Saturday Night Dinner


There is one sure-fire way to tell mothers from non-mothers (one that doesn’t involve checking their stomachs for stretch marks, I mean).

Walk into a restaurant, alone, on a Saturday evening. Go to the hostess stand and ask for a table. When prompted for the number in your party, simply respond, “One.”

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Watch for the hostess’ reaction. You will know in an instant if she is or is not a mother herself.

The non-mother will look at you with pity in her eyes. She will wonder if you’ve recently split with your husband or have been fired from a job. Did your mother die? Your best friend get diagnosed with cancer? What has a grown woman done to be eating alone on a Saturday night? Poor, poor you.

She will make small talk as she escorts you to a discreet location in the back, by the restrooms. She’ll ask the waitress to be extra nice to you. You deserve it, after all. You’re dining all alone on a Saturday night.

But, if the hostess is herself a mother, your request will be met with pure envy. A meal with no children’s menus, no bickering and no meltdowns over the wrong mac and cheese. A meal of peace and quiet and good food and a drink. Alone. A meal with someone else doing the cooking and serving and cleaning. It’s almost too good to be true.

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Is it your birthday? Your anniversary? Did you just get a new job? Sign a book deal? Cure cancer? What has a grown woman done to be eating alone on a Saturday night? She’ll ask the waitress to be extra nice to you. You must deserve it, after all.

You’re dining all alone on a Saturday night.

About the writer


What started as an innocent on-line baby book to chronicle Jill Smokler’s stay-at-home days with her children, quickly transformed into a vibrant community of parents, brought together by a common theme: Parenting doesn’t have to be perfect. Welcome to Scary Mommy!


phoenixjenny 3 years ago

That sounds amazing. Now I just wish I could justify spending that much money on just me!!! Poor kids, don’t even get McD unless its someones birthday!

Ho hum. One day 😀 3 years ago

I love it! I sometimes laugh when I see non-mothers evaluating my ponytailed-hair, unwaxed eyebrows, old sweatshirt and scruffy boots; they (those women) have a slight air of superiority. I used to be one of those women.
If only they knew that what I have is a million, zillion times more important and rewarding. :) Hmm, I’m sensing a good idea for a post. Thanks!

Muddy Monkeys 3 years ago

Oh sounds like pure heaven. To sit without scarfing your food to get out if the restaurant before the kids start throwing spaghetti!

Kelly @ In the Mom Light 3 years ago

What is this “dining” word you use? Not familiar….

Susan 3 years ago

I hate to be the bitch here, but my heart isn’t exactly bleeding for you. You managed to get through one night of someone (I fully doubt) “pitying” you. Imagine being a woman who decided not to have children and the looks I get DAILY, like I’m some kind of freak. After reading all of the posts here, from what seems like a bunch of women not loving motherhood or its demands, perhaps you could consider how you guys treat women who don’t have kids. Just sayin’.

    Stefanie 3 years ago

    I have not read a single post from a woman not loving motherhood. And I seriously do not see how you the writer was asking for pity. Odd how you came to a sight for geared towards mothers saying that they do not ‘love’ it and that the author was asking for pity while at the same time as slamming everyone demand it for yourself. Grow up darlin. And I have no doubt you eat alone A LOT, who would want to dine with someone so sour?

Amy @mommetime 3 years ago

glorious indeed!

Jenn 3 years ago

What is this “dining alone” thing of which you speak? In what country, what magical land does this happen?? 😉

Unforgiven 3 years ago

Does this apply to movie theaters alone too? 😀

Georgia mom 77 3 years ago

I went to the movies today by myself. 7 years ago I wouldve been mortified to go by myself, today was pure joy. It was GLORIOUS!

Jennifer Jones 5 years ago

Dinner alone is a heavenly treat! I also will occasionally get a pass to stay at a hotel for a night, and when I inform others of this, I can easily tell the moms from the non-moms as well. Mom reaction: envy. Non-mom: quizzical stares, as if to say “why would she want to do that?!?”

Zoey @ Good Goog 5 years ago

I daydream about dining alone.

Erin I’m Gonna Kill Him 5 years ago

They always try to offer you a magazine as though you’re sad to be on your own. I revel in the quiet. And I don’t share one bite on my plate.

Katy 5 years ago

Oh I love this. I treasure the times when I can just go out by myself and get waited on for a change!

Necole 5 years ago

I have not eaten alone, gone to the bathroom by myself, or gone to the doctor by myself in 8 years.

