Should mothers and daughters go clubbing together?
A new study says that a quarter of women take their mothers to bars and clubs. Daisy Buchanan couldn't agree more. Here, she reveals why a night out with your mum is the one thing guaranteed to prevent a hangover
As a young(ish) person living in the capital, I am spoiled for choice when it comes to nights out. There are plenty of edgy venues, celebrity DJ sets, artisanal cocktails and ironic themes to pick from.
But there’s only one significant criteria that will get me off my sofa and into my dancing shoes: Would my mum like it?
According to new research, one in four young women will take their mums clubbing, with one in three inviting their mothers along to concerts, or nights out with friends.
Psychologist Dr Terri Apter explained that the trend was connected with a closing generation gap. “Mothers today feel they have much more in common with their daughters than they had with their mothers. Society has changed…it’s a much more relaxed relationship than in the past.”
When I first started going out to clubs, I would have brought the cat along before I brought my mum. The idea of sipping warm alcopops, or waiting in the toilet queue as another patron enthusiastically rattled the condom machine was less palatable than a bottle of blue WKD.
But when I was at university, something shifted and clicked into place.
Mum didn’t suddenly storm the student union with an armful of flyers promising half price entry to a traffic light party. But she could hold her own with my pals in the pub. On graduation night, when we were all heading to a bar with a dance floor, it seemed only natural to invite her along. Now, every so often, when the mood takes us and we’re in the same place, we’ll go out for drinks and dancing.
In her youth, mum wasn’t a clubber - she might be from Manchester, birthplace of the Hacienda, but when the moment peaked in the early 1990s she was living hundreds of miles away and raising six children under the age of 10.
When I started going out, it was a way of rebelling - and I sneerily assumed she ‘wouldn’t understand’ why I wanted to run off into the night having sprayed a whole can of glitter into my hair. It’s only now that I realise how frightening club culture was to parents of teenagers. Mum was reading news stories about increasingly lethal drugs flooding the market - and all she wanted to do was protect me from any perceived danger. She couldn't visualise the reality: a group of teenage girls, giggling and trying to look sophisticated (well, as sophisticated as hair mascara would allow) on the dancefloor.
I certainly don’t think she ever imagined that, one day, she'd be joining me.
But, whisper it, here's the truth: mums are brilliant at clubbing. They’re wise enough to know exactly what makes a good night out and what ruins one.
Thanks to mum, I know that unless it’s at the Post Office, no queue is worth standing in for more than 10 minutes. And once you’re in? You definitely pay to put your coat away. When I was young and stupid, I lost or ruined many jackets because I was reluctant to spend a pound in the cloakroom that could be put to better use at the bar.
That's another thing mums know: drinks really ought to cost more than a pound. When you pay more for premium spirits (alternated with bottles of water), you don’t feel quite so dreadful the next day. If it’s on special offer, glows in the dark and comes in the sort of plastic cup that is usually used to measure out Benylin, or - worse - a test tube, it’s best avoided.
There are other benefits too. My friend Lara says: “I love going out with mum because we always get served immediately. She’s got a grown-up gravity that means she gets taken seriously. It’s the same on the dance floor too. No matter how crowded it gets, she never gets pushed about, so we always have a bit of space.”
Lara only has one complaint about taking her mum clubbing.
“She's single and gets quite a bit of attention. In a way it’s great - I think it’s boosted her confidence, and I appreciate that she’s a total catch. But when we’re out together, it’s a time for us to bond. So it’s a bit weird when a guy comes up and wants to buy her a drink. Especially if he’s younger than me.”
Happily the clubs I go to are a bit more sedate. All I have to worry about are boys in cardigans shuffling up to Mum and asking if she likes Belle and Sebastian. If it got any more intense than that, I suspect we’d stick to the cinema.
Mum has always maintained that she doesn’t want to be my best friend. And I wouldn’t want her to be. Even though I’m technically an adult, I still need her as a mother, and appreciate her wisdom, advice and support.
But I’m really glad that I can have fun with her as a grown up - and I’ve made my peace with the fact that she will always be a better dancer than me.