Childrearing

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

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Because let’s get one thing straight: there is nothing cool about being hungover in your later 30s. And there is nothing cool about being hungover while tending to your toddlers. It reminds of an old episode of Sex and the City – back from season one – when the ladies’ one-time party-girl friend, now pregnant, attempts a striptease at Samantha’s house party. She looked so pathetic as she tried to take off her maternity top but it got stuck on her giant belly. In fact, the whole scene was pathetic. It was like she was unwilling to say goodbye to her former life and accept her new lot.

That’s how I felt in my sister’s basement. I’m glad I went out and had fun, but the next day was hell, and it totally wasn’t worth it. I learn this lesson first-hand probably once a year, and every time I swear I will never drink too much and stay out way too late ever again. That is, until the next big celebration comes around and, well, you forget how tortuous “the morning after” can be.

One mom friend told me how she got so drunk at an out-of-town family wedding that she spent the next morning hanging over the toilet. Over breakfast, she constantly got up to run to the bathroom. “Wow, Mommy is peeing so much,” observed her 4-year-old. “She must be drinking lots and lots.” (He was referring to water, of course, but this boy’s father was only too pleased to tell his son, “That’s right, Mommy drinks way too much, honey”). There was nothing funny about it at the time, but my friend did laugh about it weeks later and swore she would never drink again (wineglass in hand).

The worst is that kids are so oblivious to hangovers (as they should be), and so moms are forced to be “on” the entire day, morning to night. At the best of times, a Sunday with the kids is fun and wonderful, but it’s challenging. What with the meltdowns and meals and clean-ups and constant entertaining. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change it for the world – but it’s hard. Doing so after a good night’s sleep is challenging enough. Doing it with no sleep is flat-out nightmare. Doing it hungover and with no sleep is enough to make even the most together mom weep quietly in the bathroom.

Motherhood and hangovers don’t mix is the lesson to be learned here (unless you’re on holiday without the kids or, say, they’re sleeping out for the night). It’s not even a moral lesson, more just a piece of advice. One I hope to take myself the next time there’s cause for celebration.

(Photo: Stockbyte)

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