Years back, in college and immediately after college while living in Austin, TX, I did what any wild unmarried girl would do; I partied. A LOT. Those years of thirsty Thursdays and partying with musicians and military guys prepared me for motherhood in ways I would have never expected. Being able to tuck in a 6’2” drunk guy from Alabama while wearing heels more than qualifies me to tuck in a 3-foot-tall dinosaur toddler even when they are practically crossed eyed, but "not tired", while barefoot in sweatpants. From bedtime yoga to desperate attempts for snack and drinks of water, I’m prepared for it all.
Last night, my 3-year-old son awoke me from a dead sleep and called me to his door. I bolted out of bed like the house was on fire to see my curly haired little ginger boy standing at the baby gate in front of his room with his little hand sticking out, and he tells me, “Mommy, take my booger”. On my 21st birthday, one of my friends took a dump in my bath tub, and I cleaned it up the next day while completely hung over. I barehanded took that booger, tucked my little guy back in, and took my tired ass back to bed. I fear no germs. Bars are disgusting, and so are your drunk friends. Kids are pretty neat and tidy in comparison.
Toddlers will trash your things just like your drunk friends or your drunk self will trash them. Shower curtain, favorite lipstick, brand new sheets; if it has met death at the hands of an intoxicated person, your kids will destroy it and make those adults look like amateurs.
The first several years of your kids' lives, you will spend a majority of your time trying to keep them from killing themselves from rolling over while swaddled, having a blanket over their face, or pulling a piece of furniture over onto themselves. It’s all very similar to watching your drunk friends sleep to make sure they don’t choke and die on their own vomit. You might think that using phrases like “don’t put that in your mouth” or “please don’t climb on that” or “she really didn’t mean what she said, so do not go fight her” might only apply to either parenting or partying, but truthfully, you could find yourself using any of those statements in either situation.
If I could go back and tell my past partying self anything at this point, it would be, “Thank you for all of those asinine all nighters”. I am now a high functioning, sleep deprived person. Just put on the coffee, and I’m good to go. I used to go to an 8 am art history class on no sleep while still intoxicated; I made a B. That’s pretty good in my book. I can change a diaper, take a toddler to the bathroom, safely bathe them, and I can even use a stove safely on no sleep now.
In closing, years of putting Ikea furniture together while drunk and eating pizza prepared me to do it with three-year-old twins. Now they lose my tools, not me. The joys of motherhood are more rewarding than staying up way too late on a school night to snag that cute guys phone number, but I now truly appreciate the training I was putting myself through.