cat with glasses

Am I still a cool cat?

It’s Friday night and Frenchie Mummy is well excited. Tonight she is going out with her colleagues from work. First proper night out on her own, meaning that Grumpy Boyfriend will be looking after Baba while Maman is playing hard. Yes, it’s party time: she will have some food and maybe a drink afterwards if she feels very daring. Quelle aventure!

So Maman makes herself nice: no leggings and flat pumps tonight. She gets this (a bit tarty?) dress out of her wardrobe and allows herself a bit too much mascara and her strongest fragrance. Grumpy Boyfriend drops her because she can’t really walk in her high heels. She is not used to wearing that kind of shoes anymore. She even finds them uncomfortable, to be honest… But they cost her a little fortune in the sales, so she will deal with it!

Cinderella is out!

She feels like a little girl in a candy shop. She wants to see everyone and get to know the latest gossips from school. The end of school year meal is always fun. The other teachers are usually relaxed as the stress of the exams is gone and Summer Holidays are close. Plus the Head of the Department is leaving to start working in a new school in September. He will definitely buy some drinks to the team.

Frenchie Mummy arrives at the hype restaurant booked for the occasion. Horreur, she is the first to arrive! She was so happy to go out that she is a bit early. She doesn’t like being early. It doesn’t seem cool enough. So she turns around and goes to the bank instead. ‘Aie! Those shoes are evil!’ She walks back to the restaurant after having taken some money.

This time, some people have arrived and she sits down with them. The evening gets started and everyone is in a good mood. Frenchie Mummy is very happy. She drinks up avec bonheur many glasses of Prosecco. The food is delicious, the conversation is going well. All good, right?

Oui mais voilà, Frenchie Mummy is disappointed. Nobody asks her about her (so fantastic!) blog. Nobody is curious to know everything about Baba either. To make it worse, she feels completely out of the bubble. ‘This one is going to get married’. ‘A is leaving the school because he applied for a better job, better paid’. ‘B is going to be the new head of year 8 from September’. And other gossips the rest of the team is catching up with. I am sitting there, sipping my Prosseco and all I manage to say is ‘What? How? When? Why?’ There are even some conversations that I am totally lost with.

My buddy who I normally have fun with is not there either, so I start feeling lonely. I don’t think the team does it on purpose to make me feel apart. It’s just a fact: I am not part of the cool cats anymore. Now, I am just a mummy at home who only worries are to make sure Baba has done enough poop on the day and is daily washed…

The cool cats: c’est moi!

They talk about exams, new members of staff, new lessons they incorporate in the scheme of work and I am there thinking that I miss my baby…What happened to me? I used to be a member well loved. I mean, they still love me of course, but it’s not the same. I can’t even interact with them. If they talk about the bulletin from last week, I just nod and sip more Prosseco. What else to do? Brilliant, now I am going to get drunk as well…

Prosseco time 🍷🎆

I better stop. I feel out of touch, a bit lost and suddenly, I feel a bit nostalgic. It used to be me, a French teacher running around, trying to do it all. Making sure that I would prepare the best lessons ever. Having some fun lessons with my form. Meeting parents and learning to know their family over the years. A different life from now

5 minutes later and all of sudden, I realise that Grumpy Boyfriend tried to call me twice. Anxious, imagining the worst (He can’t find a nappy and a lot of poo is all over the sofa? Baba fell on the floor? He misses me? Not, this one is very unlikely… He killed Baba?), I run outside as it’s too noisy and call him back. Once, twice, three times. No answer. So nothing on his mobile and every time I call our landline number, I reach the voicemail. Oh my god, first time ever I leave him alone with le bébé and he killed him. He is not at home. He must be on the way to the emergencies now!!!! I knew I should not have gone out

Eventually, after 10 minutes, I reach him. Imagine, a hysterical woman, dressed like a tart, screaming on the phone, blaspheming in French. That’s me. Yeah, the perfect picture…

I don’t look like that!

