My life changed after becoming a parent. Weekends spent drinking in pubs or playing golf were phased out and replaced by trips to play centres, farms and parks.

I’ve no complaints about this at all. I enjoy the changes that this new life stage has brought. But I’ve also realised that dedicating 100 per cent of your time to the children can have a downside. A while ago I noticed that many people weren’t referring to me as “Jason” any more, but as “Ollie’s Dad”. I felt like saying: “Hang on a minute. I’m not just someone’s dad or husband. I am a person in my own right!”

I concluded that it is vital to do two things: 1) To spend proper time in the company of other adults without the kids in tow; 2) To spend time with your partner being husband and wife and not just mum and dad.

Therefore I decided at the start of this year I would ensure that I had one night a month out with my wife, and one out with friends. Last Saturday was the night out with friends.

A couple of my mum friends from school had organised a night out in Bicester and invited me along. We were to meet at my friend’s flat at 8pm for drinks first.

I was expecting there to be about four or five people but when I arrived I walked into a room of at least 10. I instantly clocked the fact that I was the only male there but was completely unfazed by this. I’ve spent so much time over the past few years in the female dominated parenting world that such situations come completely natural to me now. In fact I think I would have been more uncomfortable in a room full of males.

Almost all of the women there were married with kids, ranging in age from mid-20s to early 40s. Many of them I recognised from the school gates but I had never spoken to them before. I felt so at ease though that I soon got to know everybody and I really enjoyed having a drink too. I rarely drink alcohol these days, so when I do I enjoy it all the more because it has become an occasional treat instead of a habit.

I had a great evening, made some fantastic new friends and enjoyed all the fun of a girl’s night out without the negative bits such as struggling in heels or queuing for the toilet.

My wife is not worried about me going out with all these girls – she knows the only thing I’m interested in getting my hands on at the end of the night is a kebab. And she is also having a night out each month with friends, this Friday in fact.

But it’s important to have time with your partner too. I shall be talking all about this next Friday, which appropriately enough just happens to be Valentine’s Day – don’t forget!