Mom’s Night out, affectionately referred to as MNO, is a crucial part of surviving parenthood. Your mom friends are the ones who understand you better than anyone else, and at the end of the day, they are the people you can laugh with about things that other people would find absurd. But with busy schedules and responsibilities, it's easy to let too much time go between outtings with these special girlfriends.

Before you start thinking you can't fit a night out into your busy schedule, check to see if you're showing signs you need an MNO, because you may be surprised by the reality.

If any of the following sound familiar, run — don't walk — to your calendar and make some plans right now. Because it's clear you need to get out! 

1. You Don’t Want to Waste Clean Hair

It feels like a major event that you have washed and dried your hair. No one wants to waste clean hair on their kids who don't appreciate it. Call your girlfriends who will "ooh" and "ahh" over your clean locks.

2. Grocery Shopping Alone Feels Like a Vacation

When you find you are enjoying meandering down those aisles a little too much, it's a definite sign you need some adult time. 

3. By 6 p.m., You’re in Sweatpants

Every. Night. Break the routine and try some pants with zippers and buttons! They'll make you feel fancy and you'll want to leave your home (with clean hair!).

4. You’re Laughing at Goofy’s Jokes

As in Goofy from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. If you have reached this point, consider it a Code Red emeregency that you make plans with your friends. 

5. The Starbucks Barista Knows More About Your Life Than Your Friends

When the person who makes your latte is asking if your son's ear infection has cleared up, it's time to reexamine your social circle. 

6. Every Time You Check in on Facebook, It’s From Your Bed

I know those cozy sheets feel good on your tired body, but if this is where you're conducting most of your social business, it's probably time to plan that MNO, pronto! 

7. Your Mom Calls You After 9 p.m.

When your own mother (AKA Grandma) wakes you up when calling after 9 p.m. — because she's just getting home from a night out with her friends — it's time to up your game.

If this sounds like you, don't worry, there's still hope! A Mom's Night Out is only a phone call away. Chances are, your friends are feeling the same way and are just looking for an excuse to hop in the minivan (alone) and hit the town with you.

Join @ParentingSquad on FacebookTwitterInstagramGoogle+, and Pinterest. Have a funny, touching or interesting story to share about kids and parenting? Email us at Editor (at)