9 Ways Girls' Night Out Changes After Kids

by Christine Burke
Originally Published: 
after kids

I’m not going to lie: I enjoyed the hell out of my college days. My college roommates and I made quite a few memories in the bars near our campus, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t dance on a bar or two. Or six.

We’d spend the evenings primping and listening to ABBA as we got ready for our big night on the town. We’d share clothes, conspire with each other about the guys we hoped to run into, and when the clock struck 10 p.m., we’d head out the door in a cloud of perfume and hairspray.

We would party and dance until the wee hours of the morning, returning to our dorm rooms bleary-eyed, slightly buzzed, and laughing at the craziness that had unfolded during our night out.

Oddly, no matter how late we stayed out and no matter how many beers we downed, no one seemed to be worse for wear in the morning. Or, at the very least, it was nothing that some greasy eggs and bacon in a dive diner couldn’t cure.

Ah, those were the days! And if I’m doing my math correctly, those days were about 20 years ago. Sigh.

My, how times have changed. Besides the fact that I’m in bed by 10 p.m. these days, my hot college body has morphed into a soft, marshmallowy existence. I’m fairly certain Ladies’ Night no longer applies to me.

I am fortunate, though, that I am still in touch with my college roommates and that once in a while, we are able to recreate the days of yore with a precious night out on the town. But it’s not easy to get the four of us together because we now have four husbands and twelve children between us, not to mention full-time jobs, carpools, and school activities to manage.

It pretty much takes an Act of Congress for us to all be in the same room as each other, and we recently found out that things have changed a bit since we graced the dance floor of our favorite bar.

We stuck out like sore thumbs, I tell you, in our jazzy Kohl’s brand tops, standard-issue skinny jeans, and boots. I have to admit, it was pretty eye-opening to realize that the beers I used to buy for $1.50 now set me back a whole Hamilton. And when did bars get so damned loud? I mean, we could barely catch up and share pictures of our kids on our phones. Sheesh. Hipsters today, man.

While we were out, there were other things we noticed that had changed since we were the young ‘uns in the bar. Lucky for you, I’m happy to report my findings so that you won’t be surprised the next time the stars align for you and your college buddies to get together and toast the good old days.

1. Be warned: Every girl at the bar is 12.

Or at least, they look 12: unblemished skin, perfectly white teeth, and short dresses showing off their perfectly toned thighs. And when did heels get so death-defyingly high? I’ll stick with my flats, thank you very much. #ICouldBeYourMom #WaitIAm

2. Two words: Hipster beards.

I don’t get it either. Just go with it. #Lumbersexual

3. Forget hailing a cab.

No, these days you have to use an app on your phone that you can’t even see because it’s too damned dark in the bar. Seriously, why don’t they turn up the frigging lights? #IJustWantToGoHomeNow #BringBackTheYellowCab

4. You won’t recognize a single song the DJ plays.

Also, he will give you a “DAFUQ?” face when you ask if he can play ABBA’s “Dancing Queen.” Not that I asked… #BornInThe70s #FeelTheBeatFromTheTambourine

5. Selfies are a thing.

And you get bonus points for making a duckface with your lips and bonus points for hot cleavage. Unfortunately, I wind up looking like Donald Duck, and frankly, no one needs to see my deflated not-so-fun bags. #Cringeworthy #JustSayNoToDuckface

6. You can no longer just hang in a bar with your gal pals and take the memory of your friend doing a tequila shot with a gummy worm chaser home with you.

Nowadays you have to check in on Facebook, tweet the DJ, Instagram a selfie on the dance floor, and snap videos to your friends. I stand firm in my thankfulness that Facebook didn’t exist when I was 20. #ExhaustedMom #IDontKnowHowToSnapchat

7. Back in the 1990s, everyone hid behind a cigarette.

Now they hide behind their phones, and the few who still smoke have to do so down the street and around the corner. #TheMoreYouKnow #SecondhandSmokeKills

8. Fair warning: The bartender is no longer hoping he’ll go home with you.


9. “What time does the bar close?” used to mean “I’m here until last call, baby!”

Now it means “Just exactly how much longer do I have to stand here listening to pulsating music before I can go home and put on my yoga pants?” #LululemonOrBust

I think it’s safe to say that my glory days are long over, and frankly, I’m OK with that. I’m more comfortable in my skin, and I give zero fucks if my heels aren’t sexy and sky-high. My insecure, financially challenged college self has grown into a badass woman with a little money in her pocket. I may not have taut skin, but I don’t need to worry about a guy buying me drinks anymore.

Honestly, if I never again see the inside of a dive bar bathroom as I hold a friend’s hair while she vomits, I’m fine with that too.

Because let’s face it: The hangovers are just not worth it these days. #ImTooOldForThisShit

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