Last night was mum’s night out, and the less said, the better really. Fair to say I am left wondering how to deal with the kids on a hangover. Ouch.
There are a few conclusions that I have drawn from my rare nights out with other mums.
Firstly, we’re pretty much as desperate as each other to get out in the evening but it’s so hard to find the motivation to do it after the battle of wills that is putting children to bed. Until you’re on the other side of the front door of course and then it’s hard to find the motivation to go home.
Secondly, you have to make a concerted effort not to talk about your kids all night. You really should though, you’ll find it’s nice to connect with other people again. I didn’t find out I went to the same university as one of my NCT group until our children were about seven months old.
Thirdly, if you haven’t drunk much for a while it will probably hit you faster and harder than you realise.
Lastly, being a mum does not necessarily mean you will make mature decisions.
You will probably be left with the mother (ahem) of all hangovers.
Anyway. In days gone by, this kind of day would have called for staying in bed for as long as humanly possible armed with a large bottle of coke (the sugary kind) and a Domino’s pizza menu.
However there will be no such shirking today.
No, you have two small people who will be expecting to be fed and looked after, loudly. You can’t call in sick from this job with a faux sore throat.
No mummy, you must man up and Get On With It.
So how exactly does one effectively parent with an awful hangover?
Here are some tips on coping with your children on a hangover.
1) Instigate “family cuddle time” and see how long you can hold off actually getting out of bed for.
This is when videos of penguins falling over on the YouTube app are great; simply hand your phone over to your toddler and lie back down. It’s also when breastfeeding really comes in handy as babies are pretty impatient when it comes to being fed and can’t be fobbed off with penguins sadly (and to anyone questioning whether you should be breastfeeding while hungover… Yes. You can. Your milk at your drunkest could be bottled and sold as non alcoholic. But I don’t have time to get into that now).
2) Announce excitedly that you’re all going to have a pyjama party.
You can always get dressed tomorrow. This saves on washing too – double thumbs up.
3) Suggest you all have a special treat and do a fry up for breakfast.
Shhhh, don’t tell daddy. Mmmm, bacon.
4) While the baby is asleep (and I have never prayed to the nap gods as much as I did today) make a game out of being put to bed and looked after by your toddler.
You might have to let her hit your knees with a stick and look inside your ears though, which may not be very relaxing.
There is no shame in TV time occasionally. The good old electronic babysitter can be a godsend. We don’t tend to watch a lot during the day because kids tv annoys the crap out of me, but if you feel you can switch off sufficiently then it makes a good distraction for as long as you can physically stand it.
Alternatively select a favourite from your own childhood and reminisce. Try not to get the rage when your toddler suggests she doesn’t like it and it’s rubbish.
6) Lower your standards.
Whatever household chores you might usually do in the day – hoovering, making beds, putting washing away – don’t bother.
If applicable, see if your significant other even notices. If they don’t and you reckon you can live with it, you may have cut your workload permanently. Win/Win.
7) Encourage the kids to entertain themselves by letting them play with exciting things that they wouldn’t usually be allowed to.
I’m not talking scissors or knives, but maybe Play Doh, if you can bear the stuff and have wipe clean flooring. Stickers keep my toddler entertained for hours so that is my go-to.
The you of tomorrow can deal with peeling them off of the fish tank, as well as doing all the other jobs you haven’t done today.
Screw you, you of tomorrow.
8) If all else fails, call in the grandparents.
And obviously, do not consider soft play.
Not even for a moment.