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Home Blog Mommy Daze The beauty of the Mom's Night Out — Mommy Daze

The beauty of the Mom’s Night Out — Mommy Daze

Never had I heard about a “Mom’s Night Out” before having children. It even has its own initialism — MNO. It must be a millennial thing. But oh how it has become one of my most sought-after, coveted, and enjoyable nights.

MNO2Don’t get me wrong, date nights with the hubby take the cake. A lot of times, however, out of necessity or pure exhaustion those end up being the stay in, watch a movie, binge on the candy you’ve been hiding from your kids and go to bed at 9 p.m. sort of date nights.

Now a MNO is something much different. It’s a gathering of desperate-for-discussion women, all with similar lifestyles and the common bond of having kids. We moms are quite a complex group of girls and complexity calls for down time at least once a month, sometimes more depending on how many family vacations you’ve taken or snotty noses you’ve had to wipe. You’ll most likely be able to spot one of these fabled MNO’s after a major holiday, during flu season and proceeding any major snowstorm.

These gatherings are usually prompted by group texts among mom friends that include phrases such as “Help,” or “Get…Me…Out,” or “MNO. Now. Who’s in?” You can almost hear the panic in the mom’s voice and the sound of toddler screams coming through the little speech balloons on the phone. Like the Planeteers, we flock together to combine our powers and help each other overcome potty-training blunders, tantrum-throwing woes and sleep-deprived delirium.

A MNO can take place anywhere, as long as children aren’t involved. If kids are there, that’s not a MNO, that’s a play date. Never mistake the two. Usually my mom friends and I tend to gravitate toward restaurants. Maybe it’s the desire to eat a meal at our own pace, not cutting up anyone else’s food or fearing that our drinks may get knocked over at any moment. It also forces us to change out of yoga pants and put makeup on. Whatever the reason, being able to leisurely while away the night chatting with other moms and eating “grown-up,” hard to pronounce food like edamame and bruschetta is a fabulous thing.

Being the frugal mommies that we are, we’re also becoming well versed in the best happy hour specials in the area. These early outings include the bonus of not having to participate in the sometimes dreaded “bedtime routine” with our little cherubs. Probably my favorite locale for a comfortable, laid back MNO is at someone’s house. I love hosting because it inspires me to straighten up my house, fluff the couch pillows (and dust the crumbs out from under them), light a yummy-smelling candle, and make one of those appetizers that I pinned on Pinterest like four years ago. I adore the sister-like company as we lounge on the couch or stand around my kitchen counter.

Conversation usually dominates the gathering, though on special occasions we’ve been known to throw in some games or gift-giving. There can even be special outings for things like a paint night, DIY pottery or craft activities. But the therapeutic powers of conversation among friends cannot be denied.

Usually the first hour is focused around our kids, which is ironic since the whole point of a MNO is to get some grown-up time away from our children. But the laughing, crying, consoling and advice-giving that happens in that first hour is truly crucial. It reminds us that as moms we share common struggles, joys, fears and victories. It unites us and inspires us to go home that night, peak in on our sleeping darlings, give the babysitter an extra tip or thank our husbands for wrestling the children into their PJ’s, and tuck ourselves into bed knowing that we won’t be the only ones woken up in a few short hours by the needs of those we love most.

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Watts edited W

Mandy Watts is a stay-at-home mom who lives in Crownsville with her husband, Justin, who runs their family business, and their two sons, 4-year-old James and 2-year-old Luke.

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