Stages Of the Dreaded Parent Hangover

Most of us parents know better than to tie one on these days, as the day after with kids just isn’t worth it. Every once in a while though, if you’re like me, you throw caution to the wind and your panties at the band (No? Just me?) and wake up with the dreaded parent hangover. This is not a hilarious movie starring dreamy Bradley Cooper but rather a real-life godforsaken shit show. Hangovers already suck giant donkey balls when you get older anyway but throw a couple kids into the equation and you’ve got yourself a razor blade slide straight into a pool of lemon juice.

Thankfully, haven’t had many of these but for the few I have had, I’ve noticed that there are definite stages to the Parent Hangover:


You take stock of where you are and why there is a plate of corn dogs and dried ketchup on your bedstand. You also want to know when you got a cat and why that cat took a dump in your mouth. You notice a trail of clothes leading to your bed and not because you got busy but because you never achieved your final goal of getting your PJs on. You begin to have flashbacks of that “lasht glash of wine” you ordered from the bartender, who gave you a “Are you sure about this, lady?” look. Feeling falsely indignant, you shot him back a, “Don’t even think about turning me down, good sir, or I WILL EAT YOU.”


Enter kids and here goes the neighborhood. You try to pretend you don’t see them standing at eye level at your bed, snickering like the little giggleheads they are, but they are demanding pancakes. Little people who want pancakes wait for no hangover. You singe their eyebrows with your wine breath as you tell them to get the hell out (you don’t actually say that, but that’s what you hear in your head).

You get out of her gif Will Ferrell

No, really.

STAGE 3: DENIAL: It ain’t just a river in Egypt. You roll over and pretend this can’t be happening. One half-roll back in their direction and you realize that there’s no stopping these hellions, as they are on a breakfast mission. They’ve now begun to chant, “Pancakes! Pancakes! Pancakes!”

STAGE 4: BARGAINING: You’ll notice that these steps are similar to the grieving process, which is kind of true. You’re mourning your single days when you could watch Real World marathons while eating pizza from your bed. You throw out every offer you can think of to get them to give you just another half hour, and they’re still not having it. What kind of freakish crack hold do pancakes have over these guys anyway? You also begin to bargain with your husband, who is also not having it, as he was the recipient of your alcohol-fueled recap of girls night out at 1 AM. You also got corn dogs on him in his sleep.

STEP 5: REALITY: You’ve made your bed but you sure as hell don’t get to lie in it. “Slooooooow,” you tell yourself, lest those corn dogs decide to make a reappearance. You tell the kids, “Mommy has the flu,” hoping they’ll go easy on you. They don’t.

STEP 6: MCDONALDS: Yes, this is an actual step in the parent hangover. Hey, they have great pancakes and a vanilla iced coffee that I’m pretty sure is part heroin. Sue me. The lady who takes your money looks at you like you’re crazy and you’re really annoyed. “My money’s not good here, huh!?” Then you look at yourself in the mirror and you look like Nick Nolte in his mugshot.

Nolte Mug shot

Photo Credit: The Smoking Gun

STEP 7: BACKUP: You consider calling your parents or a babysitter or possibly someone walking by in front of the house to come watch your kids. You know you can’t. Damn you, Catholic guilt! Instead, you throw out any former rules on TV watching and commence the Sesame Street marathon. Your kids ask for Caillou but that whiny, bald, Canadian bastard and a headache are enough to cause spontaneous combustion. Your kids ask you how you can watch through your eyelids, and you explain that it is a special power only given to mommies. “Shhhh,” you say.

STEP 8: THE VOW: Sometime around the afternoon, you begin to feel less like a ravenously hungry, psychotic zombie and more like yourself, and  you make the vow NEVER TO DO THIS AGAIN. Somewhere in the recesses of your mind, you know you will.

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