in a rush?
Share your tips and leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you…
X Sunita (right off to spend five minutes planning my outfit for my next mama outing).