My very first piece of advice is: DON’T GET A HANGOVER IN THE FIRST PLACE.
Maybe you are one of those very self controlled people who sips daintily on their one spritzer all night and then wakes up feeling all fresh and bouncy. You have a ball on that one spritzer. You don’t get bored, drunk people don’t annoy you and you’re the life of the party. If you are one of these people, then you are probably not one of my friends.
Maybe I need more friends like you though, so come on in and introduce yourself. No, my friends are ordering tequilas and glugging G&Ts and drinking shandies over lunch and then red wine with a meal and then by the end of the evening we are well and truly drunk and the next day we have hangovers to match.
I sound like a very irresponsible mother but really, these nights are few and far between, so when they do happen, they happen properly. There is some drinking involved, lots of loud conversation and some dancing (sometimes to music, sometimes not). Last night was one of those nights.
Now this piece was supposed to contain advice for surviving a hangover while looking after kids but really, I have no pearls of wisdom. All I do is limp along, head pounding, holding my nose while I change nappies, dragging myself up from bed in the morning and counting the hours until bedtime so I can wake up feeling half human again.
As you get older your hangovers definitely get worse. And after nine months of pregnancy and three or so months of breastfeeding, you get even more out of practice. You can drink water, eat fried food, take some painkillers, have a swim, but nothing will make you feel better except a brand new day.
The problem also is the lack of sleep. As a parent there is no more wallowing in bed until 10am. 5am brings with it the sound of birdsong and the sound of your 6-month-old waking up and demanding milk. So as well as the effects of alcohol on your ageing system, you also have the effects of not enough sleep. And then throw in two demanding children for a full day and you have the recipe for feeling properly worn out and a tad regretful.
But I say that any regret is a waste of time. Just because you’re a parent doesn’t mean your life should end. It doesn’t mean you still can’t do fun things, be a bit silly, let down your hair, put on high heels, talk a lot of rubbish, talk a little sense, flirt with your husband and be who you were before those beloved children arrived.
“A happy mother = happy children”. I heard this once and it’s always rung true. So although hangovers don’t necessarily make me happy , the occasional night out does. Now please excuse me while I pour myself a big glass of water and go and cook up copious amounts of fried food.