I’ve just got back from a mate’s stag do. We headed over to Stuttgart for the weekend to coincide with the start of Cannstatter Volksfest – a huge, annual beer festival and travelling funfair, not too dissimilar to Oktoberfest in Munich. We had a good laugh, it was cool to experience a German beer festival and we helped send my mate off into married life on a high – or at least an average middle.
Much like I do with everything in life, as the weekend progressed, I found myself thinking about stag dos from a parenting perspective. To my amazement – and horror – I started noticing a number of similarities between having a kid and being on a jolly with a group of blokes. You may not see it at first glance, but believe me, they’re more similar than you think. So, here are five reasons why stag dos are the same as being a parent:
You Don’t Get Much Sleep
It’s pretty well documented that having a kid
destroys impacts your sleep. Hourly feeds, sleep regressions, night terrors and an inability for them to appreciate a lie-in means that you spend the first few years of your kid’s life in a sleep-deprived state. Although this gets slightly better as they get older, it doesn’t ever return to the pre-kid days – even at three-years old, it’s not uncommon for us to have to go into Toddler L’s bedroom multiple times per night. As such, tiredness and a lack of sleep is a massive side effect of kids.
Just like this parenting lark, stag dos will see you get very little sleep. Although the idea of laying in a comfy hotel without your child sounds like bliss, the reality is that you’re unlikely to spend much time in bed – and when you do, you’ll be spooning one of your mates (or is that just me?). As a stag do represents one last hurrah, pulling an all-nighter is basically the law. Anything this side of 3am is frowned upon, so expect to function on only a few hours kip.
It Takes Ages To Get Anywhere
When you have a kid, you’ll soon realise that leaving the house is a huge ballache. Once upon a time, you could pick up your phone, keys and wallet, then be out of the house in seconds. Not with a child though. You have to pack a bag, make sure they’re dressed appropriately, then wait for the tantrum about (delete as appropriate) the wrong shoes / no longer wanting to go out / can’t find favourite toy / won’t go to the toilet etc just as you’re about to go out. Invariably, you are always late no matter how much contingency time you factor in.
That’s not too dissimilar to stag dos. You’d think that grown men could get themselves ready and out of the hotel at a designated time, but that’s rarely the case. Someone’s left their wallet in the room, someone needs a snack, someone is too hungover to move, someone has gone missing and someone decides they need a shit. Throw into the mix things like public transport and alcohol and you’re likely to have more success herding cats.
They Cost More Than You Think
Having a kid is bloody expensive. If it’s your first baby, your expenditure is likely to be huge. Not only do you have to get the big ticket items like a pram, car seat and cot, but there’s all of the little expenses that soon add up – think dummies, nappies, clothes and breast pads (although I’m not sure how much I needed the latter). As they get older, you find that your kid costs you more and more – £48 for a three-year old at a theme park and over £500 a month for two days per week at nursery? Jesus wept. Throw in all of the unexpected costs and you’ll soon be considering a remortgage or a life of crime.
It’s the same on stag dos. It’s never going to be a cheap venture, and chances are, it’ll end up costing more than you originally budget. You’ve got the up front costs like travel, accommodation and activities that’ll hit you hard, but then there’s all of those incidentals which add on cost. Public transport, taxis, food, drink, drink, drink and 2am kebabs ain’t going to pay for themselves, are they? Not that I begrudge the cost – I’d much prefer to spend €5 on a beer stein rather than nappy rash cream.
You’re Driven To Drink
I’ve seen a noticeable increase in my alcohol intake since becoming a dad. As someone who only ever drunk to actually get drunk, I never really understood the notion of winding down with an alcoholic beverage in the evening. That changed when I had a kid. Sometimes, on those particularly shitty parenting days, the only thing getting me through to bedtime is the thought of a nice, cold BrewDog Punk IPA. In a way, becoming a parent has forced me to drink.
A concept that is all too familiar on stag dos. There’s such a lad culture surrounding stag dos and drinking is obviously a huge part of that. You’re aware that you’ll be forced to drink, but you’ll never be fully prepared for the frequency and delivery. Is it even a stag do if you’ve not had a pint before 6am at the airport, necked a shot you’ve never heard of with dubious symbols on the label or been forced to down a drink out of a shoe because you’ve failed to grasp the rules of a game that had probably been invented 30 seconds prior? Then, there’s the obvious fact that toddlers are like drunks.
It’s One Embarrassment After Another
You soon realise that life with a child is full of red-faced moments. Over the last few years, I’ve definitely become better at dealing with these situations, but your never far away from your child leaving you open-mouthed and flushed in the face. From crying uncontrollably in a restaurant to shouting “Daddy, I need a wee from my jyna” in the supermarket, the innocence of a kid can embarrass you in a heartbeat – particularly when in public. I don’t expect this to change anytime soon.
Similarly, stag dos can be a pretty embarrassing affair. When you get a bunch of blokes together, things can turn into a bit of a pissing competition with people attempting to outdo each other – often with awkward consequences. Then there’s the ‘uniform’ which sees you dress up in something you wouldn’t usually wear – not too bad when drinking at night, but a little embarrassing on public transport at 11am as people stare and take photos. Then let’s consider the stag – the whole point of the exercise being to embarrass and humiliate him. I’ll let your imagination run wild as to what that could entail.
So those are five reasons why stag does are the same as being a parent. Agree? What would you add to the list? Let me know below!