JennyBean 5 years ago

That sounds plain decadent.

amber 5 years ago

That. Sounds. Lovely. I have a day off on Friday. A day off when daycare is open. Should I keep my daughter home and have a great day with her? Yes. Am I dropping her off at daycare and going shopping instead? Hell yes.

Leslie 5 years ago

It’s ALWAYS the wrong mac and cheese! I have told my boys they’re not allowed to order mac and cheese at a restaurant EVER again. EVERY time they have in the past, it’s the wrong kind and they don’t like it and won’t eat it. So very, very true.

cam-bibs and baubles 5 years ago

HA! So true! I have no idea what that would be like… alone, really? Where does that happen?

Torkona 5 years ago

hehehe well said.

My wife and I are expecting our firstborn any day now.. I already dread not being able to go out! but.. looking forward to other things, of course 😉

– tork
Aussie Dad blogger

Lauralee Hensley 5 years ago

If only a table for one,
then I could have mommy sanity for more than a few minutes before the rising of the sun.

Stephanie 5 years ago

I totally relate to the “wrong mac and cheese” comment!

Victoria KP 5 years ago

So very true! Dining alone sounds like pure fantasy to me!

Lori 5 years ago

I used to take myself to dinner once in a while when I was a single gal in New Orleans. The looks of pity were pitiful back then. Had to do it a couple of times on work assignments. I certainly appreciated it more as I got older.

Rima 5 years ago

Oh, so very true. And to think I used to be embarrassed about going to see a movie by myself.

Theresa 5 years ago

I got out all by myself last weekend. It was pure joy. I waxed things, tried things on without worrying about having someone smear rice-cake dust on it, I went into 12 different stores, and ate sushi without wiping soy sauce off someone’s chin or my boob.

I watched with secret smirkiness as other mom’s shopped with their whining and crying broods. Am I a bitch! Yes! And proud of it.

Rock on Moms! Take some time for yourself.

Dinner by myself on a Saturday night sounds like heaven.

Ally 5 years ago

That’s so good! And sounds a bit enticing….

Roxanne 5 years ago

I used to dine alone on occasion. I used to go to listen to music by myself. I think I lost the confidence and practical ability to do it when my marriage ended, but I’m inspired to start doing it again. Food for thought — alone.

Eve @Beautiful Spit Up 5 years ago

You hit this post right on the money sister! Oh I’d love a chance to eat alone!!
…a chance to eat my food in peace without a tiny hand reaching at my plate every few minutes.
…a chance to drink out of a glass instead of a plastic tumbler that a toddler can’t break.
…a chance to eat my food at the rate of a normal person and not a starving mama trying to eat as quickly as possible before there’s a meltdown at the table. (and by meltdown I mean me crying my eyes out because I’m starving and I had to stop eating to feed the toddler sitting to my left.)

shafeena 5 years ago

This is so true ! I went on a one night trip to delhi without my 2 year old, and i forgot how easy it was to travel without worriying about throwing-up or crankiness, or feeding bottles. or even how it felt to watch a whole movie in-flight :) it peace :) for a night…

Jennifer 5 years ago

A chance for my brain to relax? Sign me up.

Christi 5 years ago

Absolutely true. Same with going out to a movie alone. I would LOVE to go the theater by myself, have my very own bucket of popcorn, my very own extra-large Diet Coke, and sit wherever I choose. And it would be raunchy, and dirty, and full of foul language and sex. And there would be no animation, no annoyingly cute animals, and no relentlessly catchy corny songs.

Frannie 5 years ago

Try going to the movies alone…the principle applies here too.

There’s no…i gotta wee, what are they saying?, can we go now?, i spilled my popcorn…

Cindy S 5 years ago

The last Saturday night I spent alone was the Saturday night after my first son was born. Big Brother was born late on a Friday. Husband stayed with me in the hospital that night. You know, after my 17 hours of labor (BACK labor) which ultimately resulted in a c-section.

Husband went home for the night on Saturday.

Because HE was so exhausted.


Dolli-Mama 5 years ago

Oh, to eat alone. Oh to do ANYTHING alone.
It’s so true.
Although, most of the hostesses I encounter are 17 y/o girls with nothing better to do than twirl their hair and get paid minimum wage to chat it up with their waitress friends. So they all look at me with pitty, or distaine, or annoyance.

Skinny Mom’s Kitchen 5 years ago

The sound of eating dinner ALONE in a restaurant (preferably one with NO kids menu) sounds heavenly!

