If it is just another Tuesday evening on the couch or I had grand plans but my childcare has fallen through, it might be the perfect recipe for a Moms’ Night In. Although the small people will be asleep in their cribs, apparently my presence at home is required. So, I like to invite the party to come to me just as soon as I hear rhythmic breathing over the baby monitor. It’s nighttime socializing, with no babysitter required!
Mom’s Night In: It helps to have a theme
Some of my friends are amazing enough to come over just because I asked them to, but I find if I’m adding a little “reason” for the gathering, it just seems more festive. If I’ve lured them away from their own homes, I can make up for their trouble by being worth it. Or trying.
Will we play board games? Might we add to my list of 50 things I like to do or pluck a few suggestions from there? Maybe we’ll make a batch of cookie dough and then eat it raw (See how fun we are?). The easiest theme is gathering around the TV.
Television worth traveling for? (AKA Appointment TV)
Pick a weekly show, preferably a guilty pleasure, and invite your childfree girlfriends or moms with the evening off (this also works for couple-friends) to join you on a regular basis. Make sure your TV is set to record the show in case you have to duck out during a juicy part to take care of a fussy baby.
I like to set the bar high at my inaugural TV night by providing food, dessert, and a game to go along with the show (think trivia, drinking games, drawing contest) to ensure my friends will want to come back next week. But, maybe all you need is microwave popcorn and a bottle of wine.
The first rule of Mom’s Night In: Do not clean your house for your mom friends.
If I’m afraid that I will die of embarrassment, I may rearrange the piles of clutter and laundry ever so slightly away from the couch. Empty laundry baskets work great for this job. When my friends arrive, I may show them these piles if they marvel too loudly that my house is amazing. I’m weird this way. My real world confession will magically set the tone for the evening. I am so down-to-earth and real as a hostess that everyone can be themselves. Cheers!
Second rule: Ask everyone to bring a little something.
If I ask one friend to pick up the wine and another the dessert, the load is managed pretty evenly. I’m also not afraid to leverage a home-delivery service to bring in the snacks or dinner.