Not worth it.
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With the eggnog-blur of the holidays approaching, researchers are sounding the alarm about “parenting hangovers.” These are not, as you might expect, hangovers from the rigors of parenting, but rather the reality of parenting while hungover. That reality, they want you to know, is absolute shit.

As though we need the reminder. As though any of us previously hungover parents could ever forget the tear-jerking realities of rolling out of bed to the 6 a.m. baby alarm after a night of drinking (or, in my case, just a couple slowly-sipped glasses of wine, because Jesus Christ that’s all it takes now). As though staying up past 10 p.m. while entirely sober isn’t its own kind of unforgettable parenting hangover. But I digress.

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Researchers at the University of Michigan surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,170 parents about boozing during “special occasions.” The vast majority of parents, all of whom had at least one kid under the age of 9, said they were likely to plan for someone to watch the kid during said event and arrange for safe transportation for themselves. Good job parenting, parents.

But less than half (47 percent) said they were “very likely to think in advance about how much they will drink and 64 percent said, “they are very likely to make plans for someone to take care of their child the day after the event.” That latter number seems quite impressive, actually—one that perhaps speaks to the unforgettability of parenting while hungover—but that still leaves 36 percent who are not very likely to arrange for childcare to facilitate their hangovers.

“Most parents planning to drink alcoholic beverages on a night out arrange for a designated driver and childcare for the event itself,” said Sarah Clark, the poll’s co-director, in a press release. “Fewer parents may consider how their alcohol consumption could impact parenting responsibilities to their young children the next day.” Or how fucking miserable it might be for the parents themselves. But, don’t you worry, they won’t forget. They won’t ever forget.

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While there is something both paternalistic and Onion-esque about the headline accompanying the poll’s press release—“One in 4 parents not prepared for ‘parenting hangovers’ this holiday season”—the researchers did find some unsettling stats. Namely, 29 percent of parents “said they know of an adult who may have caused an unsafe situation for their child due to drinking alcohol at a special celebration.” Most often, the concern arose because an “adult was too impaired or hung over to supervise their child,” and less commonly because “the adult drove with a child while impaired,” “got violent or out of control in front of the child,” or “injured the child.”

So, there is lying on the couch with a pounding headache while your kid endlessly cranks the jack-n-the-box—and then there is that.