ChiMomWriter 5 years ago

I did that a couple of weeks ago, and it was bliss. I stayed there until I was sure the kids really were asleep, and then came home. I’ve also begged my hairdresser to let us just “not talk” at one of our haircuts because I needed peace so much!

Great post.

Lynn from For Love or Funny 5 years ago

I never though of this that way, and you couldn’t be more right. When I wasn’t a mother, the thought of dining alone sounded so unappetizing…now, I LONG to eat all by myself!

From Belgium 5 years ago

So dreams can come true…

Mommy’s Paradise 5 years ago

I can only agree with this, oh so much would I like to eat in the company of myself in a nice restaurant. Haven’t had that in a decade (I’m kidding), not for many years. But I just had the first mini vaca (only 1 1/2 days) with myself and need desperately more of them.

SCAREDMOM 5 years ago

I would give both arms and legs to be able to have a dinner alone. Will even suck it through a straw. But its true non-mothers dont understand the freedom that comes with going out and eating alone.

Pip 5 years ago

That made me chuckle, i’m now sat here day dreaming of sitting at high chair free table with no plastic cultery ,crockery and wet wipes next to me, no sneaky hands grabbing everything off the table and throwing it on the floor including their own dinner then having a tantrum and no ‘it’s mine mommy’ as i have food stolen off my plate and a complaining partner! Dinner alone sounds like heaven!

Jessica 5 years ago

A meal alone does sound like a dream come true. Especially when someone else is cooking and cleaning.

Stasha 5 years ago

Very true. I used to dine alone when I was single all the time and took it for granted. Now it is the most special treat. Flipping a magazine while eating something YOU want. And has been delivered to you. Next time, I’ll drop a hint I am a mom, just in case I get a male maitre d. In 2014 I guess…

Matty 5 years ago

Moms don’t get near enough time to themselves. So, if you can go out to dinner by yourself, on a weekend no less, more power to you. And it sounds like no matter what the marital status is of your hostess, you still get a recommendation for the royal treatment, so you win either way.

Mairin 5 years ago

I don’t even remember the last time that I ate alone in a restaurant, but once a few weeks ago, my husband and I went out to a casual brunch by ourselves. The brunch place was not fancy, but if you saw us there, so giddy and happy, you would have thought that we were at the Ritz! It really WAS a big deal for us…

Sarah 5 years ago

Oh my god. I have a new sexy fantasy – dinner, alone. Oooooh…

Not Winning Mom of the Year 5 years ago

I’m jealous. Love ya Scary Mommy, but really jealous.

Bohemian Hijabi 5 years ago

I can’t even imagine what it is like to eat dinner at home without an argument erupting over someone farting at the table, someone being slapped with a hot dog, grape juice spilled on my beige carpet (why the hell does a person with kids have beige carpet?) or without having to rush through my own meal to keep the peace between everyone else. You have no idea how jealous I am right now.

abnormalmommy 5 years ago

I would settle for a hot meal without distractions or screaming…..ok, I guess that means one in a resturant, alone!

Kerry 5 years ago

Alone? What does that word mean again? I am stepmom to 11 children, ages 23 to 4 and I also have my own 2 1/2 year old firecracker of a daughter. I can’t remember what being alone feels like. I think you just reinvigorated my fantasy-life! Thanks! Great post!

    Stefanie 3 years ago

    11? Oh honey…..

Keli Pittman 5 years ago

Ha! Love it. My husband was out of town for a week a 2 months ago. My MIL kept the kids and I met him for a 2 day vacay. I spent the days my myself exploring. I went to lunch one day by myself. It was the BEST time ever! The best food (i was able to taste it hot and not have to referee the kids). I sat there for an entire hour. BEST MEAL OF MY LIFE!

Lynn MacDonald (All Fooked Up) 5 years ago

Never really looked at it like that! Of course, if I was without my kids I probably wouldn’t go out alone…I’d sit in my house and enjoy my solitude.

However, my kids are grown now so I actually only see them if I meet them at a restaurant!

millie C 5 years ago

Loved the article and it is soooo true!

Carla (@chickmae) 5 years ago

Hmmm. Dinner by myself. Something I have never considered. I will consider it now! Having Japanese food and no one to complain they don’t like the food. Oh the endless possibilities! This IS the best post ever!

Knotty Daughters 5 years ago


Melissa E. 5 years ago

Getting to eat without having someone steal food from your plate, throw french fries, and spill his drink? That sounds like heaven to me!

