This is a public service announcement for mothers.
Mums! Get away for the weekend without your families, sometimes.
Seriously. Leave the kids with their fathers, rent a big house, pack a small bag, stock up on booze, and head far out of town one Friday night. Preferably to the seaside.
Make sure you go with a group of women you already have a bond with. For instance, the ones you’ve been hanging around outside the school gate with twice a day, five days a week, for the last five years.
Take a curry for the first night. As all communities of mothers know, twelve people each bringing one dish equals a feast. Bring also the wherewithal for a massive fry-up on the Saturday morning. And book a table in a nearby pub for dinner the same day – but do try to remember that you are ambassadors for your home town, and just because you don’t get out much, there are no excuses for leering at the locals, spouting potty-mouthed anecdotes, or repeatedly breaking into a rowdy chorus of Salt-n-Pepa’s late eighties anthem ‘Push It’, just because someone was inspired thus by the seasonings.
Do whatever the hell you want with your whole day off from motherhood. Lie in for hours; go for a walk; check out the shops; sample the local brewery’s finest.Why, if it pleases you to, take a stereo into the bathroom and treat yourself to a hot, deep, Bublé bath. No-one will shout at you through the keyhole because they need a poo and they want you to hurry up, so make the most of it. After drying off, head back to bed for a long, dense, mid-afternoon kip. Just because you can. (And because you probably need it after the previous night’s shenanigans.)
Remember that on this weekend, wine o’clock starts any time you want it to. Bring fizz, in large quantities. And for a refreshing change, designate one mother to mix cocktails, in jugs. (Choose a Slovak, if you happen to have one among you, as they tend to be hard drinkers, and excellent cocktail mixers.)
Gather in the sitting room as the evening draws in, and fire-up the iPod. If one of you happens to have karaoke equipment, be sure to bring it along. At least three mothers will want to sing into it loudly over the course of the evening. Indulge them. They may not be allowed to sing much at home.
Take turns to play – loudly – your favourite songs from across the decades. And put on whatever you want. You are among friends, and no-one will deny you your Mr Blue Sky; your Bohemian Rhapsody, or your Disco Inferno. Neither will anyone think anything of it if you dance like you’re in a French and Saunders spoof. However, EVERYONE will be seriously impressed if it turns out you can shake your booty like Beyoncé.
(Of course, if you prefer to flick through a magazine, chat, or get quietly on with your beading, feel free to indulge in that, too. It’s your weekend!)
Don’t forget the number one rule: whilst it is fair to make a few jokes at your old man’s expense, YOU MUST NOT TALK ABOUT YOUR CHILDREN. Mothers who forget this and drop mention of their offspring inadvertently into the conversation must pay a forfeit. It’s funniest if this is a challenging physical task, such as ten press-ups. Better still if the house you are staying in has the Jane Fonda workout book on its shelves, and an amusingly tortuous looking exercise is randomly selected from it, and enforced as the punishment. Don’t forget to take pictures. These can later be posted on Facebook as a warning to anyone who may think about contravening the rule in the future.
As the night goes on, and the booze relaxes your body and dulls your common-sense, feel free to attempt things you haven’t attempted for many, many years. Gymnastic moves, for instance, or break dancing. Be careful, though: the general rule-of-life that no-one old enough to have seen the film at the cinema should ever try to launch themselves into the Dirty Dancing finale leap stands, even on a weekend such as this, and even if you’ve lined up several mums to make like Swayze, and catch you. Be cautious, too, if one of the mums is a Personal Trainer. She may not know her own strength and allowing her to wrestle you to the ground, pick you up by your feet, or toss you like a caber is likely to cause severe pain up and down your body, which will not fully kick in until the Monday.
Ooh, and don’t forget to tell ghost stories – particularly if the guest book of the property you are staying in reveals that the house is haunted. In the midst of the tale, be sure to allocate a victim, and a joker who will hide behind her chair for a goodly while, before jumping up suddenly and shouting WOOOOO WOOOOO WOOOOO in her ear, loudly.
On the day of departure, reminisce fondly about the weekend over a reheated curry brunch, and pledge to come again the following year. Tidy up and clean the property thoroughly and with gusto, as only a team of twelve fully refreshed domestic experts can.
Do text your family on the way home to let them know you’re on your way, and that you’ve missed them.
And finally, if one of you is a blogger, don’t forget to remind her that….
WHAT GOES ON TOUR, STAYS ON TOUR.