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Kirsty McCabe: "How to talk about anything other than your children"

Our weekly columnist suggests topics of conversation for a night out without the kids - could you last an evening without talking about your brood?




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Exercise The friends that gossip together, stay together...

Once a week I get hot and sweaty with a bunch of other mums as we attempt to regain our pre-baby bodies in the aptly named Body Back exercise class.

This exercise class is like no other. For a start you can bring your baby with you, a definite plus to a new mum who doesn't want to hand her precious bundle over to someone else. Second-time mums, in contrast, are very willing for somebody (anybody?) to look after their offspring for an hour or two.

The main attraction of this class is not that babies are welcome or even the actual exercise. It's the chat. There's something about being with other mums at similar stages that means no topic is off limit. We have very frank discussions about everything, from our bodies to kids to husbands, but don't worry ladies, what happens in the studio, stays in the studio.

This week we decided to celebrate our hard work and meet up in more social surroundings. In other words we exchanged the exercise studio for a restaurant and swapped water bottles for booze. I even made a bit of an effort and got my nails and hair done by the lovely Michaela. The girls would barely recognise me from my usual make-up free gym self.

Have you got any tips for keeping conversation child-free when you are out and about without them? Let us know by joining in our forum discussion...

Once the kids were in bed I was all set to hit the town, except I started to wonder what we would talk about? We'd agreed that this evening we would try to not talk about children. In theory this is a great idea. In reality I was a bit panicky. Being mums is what we have in common. What on earth will we talk about now kids are off the menu?

Back in the pre-baby era I'm pretty sure I moaned about parents who couldn't talk about anything other than their offspring. I'm also sure I took part in lots of conversations about many different subjects over the years. I racked my baby-addled brain and came up with a (short) list of things to talk about that don't involve children.

1. The Weather – this is a British classic and a particular area of expertise for me. Though my husband tells me I can get a bit carried away on this one and go into too much detail.

2. Holidays – inspired my trip to the hairdresser, holiday chat is usually safe stomping ground. As long as we don't drift onto child-friendly destinations.

3. Relationships – always good fodder and great to find out how other family dynamics work, especially that of the in-laws!

4. Work stuff - Yes it is a little bit child-related, but as most of us have recently returned to work it's nice to compare notes on how it's going. General consensus is that childcare is far too expensive and that the work place doesn't appreciate how efficient working mums are.

5. Girlie things – Clothes, hair, nails, shoes and so on... I can hold my ground on these things, although I'm far from fashionable and tend to buy clothes that don't show the (kids') dirt and definitely not hand wash only!

So, how did it go? Well we did drift onto kids now and again but overall it was a fairly grown up, if slightly tiddly, night out. I'd tell you more, but what happens in the Tapas and Sherry Bar stays in the Tapas and Sherry Bar. I did discover that far too many local bars close at 11pm on a Wednesday night just when we were seeking one more for the road. But the best thing – no gym class the morning after and the kids were at nursery. Hangover heaven.

Kirsty McCabe writes her weekly column here on www.juniormagazine.co.uk. Follow us on Twitter: @juniormagazine and watch out for the hashtag #somethingfortheweekend every Friday to join in with the conversation

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