Parties are very different when they involve taking your baby along with you. The old me would have scoffed when people said “you just can’t relax with your baby around” and probably spouted some bullshit about not letting babies change your life. The old me was wrong. Partying with a baby is more risk assessments and firefighting overstimulation than drinking and dancing til you fall over. I have helpfully outlined the difference in the evenings below.
Pre-baby 2pm – Arrive and get handed a beer/large glass of wine.
Post-baby 2/3/4pm (depending on how long it took you to leave the house and if any poonami was experienced while preparing to depart) – Arrive and unpack mobile home from the car. Set up travel cot. Change baby’s nappy and clothes which are covered in piss and/or saliva. Feed baby after long car journey.
Pre-baby 2:15pm – drink second beer/glass of wine while mingling and chatting to everyone. Introduce self to new faces.
Post-baby 2:30 (or when unpacking/changing/feeding has commenced) – enter loud room full of new faces with baby. Jiggle baby repeatedly to stop baby crying. Pass baby back and forth to friends and family, resettling baby in between each new handler. Eventually give up and retreat to corner with baby on lap to allow them to settle and adjust to new environment. Signal to partner for glass of water, as knee-high in dehy(dration) after long drive and baby duties. Avoid new faces as feeling a mess and can’t be arsed.
Pre-baby 3pm – partake in glass of bubbly and cheers everyone. Commence snacking on crisps/olives while regailing party-goers of hilarious recent antics on drunken nights out.
Post-baby 3pm – Gently attempt to place baby on rug to play with fun but educational toys brought along to entertain them. Pick baby up and resettle when they cry. Repeat 4/5 times until baby finally seems happy to sit on floor surrounded by interested new faces. Pick baby up when someone gets too close/screams too loudly near them. Repeat 4/5 times. Eventually baby is happy. Signal frantically to partner for water and beer. Answer others questions about baby.
Pre-baby 4pm – feeling merry, sit down to dinner and engage in happy banter and/or rampant political debate. Increase volume slightly as merry becomes drunk.
Post-baby 4pm – set up high chair and strap baby in. Retrieve baby finger foods and snacks and proceed to offer them to baby between shovelling forkfuls of chilli into own mouth. Break back by repeatedly bending down to pick up whatever baby has dropped onto clean floor of party host.
Pre-baby 5pm – more drinking and engage in louder drunken conversation which now involves gossiping with party host.
Post-baby 5pm – clean up baby and surrounding area. Hand baby to daddy in order to go for quick piss and finish the other half of a, by now very warm, beer. Have quick five minute gossip with party host on way back from toilet.
Pre-baby 6pm – raid fridge/cupboard for gin or suggest a trip to shops to buy gin. By now quite definitely drunk.
Post-baby 6pm – take baby up for bath and bedtime routine. Bathe, feed and rock baby to sleep. Set up video monitor and stealthily creep out of room and downstairs to crack open beer number two. Still 100% sober. Continually check monitor and pray that baby stays asleep.
Pre-baby 7pm – gin flowing, engage with organised entertainment for the night, usually in the form of some sort of music quiz. Loudly whisper answers and excitedly shout ‘ooh ooh ooh’ when you know a song but can’t quite remember what it’s called.
Post-baby 7pm – baby has woken up crying. Re-rock baby to sleep. Curse.
Pre-baby 8pm – drunkenly prance around victorious as winners of quiz/ sulk bitterly in corner and whinge that questions were aimed at wrong era of music for me. Slug gin.
Post-baby 8pm – Rock baby back to sleep for third time since they went to bed. Increase volume of white noise to drown out wailing from downstairs. More cursing.
Pre-baby 9pm – forcefully suggest songs to be played that will get party started/ snatch iPad and line up some tracks on Apple Music to dance to. Include Beyoncé and old school garage.
Post-baby 9pm – Baby has finally (hopefully) settled. Take time to have quiet hug with partner and cheers with beer number 3 of the day. Still sober but feeling a little more relaxed, cue up some music to be played for listening enjoyment, e.g. Rolling Stones. Take it in turns with partner to guard door to music room to ensure it stays closed at all times and minimise risk of baby waking.
Pre-baby 10pm – encourage others to go to shops to get more booze. Partake in slinging shots of rum down own throat in between wailing Beyoncé lyrics and swinging hips wildly in definitely very sexy drunk dance moves.
Post-baby 10pm – drink beer and dance for two minutes before checking baby monitor. Continue to guard door. Repeat for next hour.
Pre-baby 11pm – more shots, more dancing, and maybe fall over a bit. Possibly offend someone with drunken remarks.
Post-baby 11pm – partner has gone upstairs to rock baby back to sleep. Look around, evaluate the drunkenness of other party guests and decide to call it a night. Head upstairs to sleep. Partner goes back down to rejoin party.
Pre-baby 11:30pm – possible tactical chunder. Follow with more gin and tonics.
Post-baby 11:30pm – partner also gives up and comes to bed.
Pre-baby 2/3am – slump into bed and commence snoring.
Post-baby 2/3am – wake up to baby crying, pass to partner while going for quick wee, feed baby, rock baby for 5-55mins depending on how much of a pain in the arse they are being.
Pre-baby 9/10am the next day – emerge from fetid pit with stinking headache and down a pint of water. Possibly vomit. Gingerly tiptoe downstairs, nod for tea/coffee and sit with head in hands or directly on table waiting for oblivion to arrive.
Post-baby 6/7am finally give up trying to get baby to sleep any longer. Change, dress and feed baby. Dress self and use baby wipe to ‘freshen up’ armpits and remove last nights make-up. Nod head for tea and stare into distance waiting for oblivion to arrive. Remember you have baby so will never catch up on lost sleep. Make excuses and prepare for long journey home.
Pre-baby Return home and decamp to sofa in pyjamas. Order pizza. Watch ‘I give it a year’ for seventh or eighth time. Crawl into bed around 10pm.
Post-baby Return home and unpack everything but the kitchen sink from car. Put a wash on. Entertain baby. Envy partygoers who remained in bed past 6am for rest of day. Look at baby sleeping in arms later that day and realise it was all worth it. Sneak in quick ten minute nap on sofa and feel refreshed. Weed garden, cook dinner, bathe, feed and put baby to bed. Slump on sofa with partner and stare at TV for half an hour. Crawl into bed at around 8:30pm praying that baby will sleep through for first time ever. Prepare to be disappointed.