There’s no doubt about it, if you’re a parent and you like to have a few bevy’s every now and again, you know this is right up there with being the worst feeling in the world. Bar none.
Having a hangover is bad enough, but having a parent hangover is 1000 times worse. We wouldn’t wish it upon our worst enemies. And yet, we seem to keep having them, we seem to keep saying yes to that one too many drinks, knowing full well what the next day will bring.
But when you’re having a fabulous time, the company is great, the drinks are flowing and 80s music is rockin’, the last thing you think about is being sensible so that you can parent properly tomorrow. Instead you let go, you let loose and pretend you’re not a mother (just for a few hours at least).
You remember who you used to be, that fun, vivacious, giggling, dancing woman on the podium at the Voodoo Lounge (yes I was one of ‘those’ girls) and you let yourself become her again, just for tonight (or try to be, only you’re 10 years older, nowhere near as hot and now you have bags under your eyes) and it feels great!
I have decided to write this blog for two reasons:
A) To give people who don’t have kids an insight – a snippet if you will – of what we parents have to deal with hungover on a Sunday and;
B) To remind all parents of what the next day brings next time you decide to go that little bit too hard and succumb to the peer pressure from the non-parent person standing before you daring you to have just one more.
Here’s an example of what being hungover with kids entails:
The night before…
Midnight: I know I should probably stop guzzling these large glasses of Pinot Grigio, say no to the shots of Vodka everyone else who doesn’t have young kids is having and I definitely should have eaten more than two crackers, a mini dim sim and a chicken ball for dinner.
1:00AM: I’m still kicking on, woo! (quite surprised I haven’t fallen asleep on a chair in the corner of the room), the songs are still great and the bar is still open, pretty sure my hair isn’t as straight as it was at the start of the night but who cares?
1:05AM: I really don’t know what the heck possesses me to think I am Baby from Dirty Dancing and my mate Steva is Patrick Swayze. We are convinced we can WOW the crowd and perform “The Lift”. After three attempts of getting in the air, we finally do it, he lifts me up and we wow the crowd… with my skirt now over my head and my knickers in full view of the entire room… This Baby definitely should have been put in the corner.
1:30AM: My balls are aching (balls of my feet), from the heels I took off about 15 minutes ago. I am yawning every five seconds and I need water, badly, my voice is almost gone from trying to talk over the music.
2:00AM: At this point all I can think about is my aching feet, my headache from being dehydrated, my hoarse voice and the fact I spent a good deal of the night stroking my dad’s mate’s impressive long grey soft beard. WTF? And the stories about how funny our kids are start. Only the stories aren’t really that funny to people who don’t have kids.
4:00AM (or there abouts I can’t remember): We finally get home, hop into bed, pop some Nurofen and fall asleep. I wake up a few times to roll Hubby over violently (with the heels of my feet) to stop him snoring only to be woken again 5 mins later by the sound of his escaping farts in my face. I feel like I only shut my eyes again for a second before I hear that familiar sound of little feet tiptoeing (galloping) down the hallway…
The Day of the Hangover…
7:00AM: I wake up. Well, I’m actually woken up…Yes, that’s right non-parent people, three hours after getting home we have to wake up, and we have NOTHING to do that day, nowhere to be. However, sleeping in is not an option when you have kids.
I don’t bother opening my eyes in hope that those little feet might just turn back around and go back to bed for another couple of hours. Wishful thinking. I get a tap on my face and a poke in the eye.
“Morning mum, I’m hungry”.
“Yep just go play with your Shopkins for a bit honey until we get up ok.”
“No, I want brekky. Pancakes please.”
“Yep, we are having pancakes this morning Bell like I promised, just not yet, babe, go and play.”
“Nooooooooo get up”.
I’m now being shaken on the shoulder.
“Go round to your dads side.”
“Noooooo get up mummy. I want you to get my brekky now. Get up now, now, now mum, now.”
This banter continues for a while, back and fourth, back and fourth, the whining intensifying like I’m being hit in the head with a toy hammer. I’m still too afraid to open my eyes. I can already tell I’m going to feel like shit. Instead of opening my eyes I reach into my top draw for two panadols and scramble around for the glass of water nearby.
Bell tries to help get the water. It topples over. She screams. There.is.water.everywhere. There is also an elephant sitting in my head playing the drums. I don’t care about the water, Im tempted to just lay my head back down in it. Maybe if I put my head under the wet pillow that might stop this piercing sound from entering my ears?
Must get up. Must try not to throw up. Must not let daughter know I am incapable of anything right now, including opening my eyes and walking straight, let alone being a capable mother who can make pancakes. Must not throw up in front of kid.
The other one wakes up. Penny wants to get out of the cot. The cot. What a joy it is at keeping them confined… except on mornings when you’re hungover and wish they could get themselves out of bed, make their own breakfast, make you breakfast and allow you to sleep for another five hours while they quietly play by themselves.
Must get up. I throw the blanket back.
7:20AM: Mum reckons cheese cures a hangover, absorbs the alcohol or something. I think she probably told me that a chunk of tasty cheese will do the trick. It’s bullshit.
I enter Pennys room. I wish I hadn’t. She’s done a huge stinky good morning poo. I smell it the second I walk into the room.
I yell out to hubby but he’s already on the throne doing one of his own.
I try not to change her without dry retching. I fail. It’s not pretty. A bit of spew comes up, I force it back down.
Watching me struggle, she tries to help me change her own nappy but we all know what happens when a two-year-old “tries to help” with anything. There’s shit in places there shouldn’t be (namely on my mind).
I clean up as fast as I can and look for the Berocca. There is none… of course. I get the “I’m hungry” cries from the kids. They want their pancakes pronto. There’s no eggs. I take the desperate measure of googling “eggless pancakes” but I know they just won’t do and know doubt will result in more tears.
Annabelle starts playing the Peppa Pig organ. Hasn’t fricking touched the thing since Christmas but now she wants to join a heavy metal band. Head is still pounding. How long does Nurofen take to kick in these days?
The girls start fighting over the organ. I can’t yell because my voice is gone. I wonder if, after the pancakes, I could just sneak back into bed and they won’t notice.
Penny suddenly scratches bell in the face, then the hair pulling starts and the screaming. LOUD SCREAMING. Hubby is still “conveniently” on the shitter.
I break up the fight but the squealing and whining continues… For. The. Rest. Of. The. Entire. Day.
And so does my hangover.
It doesn’t get better because it doesn’t get the chance to get better. Instead of lying in bed all day or watching a movie on the couch (like the other people who were at the party who don’t have young kids will be doing in about 3 hours time when they peacefully wake up from their uninterrupted slumber), we are doing parent stuff. Wiping bums, cleaning up smeared pancake mix off the floor, piggy backs, breaking up loud fights, “Let It Go”, driving to the shops to get eggs and more wipes and being jumped on the minute we decide to finally sit down (including the time my AGB decided to join the party, I don’t know why I didn’t lock the toilet door).
People without kids: next time you tell me to stop being soft when I refuse to have that shot you are pushing in front of my face, I want you to think of this blog. And instead take that drink out of my hand and put me in a taxi home straight to bed, where it’s safe, where I can recover, where I belong.