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18th Mar 2022

Nursing a Paddy’s Day hangover? Here’s how to get through it as a parent

SOS send help immediately.

Gillian Fitzpatrick

Because parent hangovers should come with a survival guide…

I don’t tend to drink heavily and then parent my children… not least because parenting small offspring with a hangover is a particularly rough hell that knows no bounds and has no limits.

But with the first “normal” Paddy’s Day festivities underway for the first time in three calendar years, there’s bound to be quite a number of mammy and daddies with sore heads this long weekend.

When a hangover does happen, it’s important as a parent to know how to roll with the punches.

Here are my 5 practical tips for getting through the day…

1) Get out ASAP

Fact: your hangover is going to get worse before it gets better. Can’t yet face the outside world? You are wrong. Because if you don’t want to leave the sitting room post-breakfast, believe me everything will be so much, terribly more brutal at 2pm when the kids are bouncing off the walls and you’re experiencing alcohol withdrawal. So get them dressed, get yourself dressed and get out for a walk. Sure the air will do you the world of good.

2) Keep eating

‘Congratulations kids, we’re having a pizza and chips, and sweets, and crisps, and ice-cream day!’ Not only will plying them with food keep them appeased and (reasonably) content, indulging in your own grease and sugar fest will help your body deal with the effects of excess alcohol. The children won’t believe their luck and hopefully they won’t question why standard, everyday mammy’s gone from ‘you’re not leaving the table until you eat all your broccoli,’ to hungover mammy’s ‘would you like a side of chips to go with the pizza you’re eating on the couch?’

3) All the screen-time

Ordinarily most of us try to restrict the amount of time our little ones spent glued to Netflix, an iPad colouring app, or YouTube videos of green slime and toys being unboxed. Not so if mammy has a ‘special headache’. Then, all bets are off. I’ve legitimately watched back-to-back rounds of Moana, Frozen, and Cars in a single sitting – and truthfully the whole family has been the better for it.

4) Break the day up

At 11am you’ve already been up for what seems like hours (because it has been hours). The prospect of powering through another nine hours until the kids’ bedtime can feel seriously, desperately daunting. Don’t panic. Break-up the day: Breakfast to walk. Walk to snack. Snack to couch. Couch to Netflix binge. Netflix binge to snack. Snack to further couch time. Power through to the next stage… it’s just about all you can ask of yourself.

5) Learn your lesson

Next time you’re on one of your bi-annual, sanctioned sesh, remember that particularly rough hell of a hangover that knows no bounds and has no limits. Lessons learned?