What do you miss most from your life before kids?
I’ve been a bit of a naughty boy recently. Not only have I been neglecting this blog, I’ve also been re-living my life before kids. And by this I mean, I have been ‘out out’ on each of the last three Saturday nights and only ended up in my own bed on one of them. Duh duh duh.
OMG. Has he lost his mind, or completely forgotten that his wife is far more fun and better looking than him? No and no. My wife and I have simply had a run of social events, and have been lucky enough to secure an overnight babysitter (read: the grandparents) for all of them.
And while there is no denying that we’ve spent a significant proportion of each of these events baby boring the pants off anyone willing to listen to our ‘he said sheep the other day’ stories and sleep-deprived woes. There is also no denying that going big without the bubster was so much fun that it hurt.
Yes, that does say hurt. And it says it for two reasons. First, oh boy my hangovers physically smart nowadays. Second, oh boy do I miss the mates I used to hang out with during my life before kids.
From flatmates to families
So what’s happened to these mates? Well, Dave had this big blowout with Mike about his wife’s dog, and Sam’s doing 15-20 after burning down Jim’s pub over unpaid gambling debts. Just kidding. This isn’t Hollyoaks, it’s real life. And in real life, unless you are very, very lucky, you are going to see less of your friends when you’re living in suburbia with your wife and child than you did when you shared a flat in town with Bugs and Hendo (names not changed because these reprobates don’t deserve any protection).
Sorry, no can do
On paper this might not seem like a big deal. After all, you still chat and message your mates loads and surely it’s easy enough to get a monthly night out organised via Whatsapp? You’d think so, but you’d be wrong. The last time anyone posted in our ‘London dads (and lad)’ group was on September 29 and five of the last seven messages contain the words “sorry”, “can’t”, “make” and “it”. In fact, now I think about it, since I created the group on May 9 we have had exactly zero nights out. And the same goes for the ‘life before kids’ group, the ‘Studio massive’ group and ‘catch up’ group.
Out with the new, in with the old
I know what you’re thinking. If that’s the case, why don’t I just take the hint and move on with some new buddies? First, I’ve already chronicled how difficult it is to make new dad mates. Second, without wanting to sound too much like my stubborn toddler, I don’t want to. And I don’t want to because… I miss my mates. I miss their companionship. I miss their stories. I miss the same old jokes they’ve been telling for 20 years. I miss their man hugs. I miss their practical jokes. I miss their willingness to sit on a bar stool talking rubbish for six hours. I miss them way more than I miss sleep, hot food or being able to go to the bathroom without someone saying “Daddy, what’s that?” 25 times.
The way forward
So what am I going to do about this? Well, after thinking about the above for more time than I probably should, I’ve decided the only solution is to move my wife, my kid and myself into the granny flat at the bottom of my mate Cal’s garden. Only joking. My actual solution is to moan incessantly without actually doing anything to fix the problem. Joking again. The plan is… forget about the last minute Whatsapps and think big. I’m talking Amsterdam. I’m talking Portugal. I’m talking Edinburgh. I’m talking London. I’m talking about four events per year where we all gather on mass to celebrate our life before kids.
Back to the future
Is this going to be easy to pull off? Hell, no. Is this going to stop me trying? Hell, no. I’m lonely and I need this. So watch this space, because there could be a bunch of tipsy dads (and their wives and kids) coming to a town centre near you.