‘Where have you been?! I called you like 20 times?!!!’ He was on the phone with Belle- Maman. She called him. Fantastic! Now my mother-in-law is probably thinking that I am the worst mum on earth, abandoning my baby to go out and party on a Friday night. I can even hear Baba crying in the background. Merveilleux… Best night ever. Not only I feel out of the loop with my colleagues, but now I also feel like the most selfish woman to have deserted my son…

I double-check mes hommes are both fine. ‘Do you want me to go home? I can catch a cab in 5 minutes.’ Grumpy Boyfriend reassures me that Baba is now falling asleep. It’s hot and I am not here to put him to bed like I normally do. Le pauvre petit must have been quite distressed. But it’s all good now. So I join the others back inside. I must admit that I am not into it. Secretly, I am even hoping that Grumpy Boyfriend calls me back and begs me to rush home as he can’t handle the baby…

The night continues and the others convince me to join them to the pub for one last drink. They are certain that Grumpy Boyfriend can handle the situation. For sure, he wouldn’t want to spoil my night out. Well, it’s already happened, to be honest. More drinks and diverse conversations, later on, I am eventually home before 11pm.

Exhausted, I rush to Baba’s bed to make sure he is fine. He sleeps like an angel. Grumpy Boyfriend did an amazing job. It’s just that I got worried for nothing. Happy to be home, I get rid of my tarty outfit and get showered.

The night out got me thinking. Of course, I loved seeing everyone and it was quite fun. But at the same time, I never felt so different from them. I am not one of them anymore. My life has changed. It makes me feel sad. I am even worried about January when I get back to work.

It will be all different. P, my boss won’t be there anymore. The person who is replacing him will be fabulous, no doubt. But it won’t be him anymore. Two other people would have left the team. I will get back to something different.

Et moi? Well, it will be massively different too. I will be back part-time. I know I am lucky to be able to do so and should not complain, but part of me fears it. I will have to manage it somehow. I will have to organise myself so that I do a good job as well as being a good maman for Baba. I am already scared of feeling guilty. You know, bringing some work back home on my days off and working when I should spend some time with him…

I go to bed, understanding how lucky I am to have a year off work. But sad as well, not to be totally part of the gang anymore… Just being on my own, not having the same worries and jobs as the others, as I used to do.

This night out was far from being a success: I felt lost, unable to really be part of it. And it makes me feel a bit angry, to be honest. I worked so hard to get where I am in the school and it feels like I will have to kind of start from scratch again. I am not sure I will have the desire or the energy to do so.

What about you? Did you go out with your colleagues while on maternity leave? How did you feel? And how was it to get back into it?

Frenchie Mummy, forever a cool cat of course!

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93 thoughts on “Am I still a cool cat?

  1. I went back to work 10 weeks after my eldest was born and had regular meetings with my team during that time so never felt I actually had a maternity leave to be honest. I can’t imagine being off for a year that is a long time to fall out of the loop so to speak but once you go back it will be just like getting back onto a bike. You will be fine. In the meantime keep going with making us all laugh. x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I know how you feel, it definitely feels odd going on nights out with work colleagues when you’re on maternity leave. I know I certainly felt out of the loop when I did. I’m just about to return to work after my second baby and although nervous I know that within a week or two I’ll feel completely at ease and ‘back in the loop,’ try not to worry, going back to work was far easier than the night out🙂 Thanks for linking to #bigpinklink x

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I remember when I first became a mom and how suddenly all those friends I once had were nowhere to be found. I had kids late in life so of course most of my friends were women who planned on never having kids. And suddenly I was a stranger. I have been a SAHM now for over 6 years…working part time here and there but mostly home with the kids and I am ready to get back into the work field. My youngest is 4 so I have one more year. I am glad you got a night out. It makes mommies better mommies and girlfriends/wives to have time to be who you were before this new chapter. Trust me. Thanks for linking up with #momsterslink and hope to see you tomorrow!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This sounds exactly like my first night away from A! I just couldn’t wait to get back to him and even though I could’ve stayed at a friends to get some sleep, I was desperate to get home to him and make sure everything was fine – I even happily endured the 5am wake-up with a hangover! Thanks for linking up to #MarvMondays. Kaye xo

    Liked by 1 person

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