What is freedom? And what is it worth? The answer to this question is as unique as the person asking it and varies in extremes like temperatures on the moon.

Looking back, history has been littered with passionate figures who fought for freedom and won and lost it in triumphant and devastating ways: Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King jnr, Che Guevara, Mahatma Gandhi, Charles de Gaulle, William Wallace.

Every country and every age had its heroes.

But freedom is a matter of context and when you live a life of relative privilege and prosperity in the quiet suburbs of the First World circa 2017, freedom can be something as simple as backing down the driveway at 6pm on a Friday.


Well, that's what defined it for me, anyway.

Having lost my freedom at 7.14am on a cold winter's day on August 11, 2014 when my first child was born, I wasn't holding out hope it would be returned to me in any tangible way until both kids left home around 2035.

Yet here I was, looking across from the passenger seat to my handsome husband with the excited grin of a girl going out on a first date, complete with curfew (9pm) imposed by babysitting and baby-feeding commitments.

It was happening: I was having a life. Or at the very least, a few hours of a life outside of the relentless 24-hour one required to raise tiny boys.

When you start out on the journey of parenthood (and especially motherhood), you're unprepared for how much of your "old" self you'll have to give up in order to fill the job title adequately.

Although most people consider the sacrifice well worth it, this doesn't mean it's not a massive moment when you've given birth to all the kids you can handle (in my case two) and you go out for a few hours of fun for the very first time, leaving them behind.

It's a "have your cake and eat it, too" moment. Or, more specifically, a "have your kids and drink champagne" one.

The inaugural event was the glitzy opening of a luxury car dealership and the razzle-dazzle of the uplights and soft-tops was about as far removed from baby spills and dirty nappies as a girl could get.

It's fair to say everyone was enjoying the night out. But only one person among the hundreds there was abso-bloody-lutely loving it.

The good night was made great for me because of the 700-odd beforehand that had been dominated by duty and a requirement to mostly be at home with a baby, a big belly, or both.

My commitment to have only one drink and drive home lasted for the duration of that drink, by which time I was under the influence just enough to make the really bad call that it was my husband's turn to have some restrictions on his freedom in order to facilitate mine.

That's a long-winded way of saying I had a few. When you've got small kids, a few is in all instances a few too many.

But this discovery didn't happen until I got home at 11pm and faced the woozy reality of a night ahead expressing what my baby couldn't drink, then getting up with a growing hangover to give him what he could.

The worth of any freedom fighter is measured by what they give up relative to what they win.

As the day dawned and I faced the first day of the rest of my life looking after two small kids with a hangover, I was no hero. Quite the opposite, in fact.

But nevertheless, I had gone out the night before in search of my own little slice of freedom and found it.

Now it was time to pay the price for that freedom with the help of Panadol and Netflix. An average mum for the day, perhaps, but a happy one.

* Eva Bradley is a columnist and photographer