Why do stag weekend dads get so drunk on the first night?


Stag. Stag. Stag. Awooo. Awooo. Awooo. Apologies for the excitable start to this answer, but I am just back from a three-day stag in the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik. It was the second big bachelor party I’ve been on since our little man was born and I can confirm that I did indeed get absolutely, totally, completely, utterly and irresponsibly legless on the first night. It’s not something that I am particularly proud of, but it is something I want to write about for a couple of reasons.

First, I want to make sure that all the other stag weekend dads who have made similar mistakes feel better about themselves. Second, I want to offer an explanation for the actions of all we stag weekend dads (note to all potentially angry partners: that says explanation rather than defence). Are you ready for it? You are. Fan dabi dozi, because here goes.

We’re out of practice

In the same way that a footballer will only perform at his or her best when he or she is match fit, stag weekend dads will only be able to keep up with the beverage consumption of the rest of the group when they are stag fit. So how do you know whether you are stag fit or not? Simple. If, like old me, you arrive with three party shirts, a battle hardened liver and a rested mind, then you are stag fit and ready to perform to the peak of your hedonistic powers. And if, like new me, you arrive with one shoelace, four hours’ sleep and a hazy memory of drinking regularly sometime back in the early noughties, then you are not stag fit and ready to experience one of the worst headaches of your life on the second morning.

We’re excited

No kid(s). Catching up with the mates you used to see every weekend, but haven’t talked to since DG’s wedding last August. Alcohol. Fancy dress. The opportunity to sick up rather than be sicked up on. Ooooohhhhhh Jeremy Corbyn. Drinking games. Challenges. Shots (of booze, American readers). Busting out the nicknames your wives have long-since banned. Seven consecutive meals that only involve bread, cheese and cold meat. Oh my goodness, someone pass the gin, vodka, beer and cider, because this is the weekend I have been waiting for all my life.

No matter what happens, we get a lie in

Is six hours of uninterrupted sleep and a hangover the size of Mont Blanc preferable to four hours of interrupted sleep and waking up to feed the baby at 5am? Yes it is. Next question.

We know we’ll get thrown the baby as soon as we get back*

Forget any ideas of getting home, being asked how your trip was and shepherded towards the couch with a glass of water and a packet of Haribo. If you’ve been away from parenting duties for two nights, then you are getting presented with your little pride and joy the second – and I mean the second – you walk in the door. This means that having a nightmare hangover after night two is a very, very bad idea. And this means that the new dad’s only option is to leave it all out there on night one. Or, you know, drink moderately on both nights. But let’s face it, if you were sensible enough to do that, then you would not have made it anywhere near the bottom of this article.


*note to social services: this is a metaphor.


  1. Ah yeah, no, I am in my 50s and everyone I’ve ever known has already had their stag/hen night. Thank God. But I do go to shows with my kids (17 and 23), so there’s that.

  2. […] 7. Routines only matter when you’re at home Can you feel it? I’m talking about that sense of freedom. The weight dropping off your shoulders. The carefree vibe that appears on the second or third day of your holiday and screams, “Routine? Who gives a flying whatdoyoumayflip if the bubster is out of routine? We are on holiday, so why not let him wake up at 9am, eat lunch at 1.30pm, nap at 3.30pm and sleep anywhere from 9.30pm to 11.30pm? The sun is shining and we don’t have anywhere to be, so as long as the bubster’s happy, who cares what the clock says? Let’s just all sit back, smile and have another drink.”* […]

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