It’s one of those ideas that seems so simple and obvious once you’ve had it, but the first “Girls’ Night In” actually kind of happened on accident. A girlfriend’s husband was out of town and she texted a few of us asking for some adult company that evening once she had gotten her kids to bed. The stars aligned for us that night and instead of one or two of us being able to get together, it was a whole gaggle of frazzled mamas. We descended upon her house with wine and snacks and whispered giggles so as not to wake the sleeping little ones. After a lovely and rejuvenating night, as we were gathering our things to leave, I commented that my husband was going to be on a work trip for a string of days a few weeks later and I would love to have a break in the monotony of solitary Netflix and chill one night if everyone was game for another night in.
Thankfully they were, and Girls’ Night In was born.
The hostess is always the one who is flying solo for whatever reason, so she is able to reap the benefits of a girls’ night without the added cost and stress of finding a babysitter. She sets the start time so that she can get her kids settled into bed and have time to Clorox-wipe the kitchen and hide-clean*. For anyone with a partner who travels or works nights or odd hours, you know how tedious and tiring it can be to not have the benefit or pleasure of another grown up to talk with for days on end. While some solitary nights to unwind and go to bed early can be enjoyable, it’s also nice to have the option to regroup and decompress with friends.
Not to mention the other benefits of staying in rather than going out!
With everyone contributing food and drinks, there is always plenty to go around for a lot less than the cost of a few cocktails and appetizers downtown. You don’t have to find a parking spot, yell over obnoxious music, or shoot side-eye at the cozy couple hogging the biggest booth. There is comfort and ease being in someone’s home which can lead to more intimate conversations than usually happen perched on a bar stool. And if you are looking for more structured activity, I highly recommend Cards Against Humanity; be forewarned, this game can cause the kind of raucous laughter that might awaken previously mentioned sleeping cherubs (and if you are easily offended, something like Pictionary or Scattergories would be a safer bet).
I’ve found it invaluable as a parent (and really just as an adult human in general) to surround myself with kind, encouraging, funny, honest, and helpful people.
Everyone talks about the importance of ‘having a village,” but sometimes I think that is much easier said than done. Finding a village is hard, let alone maintaining one while you’re all in the trenches of parenthood. It’s easy to make excuses to NOT add social activities to your calendar, so finding ways to mitigate the cost and stress are helpful. I remember who I am other than “mom” on nights spent with my friends and while you can’t put a price on that feeling, it’s nice to not have to put a price on the evening itself either.
*Hide-cleaning is when you scoop all of the things that are not where they are supposed to be into a hiding place while company is over. I’ve heard of people hiding things in ovens and dryers, but for me it’s usually the closet in the master bedroom.