It gives me great pleasure to introduce the very funny Ella from Ellamental Mama
. Ella wanted to do something a little different for my blog series ‘Parents Night Out’ so she has written a post from her experiences as a single mum on a 1st date.Get ready to start laughing out loud.
Thirty-something year old single mother to a lively toddler. Trying to balance full-time parenting with part-time work, writing and a love of travel. My blog, Ellamental Mama
contains an honest and raw, as well as sometimes amusing, account of life as a single working mum focusing on the topics of mental health, gender and motherhood.
Parents Night Out – The Singleton Version
If you’ve ever met a mum you’ll know we don’t tend to get out much , especially when the kids are young. When you’ve already done the white gown and marriage thing; when you’ve been through nine months of pregnancy and 23 hours of labour with a man there beside you*; you kind of accept that date nights will be few and far between. It seems like a small price to pay for your happy ever after.
Fast forward and life’s not all it seems. I split up from my ex over two years. In that time I’ve been on about 10 dates (give or take a few). It’s not exactly what I’d hoped for in my first years of motherhood. Instead of nesting, I’ve been prowling – mainly online but it’s still a difficult head space to get in to. It’s getting easier, slowly; from that first date that left me in tears, to the latest one where I stumbled home at 2am like a drunken teenager.
I’d met him at a speed date not long before. Let’s call him M. To be honest, I didn’t really fancy M but he seemed interesting and made me laugh. I was slightly miffed that I’d only been matched with one person (still, better than the previous zero matches I guess). My mood picked up when he messaged me almost immediately – he must be keen I thought to myself smiling.
By the time our agreed date came round I was *this* close to calling the whole thing off. It would never work anyway I thought – he’d been telling me how his weekend was spent with some big name DJ at a house party. I’d spent my time wiping a toddler’s arse. I didn’t tell him this of course, tried to keep up the pretence of being carefree for a little bit longer – for me, as much as for him. With about half an hour to go we still hadn’t confirmed the venue. Didn’t he know spontaneity had gone out of my life circa 2012? I forced myself to go anyway. Started to enjoy the whole getting dolled up process, perhaps this wouldn’t be so bad after all.
I was there first, finally he appeared and I had a moment of “oh God, what am I doing here?” There was that first date initial awkwardness as he sat down, we moved to a quieter part of the bar. The bit covered in fruit flies. We chatted, I laughed. I didn’t mention I had a son for the first few drinks. He suggested we go to another bar – apparently I’d passed the ‘unlikely to kill him’ test. I hadn’t realised it was a mutual concern but at least we were on the same wavelength. As we strolled up the road he took my hand. It was so strange, holding a hand that wasn’t a quarter the size of mine. In all honesty I had no idea if I liked him but I definitely liked the novelty of being shown attention. And oh my God, affection! This was a new thing (from a grown up I mean). It felt so surreal I could barely structure a sentence anymore. Luckily he was the chatty type and didn’t seem to notice my shocked silence over the hand-holding (not so lucky).
The barmen must have taken a shining to us as they seemed to be plying us with freebies and we ended up doing a mini bar crawl of the area. This was my first proper, let my hair down night out, since I split from my ex, hell probably since the first time I got pregnant back in late 2012. It was an amazing feeling. Then came the best bit.
By now our options for drinking venues were limited as everywhere was shutting up shop, but you can always rely on one old dive to still be open. We were sitting at the bar, drinking more free drinks and chatting when he suddenly made his move. Let’s be honest, I was never going to do it. I don’t think I have any moves left in me. Let’s just say I don’t do soft porn writing but oh my days that kiss! I’ve not been kissed like that in a LONG time. In fact, this kiss ended the biggest drought I’ve had since first learning how to kiss in a school playground in 1991. He was good. Very good. It now seemed to be irrelevant if I found him attractive or not, his kissing ability removed any need for that. I’m pretty sure I became like a teenager – weak at the knees.
Eventually we got kicked out of that dive too. Walked around like teenagers trying to find some place to go before admitting that the sensible thing was to just go home to bed (no, not together!). There was some more teenager esk snogging up against the Church railings. And then that was that, we went our separate ways. I wobbled home happier than I’ve felt in a long time. It wasn’t so much about M, it was the fact I’d been carefree for the first time in forever. The fact I’d been able to enjoy myself without thinking or talking about mothering for a few hours. I crept in through the front door, updated my Ellamental Mama blog facebook page with an embarrassing post I was clearly going to regret in the morning, downed a pint of water and went and curled up in bed next to my son with a huge grin on my face.
*OK, I didn’t clarify if he was awake for most of this or not.