Childrearing

St. Patrick’s Day Fail: Parenting And Hangovers Don’t Mix

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moms who drinkSt. Patrick’s Day is upon us, which for many people means a perfect excuse to get dressed up and party ’til the wee hours of morning. That’s all fine and dandy but if you’re a parent, as I am, be warned that it’s a bad idea. Not because parents shouldn’t drink (um, hi, could you survive without wine?). And not because we shouldn’t leave the house (I’d go nuts without my childless Saturday nights). But mostly because parenting and hangovers don’t mix. In fact, it’s the precise definition of hell on earth.

I was reminded of this fact just last weekend. I straightened my hair, left the kids with a sitter and headed out to a friend’s 40th birthday party. The scene was festive: Italian food (family-style), mishmash of people, and just a warm and fuzzy vibe that reminded me a bit of being in my 20s and knowing that you had your whole night – and life – ahead of you. I didn’t set out to drink, per se. Sure, I had a glass of wine before dinner. Then another one while eating. But it was one of those situations where every time I took a sip, a waiter would fill my glass with more. Could I have said no? Of course! But when it’s just a minor refill, you start to lose track.

Several hours later, I stood up from the table to make my rounds. And, wow, was I drunk. The perfect drunk. Needless to say, I had a blast. When my husband urged me to say my goodbyes at around 12:30 a.m., I told him no way. So he left! Without me! (We’re independent that way.) Next thing I know, it’s 2 a.m. and the party is about to move to a smaller bar nearby. “Come! Joins us!” urged the (childless) birthday boy and my NBFs (some of them parents themselves). That’s when my mother instinct kicked in and I thought, “Holy shit, I have to be up in five hours.” So I hailed a cab and headed home.

Hubs was still awake, and he reminded me that it was daylight savings time (spring forward). I closed my eyes and was awoken by my 2-year-old’s cries of “Mommmy. Mommmmmyyyyyyyyyyyyy.” I thought that five minutes had passed but it turns out with actually morning (6:32 to be precise). And I – the world’s worst morning person – was somewhat hyper, which makes me think perhaps I was still drunk? A couple hours (and coffees) later my husband and I were out the door with our two kids, en route to a baby naming (a Jewish ceremony for newborn girls) for my brand new niece.

That’s when it hit me: that feeling of nauseousness and utter uselessness (you know, when you start to think, How will I survive the next five minutes, never mind the entire day). If I had no kids, well, I suppose I wouldn’t have been awake in the first place. But if I had no kids and it were 11 a.m., I’d go out for a greasy breakfast, drink copious amounts of coffee, and then plan for an afternoon nap followed, perhaps, by a low-key dinner with friends. I had this thought as I sat in my sister’s basement surrounded by 20 or so screaming children and flying objects. My head pounded. I thought I would throw up. And I felt like a total asshole.

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