Mom’s Night Out – are we doing it wrong?

When our babies were about 8 months old, my mom’s group (10 women with babies born in October 04) began having a monthly Mom’s Night Out. At least 8 of us attended the first few and it was super fun. Attendance began to dwindle, although we keep our monthly date, and at least a few people have gone out each month for almost three years now. We usually go to dinner and stay for two hours.

Then, people began having second babies, other commitments, working late, and having late-working husbands. Meeting at 7.45 became our standard. That’s when most people could arrive, whether they had to put the new baby to bed, wait for their partners to get home from exercise class, or something else. I started to get frustrated. I found myself being the die-hard MNO advocate (I went out with the moms seven days after giving birth to #2. Of course, #2 came with us…), but I am fearing that we’re doing it wrong.

My personal situation is that if I don’t have to go out until 7.45, then I am available to feed my kids and get them ready for bed, and even be a little helpful with my husband’s dinner. This, I find, does not feel like a night off. (Maybe I misunderstood and the idea is not a night off, simply a night out?) It feels like a very regular night and then when Julian is having his books read by Daddy, I go and say “Good night, I’m going out.” I think I’m missing out on about 10 minutes of child time. Scarlett has already been asleep for 30 minutes.

Just this week, I started up a MNO with my preschool moms. As much as I hate to do it, I suggested 8 pm as the meeting time, because I would rather have high attendance at a later hour than low attendance earlier. From experience, it seems like 7 pm is just unrealistic for so many people. There are not capital letters large enough to express how much I would prefer to eat dinner AT 7 PM THAN 8 PM! Hmph.

Internets, do you go for MNOs with friends? What are the schedules? What are the excuses??!!