Wine, Judgment and Motherhood

Yesterday one of my favorite bloggers tweeted her latest post and when I read it, all I could do was shake my head. Seems that ABC’s Good Morning America featured this piece and well as you can imagine it got folks to talking. In case you don’t feel like clicking or can’t click the piece was on the growing increase of moms getting together with fellow moms and their kids and well having an adult beverage in their time together. Really? This is newsworthy?

I have a confession. I am a mom, hell I have been one for exactly nineteen and a half years and well I like to have adult beverages. In fact there are many evenings that frankly after I get the 6 year old down for the night that the Spousal Unit and I relax with a bottle of two buck chuck or even some quality wine. See, when we signed on to become parents we did not sign on to stop being adults who well do adult things.

However based off the fact that from time to time I have been known to use my social media while relaxing and sipping my wine, I have actually had a few moms online accuse me of well, being unmotherly…my crime? Drinking wine. Now I admit I thought maybe these gals were just a tad uptight (see that wine can snatch that bug out the ass) but after reading a few pieces on the subject of moms having a drink, it seems somewhere along the line in uber parenting of the 2000’s many of us have missed the memo that motherhood does not mean you stop being an adult.
Obviously if you need that drink or its becoming a clutch, it’s time to step back and evaluate the situation. Also there should be no need to state the obvious that if you are getting blitzed out of your mind on a daily basis well that too is bad. That said, what is wrong with a few moms getting together while the kiddos play? Most play dates last several hours and if food is consumed and mom is only having a glass of wine for most folks in no way will their judgment be impaired. Now I know drinking and driving is an issue but for folks that can walk home or get a ride home, I see no harm. Frankly if the idea is that moms can’t effectively parent while impaired anyway, let’s talk sleep deprivation. Seriously, in 6 years of parenting the girl child, sleep deprivation screwed with my abilities far more than any glass of wine. I did not start sleeping full nights until she was damn near 4! Only in the past year is my body finally in a place where my mind feels clear because I am well rested.

Back in the days of yesteryear both the Spousal Unit and I remember our own mothers getting together with friends and chatting for hours and adult beverages being consumed. Hell, I grew up in an extended family that had many drinkers, some had drinking problems but many did not. One look at a show like Mad Men and you see the days of yesteryear and guess what Mamas drank. Frankly as women when we make judgments on what mothers should or should not do we are no better than the patriarchy that tries to hold us down by putting us in predetermined boxes of what womanhood and motherhood should or should not look like.

In the end it’s about personal choice, if you can’t drink that’s fine but to judge other women/mothers that do, well it’s not right and in the end it’s just another piece of the Mommy Wars that divide rather than bring is together.

As for me, let me get my Merlot!

8 thoughts on “Wine, Judgment and Motherhood”

  1. Danielle, sounds like a plan! I will bring the wine. 😉

    Jaci, I think you may be onto something, mama snark is hot so everyone wants to play along. My patience for so-called Bad Mamas is limited, my offline life is filled with parents who really are borderline bad and have the contact with CPS to prove it. So for me, talking about how you gave your kid non-organic food is bad really makes me want to punch folks out!

    Laura, there is a double standard when it comes to Moms and Dads. If dads took the kids to a ball game and had a beer or two, no one would think twice but a Mama with some wine? OMG!

    Personally I think if kids see their parents and other adults drinking responsibly they are probably less likely to go crazy about it when they come of age. I want to say I read a study that indicated that but don’t quote me.

  2. I’m torn between thinking that we as a culture are way too uptight and judgmental about some of life’s simple pleasures (enjoying watching your children play while you talk, enjoy the company of an adult who also has little ones, and model adult “play” behavior to those little ones) and thinking that we as a culture seem to dislike women in general…..If it were a bunch of men at a family type barbeque, a beer for the Dads is not only acceptable, but encouraged. What’s the difference?

  3. “Frankly as women when we make judgments on what mothers should or should not do we are no better than the patriarchy that tries to hold us down by putting us in predetermined boxes of what womanhood and motherhood should or should not look like.”

    Nail on the head.

    I have an issue with the immature mothers on Twitter who blather on every night about pouring glasses of wine to cope after their long, hard day of being a Mom. If they ARE drinking every night to escape from their lives, then they are ALCOHOLICS. My suspicion is 90% of those women don’t even have wine in the house but say all that shit because it’s cool to be a Bad Mom. It’s cool to be oh so miserable and snarky and need wine to survive the craptasticness that is her 1st World Life as an Upper Middle Class Suburban SAHM.

    Sorry. I feel like I’m impersonating Lewis Black in the middle of your nice blog post. *ahem* I’ll reign it back in now and go back to quietly sipping my iced tea.

  4. Shocker that Elizabeth Hasselback did this piece; there’s not a more judgier, pious, morality policing douche on TV. I grew up in a family of alcoholics to varying degrees; a couple of them with a strong fondness for marijuana as well. Were there times when I was not as well supervised as I should have been – you bet your ass – but usually it was when those relatives were stone sober and simply not engaged with us, had nothing to do with alcohol. I know myself, you know yourself, someone else suggesting they know what’s best for you and your kiddo is crap and I’m really getting kind of tired of all the judgment in the world. You guys want to come over next week for dinner, drinks and a playdate 😉

  5. This is a topic that causes me a lot of turmoil. Immediate family members suffer from ill health and a few have died because of alcohol related addictions. ALL said, “Oh, I just drink socially.” But then there is the love I still have for them and I’d like them to be happy. But where should the line be drawn? It is my experience most people with alcohol related issues are in denial until it’s too late… like when I was in high school had to drive (I didn’t even have a license) my father to the hospital because his liver was about to shut down. He denied to his doctor that he consumed more than one drink a day. But like I said, I want my folks and people to be happy, but… Just thoughts.

  6. Yes! My folks were the same, Sat night with friends over listening to music and having drinks. Those really were good memories for me.

  7. Ha! Some of my memories from childhood was my mom, dad and friends listening to Phoebo Snow or Earth Wind and Fire and having house parties.
    I am not sure why people equate being a parent with sacrificing all that is you as a person.
    This post gives me an idea…wine and cheese for all.

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