At first, I was honestly more than happy to forget this birthday. After all, I was turning 29 and wasn't overly enthusiastic to celebrate the last year of my 20's *groan*
However, after some encouragement from my girlfriends along with the inevitable encouragement of a few glasses of wine, I thought 'actually, you know what Bridget... You deserve a night out to have some fun!'
The Facebook event was created and there was no turning back.
The sudden realisation hit me that going out partying wouldn't quite entail the same preparation process as it before I became a mum.
Here's my mum's guide for when mums go wild, including a very specific toolkit of what will help you out of your 'active wear' and into your heels without piking at the last minute.
De-fuzz - when I was younger de-fuzzing usually meant legs, underarms and bikini. These days there are a few more areas that may need attention (don't tell me I'm the only one) #ladymo
Choosing the right underwear- Pre-baby I would have simply slipped on a teeny tiny g-string without hesitation but while pretty lace panties may show lumps and bumps, you know your Bridget Jones knickers will be your friend all through the night, hugging your lady lumps giving you a flatter tummy.
Clear out your handbag- A scary thought. I honestly had a WTF moment when I reached my hand into the deep dark pockets. Like Mary Poppins’ carpet bag, I pulled out a never ending list of items such as Shopkins, a candy cane and a tin of baked beans. Trust me, you don't want to be rummaging around through the pile of junk while searching for your card to pay for your cosmos!
Choose the perfect outfit- BC (before child), choosing the right outfit was not only pretty easy but actually fun! These days, the questions going through my head while rifling through my wardrobe were, (a) What will fit me now? (b) I wonder if I could get away with wearing stretchy tights? (c) Could I dress up my active wear with heels? For a foolproof dress, go the LBD. You know you're going to spill wine on it in all your excitement. Black. Is. Safe.
Eat & drink (WATER!) before you start drinking - I went over to my girlfriend's house and they literally fed me sausages rolls and made sure I downed heaps of water before starting on the bubbles. This imperative step may just save you from being refused entry to the club in the following hours.
Prepare for your hangover - you're not as young as you used to be, and trust me it will take you a day or two (or three in my case) to fully recover. Leave out your PJs, Ibuprofen and water in a spot you will be able to clearly see through your blurry vision. You will thank yourself for it in the morning.
Stock up on hangover food - there is nothing worse than craving greasy food the next day only to find a selection of weet bix, rice crackers and yoghurt in the fridge. Plus, this will come in handy for when the kids want dinner the next night and you CBF to cook #partypiesforall
Choose the right girlfriends- Make sure you go out with ladies who are going to be good friends. The ones who will force water down your throat between champagnes, the ones who will put filters on your photos before posting to Facebook, the ones who will help you break into your house because you lost your keys *cough cough* and the ones who will write you a love note to remind you what happened last night and include their phone numbers because you also lost your phone!
Find My Phone App - this is especially important if you're like me and place your phone on the ground of dance floor after taking a selfie rather than back in your handbag (thanks champagne!). The moment you realise you've lost your phone with a million irreplaceable photos of your child on it will be in a spin. But not for long with your phone tracker on! *phew*
What goes out stays out! - Much like the 'bro code' we have a girl code. All photos must be approved by you (when sober) prior to uploading to FB, lips are sealed on all shenanigans unless life threatening. No one is to know you tried to blow out your birthday sparklers for a good two minutes before realising they don't blow out. And it will never be revealed how you ate two kebabs, one perhaps out of the hand of a stranger while singing 'Wonderwall' between mouthfuls.