‘Fancy a drink after work?’, yes lets go to a bar and get the last train home!
‘Stay for one more, just one?’, I’ll stay for 12 hun!
‘Wanna check out that new cocktail bar in town?’, I’ll be ready in 10, downing a bottle of Pinot to make up for lost time!
‘There’s been delays on our line, fancy sharing a bottle till it clears?’, is the Pope catholic?
That was my life in London from the age of 19 until 22, three drink fuelled years of working in London, Canary Wharf, London Bridge & Oxford Circus. I’ve always been lucky to work with fun like-minded people who like me, love an after work drink! Since having Frankie and returning to work in London, my life is no longer that way inclined. There are still after work drinks, but I rarely go, not from not wanting to but the guilt for only getting just about 45 minutes evening time with Frankie every night, so if I do choose to go I miss putting him to bed, nighttime stories and cuddles which is enough to make me feel horrendous all night.
It’s not that I necessarily WANT to wholeheartedly be that Bec again, I would choose Thomas & Friends films on repeat whilst sharing (arguing) sweeties under a blanket with Frankie over a booth in a club any day of the week, but sometimes when I do have to make my apologies that I can’t make an event or come back into the City for someones birthday drinks on a day that I don’t work because I can’t warrant paying an extra day travel fare on ‘after work drinks’, I do miss the Bec that wouldn’t miss out on anything, the Bec that would be ordering tequila rose shots & downing Zombies in happy hour to get sh*t faced before 8pm dawned.
Walking through The City on any given weekday the pubs and bars are full of after work drinkers, I used to LOVE after work drinks, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, come what may a wine after work never hurt nobody! Until you have a child, then that drink becomes guilt, that guilt makes you feel bad for spending £4.95 on a glass of Pinot Noir which you can’t actually enjoy because all your doing is clock watching the next train times to get home to your sprog knowing that you can’t just grab an uppercrust on your way home and roll in the door and sleep and pull yourself into work tomorrow, because you are a parent now, they need to get up with you, breakfast, get ready, taken to nursery/school etc. Hungover Mummy isn’t going to do well with a groggy head.
I do obviously enjoy myself when I am out, but when I am out, I have planned to be out. Frankie doesn’t expect me home, I am not expected to be home, I can relax, enjoy myself and drink to my hearts content. But the spontaneity of events, the thrill of finding a new bar with amazing cocktails in London has gone for me. 3 nights out of 5 I would be intoxicated on my way home, beings that one or five drinks, I had my fair share of after work drinking.
Train delays? What better excuse do you need to stay after work for a bottle with a mate? You can’t get home, no one else is going home DRINK! Except now I have Frankie I feel absolutely terrible enough for going to work in the first place, not being home at my usual time is enough to send me into a full scale of panic which often leads me onto packed carriages from other stations attempting to get nearer to my home station just so I can spend those precious 45 minutes before he goes to bed when I get in!
Sometimes I feel guilty for even feeling like I am missing out when I know how lucky I am to be a Mum and have Frankie, but other times I feel robbed that I had so little years enjoying City life and the majority of my friends are still doing so. Attending the launch nights of new bars, enjoying free drinks in jaunts for publicity and dancing their socks off at 8pm whilst I am standing over the ironing pile watching a box set.
It’s looking more so that when I am 40+ and Frankie and my future children are in their teens and twenties, they can pick me up from the train station when I roll in from a night of making up for lost time in the City! I’ll be ‘that woman’, the fun 40 something that’s seen it all, loves a Pinot and knows all the words to any ballad! She sounds great! (hopefully she’ll have that solid size 10 figure back by then too!)