One night last week, I started partaking in a glass of wine at about 8 pm. At 8 am the next day, I awoke to find that I had passed out the night before. I didn’t remember falling asleep, nor did I remember the gentle nudge I’m sure my loving husband gave me telling me to crawl into bed, or even getting into my pajamas and actually crawling into bed. But there I was, jolted awake in the morning sunshine by my five month old daughter lying next to me.
And I thought, “Holy crap, I had a blackout!”
Now before you think I have serious problems, while I am known amongst my circle of friends for diving into a bottle of wine when I have appropriate childcare, it is not my regular practice to drink enough to bring about blackout. I can only remember two instances pre-motherhood when I drank so much that I couldn’t remember how I got home. After the second incident, I decided that kind of behavior is just…unseemly.
From what I do remember, here are the major differences:
After a day of particularly challenging negotiations/spirited conversations/wrangling with your two year old and five month old, mommy drinking starts on the couch at 8:00 pm (when the kids are in bed and the hubby is home) and ends at 8:30 pm, when you pass out.
Pre-mommy drinking doesn’t even start until 10:30, most certainly happens outside the home, and requires that you have very uncomfortable but smashing footwear on. (Mommy drinking happens barefoot or with chenille socks on if it’s winter. Tres sexy.)
When you’re a breastfeeding mom, the drinking rationale goes this way: glass 1 – “I just need to take the edge off, and it will be out of my system before I have to feed the baby again”, glass 2 – “well, I do have pumped milk in the fridge”, glass 3 – the truth is, you never get through glass 3, but you might pour it if you’re feeling very ambitious.
The only thoughts about milk while drinking pre-kids are whether it would go well with your Baileys or Kahlua.
When you are childless and fancy-free, awakening after the big night kind of goes like this: “Oh God, what happened? How did I get home? I don’t know where my keys are, but I’m sure I must have them because I’m home. Oh, how thoughtful of whoever poured me into my bed to put a garbage can next to me in case I need to unexpectedly vomit over the side. Why in the world do I have a boob hanging out?!?”
When you wake from your “big night on the couch”, you think, “What time is it? I wonder what time my son went to sleep last night? Do I have any time to hop in the shower before he wakes up and wants breakfast? What is that smell? Oh, it’s her diaper. Why is last night’s mac and cheese crusted all over the high chair? Oh God, I’m going to kill myself tripping on those trains in the hallway. Damn, my boob is out again; I need to remember to hook that nursing bra.”
It’s all just very…different. But then you hear the footsteps of your son careening down the hallway, and through bleary eyes you see that 1000 watt smile and hear his sweet little voice say, “Two eggs?” and think, “Today’s going to be a good day.”