Last night, we had our neighbors over for a few drinks. Somewhere between my third and fourth beer, I forgot that I have a kid and a job and am thirty-eight, so I had three or four more beers. Now I want to die.
Thankfully, today is Friday, so I’m at work instead of sitting at home trying to occupy a four-year-old who wants me to pretend to be a firetruck-slash-dinosaur and get on my knees and chase him around the house all while holding my head and trying not to throw up.
Hungover parenting is not a lot of fun.
When you wake up hungover, the best course of action is to have a bloody mary. Or to go back to sleep. Neither of those is possible when you have to go to work, and that holds true whether your work is in an office or at home with your kids.
At least at the office you can put your head down, go into stealth mode, and hope nobody comes by your desk. There’s no way to do that when you’re at home with your kids. If they could manage it, they’d probably be inside your clothes.
So how does a hungover parent survive? I’m glad you asked.
The Guide to Hungover Parenting
Let’s get this out of the way right off the bat: you can’t start drinking again. At least not yet.
You can’t wake up for a day with your kids and immediately start drinking to try to ease out of your hangover, because then you’ll be drunk again, and I’m not gonna be the guy who writes The Guide to Drunk Parenting because that’s just crazy. So you won’t find “hair of the dog” in the list below.
What? No, there’s no Bailey’s in my coffee right now. HOW DARE YOU!
- Get Someone Else To Do It. Your spouse; a babysitter; that neighbor you’ve never spoken with but is still unemployed and totally has the mindset of a child so maybe he’d be cool with watching yours for a few hours and at least he’s not currently using his power tools so it can’t hurt to ask; the son of a bitch who over-served you cause payback’s a BITCH, son!
- Screen Time. All those restrictions you place on your kids’ TV time and tablet time? All those limits you place on watching movies and playing with your phone? See ya! I’ll put my kid in that room Batman has in The Dark Knight just to keep him occupied and out of my hair.
- Silence. hopefully the twelve-hour “Rescuebots” marathon will take care of this, but if not, I suggest duct tape. It may sound harsh but silence is both essential when you have a hangover and elusive – if not downright mythical – when you have kids. Do whatever it takes.
- I’m Dead Serious. HIDE. Maybe don’t run away without telling your kids, but suggest a game of Hide and Seek and then hide your tired, nauseous ass like you’ve never hid it before. Do not let your kids find you. The good news is, if they’re anything like mine, that shouldn’t be a problem. The bad news is if they’re anything like mine they’ll give up after thirty seconds and start screaming for you. Which is a total backfire (see Silence).
- Can You Sell Your Kids? Maybe to that neighbor I mentioned above? Sorry. I might still be a little drunk.
- Wait It Out! Have your kids gone to bed yet? Good. NOW you can start drinking again. FINALLY.
- Power Through! Your kids need you! They don’t care if you don’t feel your best. They are your number one priority, so pull it together and be there for them. And let this be a lesson to you: you reap what you sow. Honestly it might be time to step back for a second and think about your lifestyle. If you’re sacrificing precious interaction with your children just so you can tie one on, if you need a guide to making it through your day as parent when you’re hungover, maybe you need to cut back a bit. Maybe you drink too much.
- Ignore That Last One. Yeah. I’m definitely still a little drunk.