Memoirs of a Single Dad 5 years ago

OMG I’ve seen this too! I actually used to enjoy going out to eat myself every now and again and I would get those very same looks. I started preferring to sit at the bar. At least then I could fake like I was meeting someone at least for a while.

Theta Mom 5 years ago

This is the BEST post.

Amanda 5 years ago

Best weekend ever was when my husband was deployed. I dropped my son off with the in laws, and headed down to where my husband’s unit was located for the family briefings for homecoming. I stayed in a hotel and ate out alone for the entire weekend. It felt awkward at first, but by the 2nd day, it was awesome. It was only the 2nd time I truly had a break since I had kids.

ASimpleMother 5 years ago

Laughed as I read this, thinking, “Yes, yes this is so true.” Great post!

tracy 5 years ago

Going out with other mom’s for a girls night on Saturday night sans kids = even better.

Love this. Hope that means you had a meal alone?

OT-Mom 5 years ago

Hilarious! I like to go to the movies alone too. Three hours of uninterrupted bliss.

Nicole 5 years ago

LOL! That is so true! I would think that she was lucky to have a meal to herself, especially since I can barely go to the bathroom without someone little person calling my name :)

Alicia 5 years ago

Great post! I am 7 mos pregoos with my first and I CAN NOT wait for this little bundle of joy!! I will keep in mind though that I might enjoy a Sat night dinner. Alone.

Jen 5 years ago

I LOVE taking myself out to lunch or dinner.

Grace {formerly gracie} 5 years ago

Ha! A few weeks ago, someone was telling me about endurance marathon where you dropped off in a secluded location and have 30 hours to make it back to civilization. I hate running, but that sounded like an attractive proposition. Where do I sign up?

vanillasugarblog 5 years ago

so true! was she nice to you? better be. or i’ll kick her ass!

Amanda 5 years ago

The last thing I said to one of my boys was that he would not die if he had to wait until I finished eating my own dinner for his dessert. Dinner by myself sounds heavenly. Maybe I could put the boys on mute for a while?

Gigi 5 years ago

The thought of going out to eat by myself used to scare me to bits. But I’m learning the joy of eating by myself. With no demands. No forced conversation. Now? Some days it is totally the best hour of my day.

Crystal 5 years ago

LOVE this one! I’ve even started reading your blogs to my mom!

KalleyC 5 years ago

This sounds like a dream come true. A Saturday night out with mo kids, dishes, and fights. Something to look forward to, I now have my eyes on a prize.

JourneyBeyondSurvival 5 years ago

I would seriously kill maim for a meal alone. My husband travels a lot too, like Ellie. I love to slip into a tiny booth for two, prop my feet up and slouch down into my book and dessert.

After mothering beautifully obnoxious children, who cares who is looking or what people think. People? What people?

myevil3yearold 5 years ago

I deserve one and I am getting dessert too and eating it all by myself!

Alison 5 years ago

I can’t even remember Saturday nights alone, never mind dining out alone. Still, a great thing to work towards to. I hope you had your Saturday night out alone!

Loretta 5 years ago

Dinner and a drink ALONE sounds quite wonderful indeed!

Mommyfriend 5 years ago

If only. Sigh. Just me and my food? Heaven.

Misfit Mommy @ The Island of Misfit Moms 5 years ago

I swear, you just described my FANTASY! It used to involve Benecio delToro and a trapeze, but now, dinner alone sounds HEAVENLY!

Ellie 5 years ago

So true. My husband travels a lot and I used to need a break so I would hire a babysitter and go out to dinner myself. I would sit at the bar, grab a drink, read my book or start up a conversation with the bartender or the person next to me, also dining alone. At first, it felt weird to be alone and yes, people did look at me in a funny way. I feel like they looked at my finger first and thought, “oh, it’s okay…she’s married”, but if I hadn’t had a ring, they would feel pity that I was alone. It was so nice to be out, get dressed up, have a good meal that I didn’t have to cook or clean, and enjoy my night out, husband or not.

Kat 5 years ago

So true, we fellow mothers can sense each other. We’re slightly envious when we see a mom escaping…..I mean getting out on her own but we’re also the first to applaud

The Mommy in Law 5 years ago

I’m still waiting to hear how you managed a Saturday night out alone.

christy 5 years ago

So, so, so true. Man, I now want to go out to dinner by myself next Saturday…but already have plans…one day soon! I hereby promise myself!!!

Pattie 5 years ago

SO freaking true!! Love it!


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