When you’re pregnant, you quickly realize that the world does not, in fact, revolve around your pregnancy. While you’re stone-cold sober for those 40 (plus) weeks sipping water, juice, tea, or some variation of a mocktail that would undoubtedly taste better with vodka, the people around you continue to get married, host parties, go to happy hour or kick back at home on Friday night with a bottle of red. Rude, right?
But just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean your social life needs to be put on hold. You will still have events to attend, friends to see and dinners to endure. And to avoid insanity, you should go. But when you’re sober, some of the aformentioned events are more tolerable than others. The worst offenders?
1. Concerts. I’ve been to five concerts while pregnant: Seeing the cast of Nashville; Tegan & Sara; Carrie Underwood; Ed Sheeran and Lollapalloza. All happened at different stages of my pregnancy and all were very different “vibes” and with different groups of friends. I think all of these things make a difference when considering how tolerable it is. Generally speaking, you don’t have to be drunk to enjoy a concert. Except Lolla. Be drunk for that. Or high. Something.
2. Football season/Tailgating. Fall and football are two of my favorite things. College football Saturdays, Sunday Funday – you name it, I like it. I also love day drinking. (I mean, honestly, is there anything better than getting drunk in the morning, being home by 5pm and in bed by 8pm? I think not.) Obviously, football and tailgating are the perfect reasons to day drink, so this time of year is pretty much my nemesis.Once I got over not being able to drink in the early days of pregnancy, it was smooth sailing. Until one recent fall day. The weather was beautiful, nice enough to sit on the patio. Football season had just started and bars around Chicago were packed to the brim with people. Never have I ever in my pregnancy wanted a drink more.
3. Bachelorette parties. I was invited to a bachelorette party in Vegas while I was pregnant. I couldn’t go due to other obligations, but if I could have, I wouldn’t have. There is no way Vegas could be fun without the option of getting drunk or being able to alter your reality in some shape or form. I’ve been to one bachelorette party in Chicago, where I opted out of the daytime bar crawl and joined the inebriated group for dinner only. It was fine, but we’ve all been the most sober person in the room at some point. Not the best time, and in this case, no option to play catch up. I also hosted a bachelorette party for my little sister back in Iowa, and despite being pregnant, planned the day with activities like winery tours, a party bus and bar hopping. My sister is 23, I should add. I found this particular bachelorette party to be insanely annoying in the early part of the evening, but as the day progressed, I got less annoyed. Because people watching. And blackmail.
4. Weddings. This is tough. I’ve attended three weddings while pregnant, and have a fourth one coming up. I think the fun factor here/ability to enjoy yourself sober depends on your wedding hosts and the guests you spend the evening with. As I have told each bride, if someone has sober fun at your wedding, it was a good party.
Thankfully, I have fun friends. As such, I’ve had a great time at every wedding I’ve attended this year, even sober. I don’t expect the fourth to be any different. There are bonuses to being sober at a wedding: Weddings usually mean good food and dessert, which as every pregnant woman knows, is our saving grace. Personally, when I’m boozing it up, sometimes I forget to eat and I NEVER get the cake. Also, there’s never better people watching than a bunch of hammered folk on the dance floor, and it’s fun to be able to tell people what actually happened last night when they can’t remember the next day.
Speaking of the dance floor: Easily the worst thing about sober wedding-going is the dancing. I am a terrible dancer. When I’m drunk, I don’t care. I am the epitome of “Dance like no one’s watching.” Sober, I am VERY aware of my dancing skills. The good part is that everyone else is drunk, so they don’t notice you suck at dancing anyway.
5. Vacations. How much being sober sucks depends on your location. For example, we went to Puerto Rico in May for our anniversary and it sucked not being able to suck down Mai Tai’s by the pool. But then we went to New York for our babymoon, and focused on the food rather than the cool bars. I survived. But, here’s the thing. Vacations are made for relaxing and for me (and many others), relaxing means having a drink. The way my husband and I vacation, we don’t focus on drinks, but we do have them quite frequently. We might take a break from walking and get a drink at a cute wine bar. We might have a beer at lunch. We might go out for dinner and have some drinks before hand (and during. And after.). We might look like real classy Americans and have a Heinekin while waiting in line for the Eiffel Tower (true story). Point is…vacations are best served with cocktails.
6. Holidays. Holidays are for celebrating and what better way to celebrate than with an alcoholic beverage? Holidays are also made for family time and what better way to survive those assholes than with too much to drink? So far, I’ve endured the Fourth of July, my birthday and Halloween sober. I’ll (probably) still be pregnant on Thanksgiving and if we’re lucky, I can ring in Christmas and New Year’s Eve with a baby in one hand and a drink in the other. In any case, being sober for any celebration, especially one that involves surviving your family, sucks. After all, you don’t have anything to blame when you accidentally on-purpose call your Aunt Sally a bitch when she gleefully exclaims, “Look how big your belly is!”
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