Something has been bothering me. It may offend you, and I do not mean for it to (because I am all about you doing you), but it is bugging me and I have to get it out.
More and more, posts my friends are sharing on Facebook, pages I follow on Facebook and Instagram, in stores I frequent and even in gyms, I am seeing posts about drinking and parenthood (motherhood, in particular). Lately, it seems like if you are a mom with kids (especially little kids), you are expected, celebrated and even encouraged to drink alcohol (mostly wine) … just to make it through the day.
On everything from glasses to tank tops to ONESIES, I am seeing things like, “mama needs a drink,” “I’m the reason mommy drinks,” “mommy juice” (with a picture of a wine glass). There was a time when I thought these quotes were funny and maybe I even purchased something with one of these quotes on it, but then – something starting nagging at me.
Last May, my husband and I stopped drinking. The reasons why are unimportant and I cannot promise you that you haven’t seen one of us with a drink since then, but for the most part – we are done with that part of our lives. Our daughter is getting older and is always looking at what we are doing, often asking us for a sip of whatever we are drinking or a bite of what we are eating, so instead of constantly saying no, we just decided to stop. She really did not need to see us both with a wine glass at dinner every evening anyway. Meals are much better now.
But, now that I am not drinking I am more aware of the culture of “mom drinking.” Google it – apparently it’s a thing. Day drinking, soccer drinking, happy hour. I get that everyone needs to relax and take a break and maybe a glass of wine is what does that for you. But, it does concern me that more bars are open to parents bringing their children. I see more restaurants with whole families who are drinking bottles of wine together while their children play close by. It seems like if there is a gathering of women/moms, there will always be wine – whether or not the littles are invited.
What kind of message is this sending to our children? When they are out with their peers as they get older, aren’t they going to have the mentality that drinking is just what they are supposed to do? I know when I’ve had a few drinks, I am not totally myself. Don’t you want your child to have a consistent presence in your home instead of a mom who is giggly one day, but hungover the next? How about those of us with kids who know how to read? If you are wearing a shirt that says something like, “they whine, I wine” – how does that make your child feel?
I thought all of this was funny when I was drinking my glass of wine each night. But, now that I’ve stopped, I’ve realized it’s everywhere and it’s actually sometimes difficult to be the mom who does not drink. Right away others think I’m pregnant (and that’s not happening again, for sure!). I’ve skipped out on a number of events because I know there will be wine and champagne and I’d just rather not. Look, I’m not going to give you side-eye or anything if I see you with a glass of wine and who knows, there might be times when I even join you, but I will always give it a second thought.