One evening after dinner, but before all the kids were down for the night, James and I had a beer. Okay, a bourbon and coke. Okay two.
We sat there, and smiled at each other. James looked at his drink, then at me, then at the room where the kids were hanging out. “Wouldn’t parenting just be so much easier if you could do it just the tiniest bit drunk all.the.time?”
I knew I had found my soul mate.
I proffered this concept of being-a-tiny-bit-drunk-forever to a close friend of mine while we were having coffee this week. She didn’t even laugh. She just looked me in the eyes and without pause said “YES”.
I really value my girlfriends.
Guys, just to clarify, I don’t think that getting shitfaced on the daily is ideal. That would be messy. And hazardous. And expensive. And your pants might start to really not want to do up (Because of weight gain, not because you suddenly feel like taking off your pants all the time – although that could also be a problem, and potentially ruin a good kids birthday party at Pizza Hut).
What I am talking about is the first third of a high percent beer. You know, a few sips down when you can look around and really see the good in others. (Yes, sometimes I need the alcohol to facilitate the seeing-of-good- in-others. Let’s just say it’s been a weird f*cking year).
As the conversation went on, we disclosed to each other the recent events of family life. This used to go something like “My son has just started walking!” or “I found this nipple cream that numbs my entire boob so I don’t have to start bottle feeding after all!”
Now, however, it’s more along the lines of “we had such a bad night. We were speeding down the road yelling at each other, all while *teenager* was sitting in the front dressed as a banana……” (I shit you not) Or “How much board do you think is reasonable to charge so that you know they won’t end up living in a 9 bedroom house with flatmates that own rats as pets, and only eat old noodles, and can’t afford heating more than two days a week?” Or “Yes, you definitely did the right thing calling the police in that situation” (relevant for conversations with both fellow mothers AND teenage children)
It’s hard NOT to want to come home and pour the elixir of life.
When the kids are grumpy, and you have run out of ideas on how to engage with them, that first third of your high percent beer makes all.the.difference. I’m just saying.
It’s at this point you can just stare at them and smile. It will freak them out. You won’t care. You are smiling. They are confused. You are not yelling. They are backing away. If all goes to plan, they will back so far away they’ll be in the next room, ready to bitch about you to their friends online, which is fine with you, because beer.
I’d like to add at this point that my kids are actually pretty fabulous. It’s not too often I feel the need to pour myself a pint to preserve my sanity.
But every now and then it’s nice to have a shot of tequila while you are cooking the roast chicken.
The best part is that now the oldest two are legally allowed (okay…MOSTLY legally allowed) to sit down and partake. If I make a margarita and there’s too much (okay, bad example, there’s never too much) they can totally have half a glass. Then we can hang out and watch T.V and talk about life.
Either that or they can drive me to the pub and back because they both have their licences and it’s way cheaper than an Uber.
My whole point was, life is hard. It’s frowned upon to come home and pop a Quaalude. Sometimes it’s nice to parent with a little beer on the side. I’m not saying it’s a good time to write emails to their teachers, drive them anywhere, or agree to matching tattoos, but it’s nice ya’ll.
Cheers to you. And cheers to me. And cheers to the tough years, may we survive.