6 ways parenting is just like partying in your youth

Parenthood and your party past might feel like worlds apart, but they actually have plenty in common. Both are exhausting, exhilarating and can make you seriously question your life choices at 4am.

In fact, you could argue all those pub crawls, dance parties and spontaneous kick-ons weren’t just foolish, alcohol-fuelled adventures. No, they were actually training exercises to introduce your brain to sleep deprivation and a zombie-like state so you could survive parenthood later. Suddenly it all makes sense.  

Here are six ways your party lifestyle was prepping you all along – you just didn’t know it.

1. You get no sleep

Whether it’s clubs or bubs, you’re up all night. Of course, back then it was your choice. All it took was six Vodka Red Bulls, a stash of guarana bars and one late-night kebab and you were sorted ’til sunrise.

Now you don’t even have to leave home to be deliriously sleep-deprived. All it takes is a baby in da house to make some noise and you’re up ‘til the break of dawn. Least it’s cheaper and there’s no dress code.

2. You wake up in the weirdest places

Friends’ couches. Strangers’ beds. On a late-night train with half a pie dripping down your arm. Waking up was full of surprises in your party prime. A mate of mine once had such a big night out, he woke up in another state (true story – and no, it wasn’t me).

These days, regaining consciousness can be equally as random and ridiculous. As a sleep-starved dad with kids who liked to sleep one hour at a time, I’ve woken up next to the cot holding a milk bottle, in a toddler bed surrounded by teddies (after they stole my own bed) and snuck micro-sleeps in parks, family functions and work meetings. Actually, to be fair, I think I did the last three before kids too.

3. Someone’s always talking crap

Let’s face it, there’s not much difference between a boozy friend and a two-year-old when it comes to conversation. They babble incoherently, get shouty and love telling long stories that go nowhere. One’s crapping on about their ex after too many shots, the other’s gushing about Paw Patrol after too much sugar. Both are painful and make you want to drink more.

4. You’re always cleaning up someone’s mess

Vomit down your top. Unspeakable stains on the floor. Wee in the bath. Raising a toddler is just like a raging house party of old, and both can get out of control very, very quickly. There are some key differences, however:
A. You can ask a mate to leave if they’re getting feral. That’s harder to do when it’s your own child.
B. Most parties get messy on the weekends. Toddlers do it daily, if not hourly.

5. There’s unexpected nudity

It used to be your best mate hitting the Breezers and getting their junk out for a nudie-run around the pub pool table. Now it’s bub ripping off their nappy in Aldi and running down the aisle like a lunatic. Strangely, it was funnier back then.

6. You listen to strange, highly repetitive music

Nonsensical lyrics. High-pitched vocals. Trippy visuals. Let’s face it, those old school rave tunes and songs from kids’ TV shows are virtually interchangeable. Both sound like they were made by people under the influence and both warp the mind after prolonged exposure.

Unfortunately for parents, kids become addicted and demand them on repeat. Watching shows like In The Night Garden and Teletubbies feels like an acid trip that never wore off. Worse yet, they’re a gateway drug to more dangerous gear like LazyTown‘s freaky-faced puppet pop. You can’t go back to normal after that. Trust me, I know.

(By the way, if you want real, feel-good family music, try Kinderling Kids Radio and save your sanity.)

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