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'When my baby was 3 months old, I went on a night out. My hubby found me passed out on the doorstep.'

The following is an extract from A Thousand Wasted Sundays by Victoria Vanstone, available here.

Via the hospital antenatal classes, I was connected to a group of girls who'd popped out brats at the same time I had. Every Monday morning, we met at a park that overlooked the ocean

It was nice getting to know women who were balancing in the same unsteady boat as me. I was intrigued to hear how others coped, and if they felt like shoving their heads in the oven the way I did. 

There were tears during our first meeting. We took turns having breakdowns, all of us so tired and overwhelmed. But after each get-together, I felt lighter, knowing others were struggling through the same hardships as I was.

Image: Supplied.

I knew that beyond the frivolous baby chit-chat, fluffy jumpers and Tupperware containers, we were all anticipating the chance to show our true, deviant selves.


The hedonistic booze hounds who guzzled shots, pulled our skirts over our heads, and ripped our shirts open when the guitar solo at the beginning of 'Livin' on a Prayer' was played. I was gagging for the opportunity to see these modest mums let their hair down. So, when the topic arose, I leaped at it. 

Listen to Victoria's chat with Kate Langbroek on No Filter. Story continues below.

At last, a chance to go out and be my old self. My God, I deserve it, I haven't been out in ages. One night won't hurt. I was determined to be the life and soul of the party again, and wasn't going to let a baby stand (or crawl) in my way.

"Let's have a night out," I declared, as we packed snacks into our many-faceted nappy bags. Those five simple words represented my return to binge drinking.

Watch: Em Rusciano talks about working with postnatal depression. Post continues below. 

Video via Mamamia.

The first few drinks were perfect (as they always were.) I was within my preordained limit, interacting, nodding and making jokes at the right points. The girls were all drinking wine. 

Their glasses were fuller for longer. I was knocking them back quickly, I was so excited to be out, and not thinking about the baby at all. I didn't even consider looking at my phone to check on him as he went to bed.

With each trip to the bar, I headed further into my predictable descent. I had mentally given myself the green light to get tanked. I was gulping beers, slamming shots and necking wines. 

My minimal good intentions were quickly annihilated, my self-care sucked into a black hole. Faces and places began to seem distant; my happy, coherent demeanour disappeared.

"Are you okay?" someone asked.

Someone else was holding me up.

"Yes, where's the toilet?"

I was hoping a tactical vomit might increase my chances of staying out. I managed to bang closed the door of the little cubicle and lurch towards the toilet. Five minutes later, I flushed my night away, along with a shot of tequila and some bitter-tasting puke. 


The pressure from heaving, combined with the fact I'd just given birth, made me pee myself a bit. The pad did its job but before I sat down at the table, I tucked my sequinned dress up between my legs in case of any seepages. 

Then, instead of going home, I took a deep breath and carried on.

Image: Supplied.

Back at the bar, I bought two drinks. I couldn't see the money in my wallet and just slapped down some coins and a note, hoping it was enough. My drink sploshed over the sides of the glass as I bumped into tables. 


I looked over to my friends. They were all sitting with their backs straight, sipping full glasses of wine. None of them looked that tiddly – more like they were at a tea party, chatting about the weather and what accountant they used.

I couldn't remember much from that moment on. I flashed in and out of consciousness: an awkward crotch grind, an angry bouncer with puffy hair chucking me out into the rain, a stumble to find food, and the sound of my moans inside a toilet.

Who are these people?

Where am I?

Then a cab.

My body flayed around the back seat. I closed my eyes and spun like I was on a Waltzer. Vomit rose. I reached out for anything to be sick into. 

My hands made their way down my handbag strap, then to the zip. I opened my bag and projectile vomited into the small silk-lined space. My aim wasn't great and the pure volume of sick worked against me.

I shouldn't have had that kebab, I thought as I prepared for round two. I tried to make my regurgitation quiet (drunk quiet) and ducked out of the driver's view. If I can't see him, he can't see me, I thought as vomit spilled over the sides of my bag and all over the seat.

"Are you okay, love? Do you need me to pull over?"

"Yes please, I've had too much to drink."


I leaned out of the car before it came to a full stop and emptied my stomach into the gutter. My homemade pavement pizza slid towards a drain, and I mumbled 'Sorry' to the nice cabbie. 

He handed me a tissue and drove me home.

I found my door key in the bottom of my rancid, soupy bag, then tried to open the door. The key scratched over the copper-coloured lock. It wouldn't slide into its designated hole and my arm got tired from trying. I collapsed in a heap and my key fell to the floor. 

"Open the door, it's me," I said, with my head lolling around on top of my useless body.

Then I passed out on the doormat. 

Image: Supplied.

John heard my wails and opened the door. My body was flopped backwards on the carpet, and my legs stuck through the front door like I was the Wicked Witch of the West. A stream of sick seeped from my handbag. 


He carried me to the bathroom, where he hosed me down, like a zookeeper washing a muddy elephant. I sat in the bath in my sequined dress with warm water flowing over me. 

My sweet husband didn't tell me off, or ask me where I'd been or why I was wearing a bow tie. He just wrapped a fluffy white towel around my body and told me to sit on the couch while he got a glass of water.

When he returned, I was slumped on the floor, moaning like an injured polar bear. Fast asleep.

The following morning, my two worlds collided. 

"You'll have to get up, Vicky. George needs feeding."


"The baby's hungry!"

Oh, yeah. 

Shit … 

… the baby.

Feature Image: Supplied.

The following is an extract from A Thousand Wasted Sundays by Victoria Vanstone, available here.

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