Columbus, Ohio skyline

My First Time: A Night Out in Columbus

*Record scratch* Get your mind out of the gutter. This isn’t about that kind of first time. I was invited to my friend’s “ends with a 5” birthday party and she wanted to do a night out in Columbus. A real night out. No kids and no need to drive home at the end of the night. My first overnight away from both kids in 3 years. The only time I’ve been away overnight in 4 years was to birth my second child.

One month ago, this event sounded amazing. One week ago, my anxiety started in and I didn’t want to go. 

Columbus, Ohio skyline

Columbus, Ohio skyline. Photo courtesy of Andrew at

Packing. Still Not my Forte.

As I packed too light for this overnight trip to Cincinnati, I overpacked for my overnight in Columbus. One evening needs a choice of 5 outfits, right? In my defense, now that I’m  a mom, I struggle with finding nice clothes in my closet that also fit. I don’t have a need to replenish the supply, since I choose to stay in the vast majority of the time.

At the last minute, I decided that I do want to look halfway decent.  My friend is using her birthday to give a gift to her mom friends. This night is really for me. It was time to dress up, have uninterrupted conversations with other adults, and enjoy a few hours away. So, I had to pack 5 outfits, of course!

And two pairs of shoes. So, you know how they say your feet grow when you’re pregnant? Apparently, “they” are on to something. One pair just wasn’t going to cut it and I was thankful I’d brought that additional pair along. My feet spoke highly of my thoughtfulness, even at the end of the night.

This is anxiety

“So, Stacey’s party is tonight,” I said to my husband.

“That’s right. Are you going?” He asked.

“I don’t know. I’m really anxious about it.”

“Why? Do you need me to tell you to go and not come back until tomorrow morning?”

“Yes, actually. That is exactly what I need you to do,” I said.

“Go! Have fun and don’t come back until tomorrow,” he said. We also discussed some of the worries I have the center around the kids. Folks, it really is helpful to talk about it with your partner. Sometimes, you have to tell them what you need to hear them say. I needed my husband to encourage me to go and also have fun. I do the same for him.

Columbus, Ohio has a Burlesque bar? Yes. Yes, it does.

Our group of 5 ladies dressed up in our hotel room, then hopped in a hotel shuttle to head downtown. Our plan was to hang out at Bossy Grrls Pinup Joint, a burlesque bar.

First of all, I didn’t know Columbus, Ohio had a burlesque bar! Second, the drinks were really well priced. I ordered a cocktail called the St. Collette and because of my celiac, I requested Ciroc vodka. They said there was an upcharge for that, but it was apparently not that much!

Let me say here that I know a wheat derived alcohol like vodka should not affect me. However, the last time I had a half shot of a wheat derived vodka, I didn’t feel well for days after. It is worth it to me to be absolutely sure I won’t have a reaction because of my celiac. I also always avoid alcohols with flavoring.

The drinks were great. The bartender, Megan, was knowledgeable about celiac and suggested getting a Moscow Mule next. I did and it was delicious. If you’re in town, it’s a good time!

I’m 100 in Bar years

No cover and carded on the way in? My favorite saying of the night was that I was about 100 in bar years. I’m totally okay with that.

First up, Wonder Doug and Bianca Moore did their comedy show “Truth, Dare, or Comedy.” Volunteers from the audience are requested and the results are hilarious. Bianca not only did some stand up and MCing, she also did some burlesque of her own. Fabulous.

We got to see the stunning Dimples Diamond perform later that night. What a treat!

Again, who knew and didn’t tell me this bar existed?

Though I used to live in Columbus, the city has changed a lot. It’s always had a really welcoming vibe (including some fun bars like Union Station and Axis, that have showtunes night and theatre, respectively). There’s Uber in Columbus! How that option would’ve changed my night life back when I lived in the city!

Best of all, people of ALL AGES are out on weekend evenings. I didn’t feel out of place at the burlesque place or walking to the next place. There’s a scene here and it could make a fun weekend spot if you want a night on the town. Ohio bars stop serving at 2 am due to local laws. This is a great excuse to grab an Uber back to your hotel and get some sleep.

My babies (who aren’t babies) were fine

I’m proud of myself for not letting my anxiety win. It was great to be reminded that while “mom” is a big and worthwhile title to fulfill, “Natalie” is still a human. It’s okay to have a little time away. To let go and enjoy yourself. It’s okay to have wants and needs. It’s important to practice self-care in whatever form works best for you. The world won’t fall apart. It will be there when you return a happier, thankful, and slightly more relaxed mom.

What do you do for self-care? Have you spent a night away from your kids?

6 thoughts on “My First Time: A Night Out in Columbus

  1. Sarah says:

    I did not know that about Columbus either! But yes, I definitely agree that we all need some time to ourselves, if it’s possible. I think it makes us better partners and parents and think your night out sounds like tremendous fun!

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