It happens. No one wants it to, but it did. You are hungover. With kids. It will be a long, pretty dreadful day, there’s simply no way around that. But, there are some ways to make it suck less.
(No judgment, there are many experiences that went into my learning of this particular skill, least of which was actually drinking too much myself. And when I do, it’s always with my friend, Phil, so at least I’ve learned to plan ahead when I go out with him.)
“Such a great idea…last night.”
Turns out, when you rarely have a chance to drink, two of them means a rougher-than-usual wakeup. So, when you peel your eyes open and feel a little thick-headed and sluggish, here’s what you need to do right away for your body. (The order is important here.)
1. Take a B-complex vitamin, or any B vitamins you have – they help you absorb water, which is going to speed things up;
2. Hydrate a lot – vitamin water will be a nice boost, you can safely drink about two packets a day, drink one now and one later;
3. Next drink an Alka-Seltzer original – for an upset stomach, pain and heartburn, sounds about right;
4. Eat some yummy carbs (I like peanut butter toast) and a banana, but if a chocolate chip cookie sounds good, do that;
5. Dramamine – for motion sickness, your call if you want the drowsy or non-drowsy kind;
6. Mid-day you’ll want your electrolytes to go back up – Gatorade, coconut water, your choice;
7. Eventually you’ll want to eat some protein to help get your energy climbing – tofu, yogurt, oatmeal, whatever you can handle.
“Stop banging on the door honey. Mommy’s sleeping in here.”
So now that your body is headed in the healing direction, the thorny question of how to handle your kids while you’re recovering needs tackling. Maybe it’s the weekend and you can have your partner/best friend/aunt/brother/neighbor/mail person take your kids for a few hours while you sleep it off. That’s the ideal in this not-ideal situation. Or maybe you went big on a Wednesday night for no apparent reason and you not only have to deal with the morning, but also go to work. This can go one of two ways, you get your kids off to child care or school and you yourself go to work (possibly not terrible) or you get your kids out of the house and email in sick to work. With the Irish flu. Unless of course, you have your kids no matter what. See the first scenario above.
“You want to paint your body, that’s a great idea. Paint your brother’s and the dog’s too while you’re at it.”
If you are unfortunately stuck with your kids, there are still a few things that may help. However, these are much less precise than the above list for your physical recovery and I generally recommend just winging it and hoping for survival. (These are in no particular order since there is never any order to kids anyway.)
1. Create a scavenger hunt around the house for items from your memory (one white sock stuck under the refrigerator, for example), shout out clues from the couch – careful you don’t lead them to anything you’ve been hiding;
2. Role play – your kid can be the teacher and put a blanket over your head and rub your back for nap time or she could be a doctor and take care of you so you feel better;
3. If you can, and if you remember the night before even better – hide all toys that make sounds;
4. Use food to your advantage – have them make age-appropriate meals or dump a box of cereal on the table and tell them they can only eat one piece at a time;
5. There’s always the option of giving them zero ideas, this is usually when my kids can occupy themselves the longest;
6. If you have a backyard and nice weather – do that all day while you snooze in the grass.
Unfortunately, ridding a hangover takes some time, but this will help speed up the process and get your brain and body back in action quicker. And your kids will definitely be fine. This is no one’s crowning achievement of parenting, so don’t be too hard on yourself, as if you’d have the energy. Remember tomorrow is a new day. Unless it’s a two-day hangover. Good luck!