In Not-So-Shocking News: Parenting While Hungover Is the Worst

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
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By Stephanie Grassullo, Contributing Writer
Published December 20, 2018
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After a holiday season of stress, it only seems fair to enjoy a nice big glass of wine (or two), or indulge in some tasty spiked eggnog. But with the good, comes the bad. And in this case, that’s the dreaded holiday hangover.

One in four parents are not prepared for the “parenting hangovers” that await them, a survey from the University of Michigan suggests. The poll questioned nearly 2,000 parents with kids ages 0 to 9 years old. And while most plan for transportation and childcare on the night of a special event, not as many consider how drinking excessively may affect parenting the next day.

In fact, a whopping 73 percent say they are likely to make plans in advance for someone to watch their kid if they are drinking at an event, and 68 percent plan for safe transportation at the end of the night.

But it’s not merely the night of drinking that’s top of mind. It’s also the day after—when you wake up with a splitting migraine, screaming kids and a desperate need for coffee. This could be why 64 percent of parents make plans for someone else to take care of their child the day after drinking at an event.

“The amount of alcohol consumed can affect parenting the next day,” the poll’s co-director Sarah Clark says. “A parent passed out on the couch will not be effective in recognizing and reacting to the everyday safety risks that occur with children.”

It’s hard to pass up on a drink when you’re in a celebratory setting, but Clark suggests implementing a few practices to help monitor your alcohol intake. One way is to try alternating alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic drinks. And of course, if you ever feel like you maybe had just a bit too much, phone a friend and ask for help. It’s best for you and your family.

If you’re pregnant or would simply prefer to skip the drinks this year, try out these delicious mocktails to ensure you have a merry night.

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

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