I used to love happy hours. When I was 25 I was the ultimate party planner for after work happy hours — with an emphasis on the “s” in HOURS. I’d plan bar hopping extravaganzas with co-workers that included martinis and jazz music from 5-6, Mexican food and margs from 6-7:30, $2 Bud Light specials at some bar from 8-10, and dancing our faces off from 10 ‘till bar closing. Then we’d go to work the next day. (Smelling like a liquor cabinet, no doubt!)

That was my life pre-baby. Hell, that was my life before a freaking dog even, which are also like babies. Needy puppies can definitely kill your social life if the thought of them spending 8+ hours in a cage peeing on themselves tugs at your heart strings enough to skip happy hour. About the time that I got a puppy I had started a new job (my current job) and I was turning down happy hours left and right. I was so bummed that my new co-workers weren’t getting an accurate picture of the real me — the me that is AWESOME at happy hours, duh!

Fast forward a few years, tack on a baby and man, has my social life suffered! Well, I guess I should clarify; the social life that includes spontaneous happy hours just doesn’t exist anymore. Let’s look at this week for example; I’ve been invited to 3 happy hours and do I want to go? Sure. Am I going to go? Nope. Look, I see Annabelle for about 45 minutes in the morning before work, and about 2 hours and 45 minutes in the evening. If I go to happy hour and get home by 8:30 then baby girl is in bed, and I’ve missed out on pretty much my entire day with her. I guess I could choose one happy hour and look at it like what’s one day? But my favorite part of the day is getting home to see my Annie! Seriously, as the 4 o’clock hour arrives and I’m an hour away from peacing out of the office, it’s like this feeling of Christmas morning is approaching. I get so excited to see my girl, to hold her, to kiss her rosy cheeks, to smell her baby powdery scent — to hear her giggle! I just don’t want to miss any day with her.

I mean it does suck missing out on some valuable “team bonding” and co-worker relationship building at these outings, but what can I say, my priorities have changed.

I know I’m not bar hopping with co-workers, or hitting up the bars every weekend like I used to, but I do have a social life. I have my mommy play date friends, I have my friends without kids and we enjoy dinners or movies together. Sure, life isn’t a booze party these days, but it’s still super fun — it’s just a different brand of fun! And anyway, I’m all about drinking after work, but let’s just reconvene at 8:30 at mi casa when I’m in my sweatpants and baby is in bed. Wine is free and we can pig out on sour cream and onion chips until the bag is empty. Sounds amazing.

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