If there’s one thing I particularly miss about my pre-kids life, it’s the nights out with my girlfriends spent at concerts, dancing our butts off until the early morning sun peeked out to say hello as we headed home to bed. These days, when I’m up that early, it’s because one of the tiny people in my house decided that 5AM was a totally appropriate time to wake up and ask if I want to play checkers. (True story. Sigh.)
That being said, being a mom doesn’t mean wistfully bidding farewell to nights out, it just means being stealth and strategic with your planning. So I gathered a couple of my best mom friends and hit up Lady Gaga’s recent LA show to figure out firsthand how to execute a successful Moms Night Out. Read on for some tips, tricks, and the occasional cheesy Lady Gaga pun.
1: Pick A Show You’re Dying To See
For many moms, it’s a challenge to find time to leave your job and/or kids on a random evening, and go hit the town until the wee hours of the night. Sure, I enjoy myself when I’m out, but I’m also mentally calculating what time I’ll get home, how long it will take me to make lunches for the next day, and what time I’ll eventually be able to stumble into bed. If you’re planning a Moms Night Out, make sure it’s something you’re going to able to enjoy so fully that you won’t get distracted by the To Do List in your head. I like a lot of bands, but the list of musicians I’m willing to actually leave the comfort of my couch for is much shorter. I knew Lady Gaga would put on a mind-blowing show packed with hit songs, cuts off her new album that I’d never heard live, and big, bold dance and production numbers. I. Was. In.
2: Assemble Your Momtourage
Who’s in your crew is up to you. Just make sure they’re friends you can dance next to without fear of them making fun of your moves. Leave the drama mamas at home, and pick friends who won’t make the evening about anything but a good time. The Little Mom-sters (remember what I said about bad puns?) who attended Gaga with me were women I knew I could count on to bring the fun, but also not mind that I wanted to hightail out of the concert right when it ended to try to get home as early as possible.
3: Dress To Impress
My friend S arrived at my house to head out to the show in a cute romper and boots, and immediately gave my outfit a once over. “You look like you’re about to go for a jog,” she said in a gentle but firm tone. “You need to go change.” Truth be told, I was in casual shorts, a ratty tank top, and my running shoes — an outfit perfect for an evening power walk, but maybe not quite right for throwing down in the House of Gaga. I upgraded to a jumper and slip-on sneakers: still comfy, but definitely cooler. When we got to the show, we were met with endless pink cowboy hats inspired by the cover of her album, Joanne. Two men behind us were in custom made pastel suits with light up hats. Cat ears and giant hair bows abounded. The mood was festive and celebratory and full of edgy, cool fashion. I regretted not doing my outfit up more and having fun with my look. Sure, comfort is key. But know your outing: Gaga deserved my best, and I’ll admit to letting her down on the fashion front. Luckily the rest of the crowd BROUGHT IT.
4: Leave Early And Enjoy Your Night
Like I said, nights out are a bit more rare these days. So stretch the evening out as much as possible. Grab dinner, get a drink, or just get to the show super early so you can find your seats and get the lay of the land. We ended up arriving at the concert at 6:30, making it to our seats around 7PM. We grabbed drinks and settled in for the night, but Lady Gaga didn’t go on until 9PM! Definitely search Twitter and the web to find out if there’s an opening act and what time the main act hits the stage — if we’d realized she was going to start late we’d probably stopped for dinner, or enjoyed one of the outdoor bars at the Forum.
Step 5: Just Dance
Enough said, right? Gaga went full force for over two hours, with some of the coolest stage moves I’ve ever seen live. (Bridges that flew overhead and connected her to numerous stages placed all over the floor!) You have limited time at any show, so don’t hold back: let your mom moves out.
I also searched for the tour’s setlist online so I’d be as up on every tune as possible. I made sure I had Gaga’s catalog memorized (thanks to the help of Spotify), so there wouldn’t be a single song that left me saying, “Wait, what is this?”
Step 6: Prepare For The Morning After
I got home sometime around 12:30AM, landed in bed at 1, and was shaken awake at 2:30 by a kid freaked out by a bad dream. She weaseled her way into our bed, kicked me all night with her long 6-year-old legs until my alarm blasted me awake a mere 4 hours later. Needless to say, I was a mess the day after our Gaga outing. My husband covered all the morning stuff I normally do, and I was able to sneak in a few more minutes of sleep. But definitely know that they day after a late night might be totally miserable. Make sure you’re schedule is fairly cleared, if you can help it: no deadlines, big meetings, or stressful playdates. Just you, a big ol’ cup of coffee and and head-full of memories from the night before.
Kate, the Minimaster Mom, lives and works in Southern California with her husband and daughters, ages 6 and 4. They never yell, watch TV, or eat sugar.