Warning: This post contains bad language, images of drunken debauchery and a very hungover Maddy. Proceed with caution.
Being a parent has done many things to my life and body.
It has enhanced my life in so many ways. I love being a parent. I am more compassionate, more caring and more responsible. I have more body confidence and more confidence in my own abilities. I have a daughter I adore; she gives me reasons to smile every single day.
I also have zero tolerance for alcohol, apparently.
Saturday night was my hen night (yep, that’s how close we are to the big day!). We weighed up various options for activities – trampolining, paintball, go karting – but in the end, the decision was simple. Eat pizza and get very, very drunk.
Not wanting my impressionable young daughter to see me in such a state
and wanting a Queen Size bed to haul my drunken arse into, I did the responsible thing and booked a hotel room for the night. I thought I’d revel in my status as Mum On The Town and drink responsibly. I’d be a dignified hen – wafting through town in a slightly-tipsy state, shaking my head exasperatedly as my feral hens ravaged the town around me.
Did it work?
For reference, this was at Pizza Hut, before we’d even properly started drinking. Notice the presence of innocent children. I was not a responsible bride-to-be. Parenting responsibilities be damned; for one night only I was The Hen, and I was going to paint the town red with a penis-shaped paintbrush.
Back at the hotel, the drinking games started. All my honourable intentions dissolved the moment I picked up a bottle of sambuca and started pouring out the shots. We drank mixers and dirty pints out of Paw Patrol paper cups, wearing party hats. A few games of Ring of Fire, Never Have I Ever and Dickhead Hoopla (don’t even ask) later, and we were OUT.
All that “wafting down the street” I had planned? No. That didn’t happen. Instead, on our way out of the hotel I found a feminine hygiene disposal bag in the bathroom, misread “Sac Hygiene” as “Sac Magique” and carried this bag all the way into town and to the club, yelling “sac magique” (in the style of Tots TV) at anyone with the misfortune to walk past. Yes, you read that right. Maddy, the dignified hen, the responsible mother, walked down the high street, waving a bin bag for used tampons in people’s faces and shouting quotes from kids’ TV.
Doesn’t get much classier, does it?
Oh, and I was dressed as a schoolgirl, with penises on my head. Just in case it was all seeming a little too refined until now.
“Oh, I won’t drink when we’re out”, I’d haughtily told Daf a few hours earlier. “I’ll do all my drinking at the hotel and save money”.
We arrived at the club and, of course, I went straight to the bar to ask how much a jagerbomb was.
“It’s ten for £10”, the barman replied. I don’t think I’ve ever thrown a tenner at someone so quickly.
Once it started, it didn’t really stop. Tray after tray of jagerbombs arrived at our table – not paid for by me, I hasten to add – and I definitely seemed to be drinking the majority of them. Best of all, it was a karaoke bar. Karaoke is my thing. During one song, I was handed three jagerbombs to drink during one, singular instrumental break.
Did I manage it? Yes, I did.
After this, it all got a little fuzzy. I’ve pieced most of the night back together by what people told me, but apparently I sang a lot (which explains my lack of voice right now), gave everyone hen party sashes including some strangers who wished me a happy wedding, and the karaoke DJ himself, and tried to convince Daf’s best man that we should give up our career aspirations and become karaoke DJs at the club.
I distinctly remember saying the words, “I love my child, but sometimes mommy needs alcohol”.
Truer words have never been spoken.
I love being a mum. I love being a stay at home mum; I love snuggling on the sofa of an evening, I love relaxing and wearing my PJs and being there when my daughter goes to sleep and when she wakes up.
But I loved my hen night. It was exactly what I needed; a chance to cut loose with my closest friends and be Maddy for a while. It’s easy to lose your own identity, and when you see your friends going out drinking and you’re being called “mummy”, you can forget that you’re still a young person too.
Nights like my hen night are the perfect way to make sure I remember to be Maddy now and then.
The resulting hangover is the perfect way to make sure I don’t do it too often.