Friday 6 December 2013

Do you REALLY want to do this to yourself this weekend?

Kill me. Now.

Confession - I'm into self-harm these days. And now that it's the silly season I know it's only going to get worse. Yep, I'm talking about drinking when you have small children.

People who aren't parents have no concept of just how bad a hangover is when you have tiny people in your life. It's like being tortured over and over again with no reprieve. And the worst part is, there's no one to blame but yourself. You did this. Yes you. Shame on you.

Hangovers have been quite few and far between since I entered motherhood. When they first arose I was mortified beyond belief and quickly learned that wine doesn't pay. But lately hangovers have started rearing their ugly heads again, and boy are they hideous. I don't know even know how I've fallen into this self-harm trap again. I'm blaming end of year craziness.

They should put warning labels on alcohol like they do for minors and pregnant women - got kids under 10? No soup for you. When you have children, every drink you have has double the effect the next day. Dangerous territory that is not remotely fun.

It's true parents with hangovers suffer big time, but children also pay the price too. When Mum or Dad is hungover, what do you think appeals best: heading to the beach for a fun-filled day of action, or reaching for the remote to drown out the demons? Not cool at all. When I'm hungover my tolerance levels go down to practically zero and everything is just way too hard. Cooking turns into takeaway, baths turn into wipe downs. It's horrible and I hate myself for it.

Every time I've had a hangover in recent years I've felt nothing but guilt for the poor excuse of a mother my children have had to wake up to. Add that guilt to your thumping headache, rotten guts and mega sleep deprivation, and that's not a nice cocktail.

I've now come to the conclusion that the only time you should let go and get boozed is if you've arranged for your partner to do the morning shift with the kids (or better yet, organise a sleepover at their cousins' house so they're completely out of your hair and properly attended to). Otherwise, it's just not worth it. Not one bit.

Yet still here I am, not able to stop hitting the bottle. Some days music and other solutions just don't cut it and it feels like a drink is the only thing keeping you sane once the lovable maniacs are in bed. Yet it really isn't the answer. A measly moment of carefree drinking that you then pay for heavily. 

So parents, I urge you all this weekend (and over the Christmas period) to stop and think about what you're doing before you guzzle down that extra beer or glass of wine. Is it worth it? Is it? I think not.

Do you self-harm regularly? Any tips for surviving the silly season with kids?


  1. Great post, Suz. I'd like to add an extra warning - if you have small kids, the bitter irony is that it often takes less booze than ever to induce a hangover. I've had filthy hangovers from just one glass of wine, not because my tolerance is lower (lordy no) but a nasty combination of one vino, a headache that I've been ignoring all day, not enough water and listening to the theme song from Dinosaur Train. All these things, along with my darling offspring and the barking dog, conspire to give me a one-glass hangover. Damn it!
    When that happens, I (try to) remember Sarah Napthali's wise words in Buddhism for Mothers on the Go. First, she says your reaction to the situation is your choice, so I choose to laugh about my hangover. Second, she says feeling bone tired and unwell can be a great opportunity to get a little quiet and see what unfolds. Maybe instead of reaching for the TV remote, you could throw a sheet over a couple of chairs and hide from bears, or lie down and let your kids "operate" on you. Hangovers can be fun - especially when the night before was one filled with laughter and good friends. x

    1. Ha I love your optimism! I can't even remember my own name when I'm hungover. Laughing about it is a good one though, although prevention is the best key.... maybe I should try one wine - one water, one tequila - two waters....


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