I did it.
I went the entire work week without winding down at the end of the day with a glass of wine. And if I’m being one hundred percent honest, I’m ashamed to say that rarely happens.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t get smashed drunk on a daily basis or anything along those lines at all. However, I’d be lying if I said that my fridge doesn’t typically have a bottle of wine stashed away for good measure. Once my kids are all settled doing their homework and I’m making dinner I love to relax with my personal favorite, delicious red, red wine. (I dare you to say “red, red wine” without singing the classic song.)
I know this isn’t an uncommon theme among my circle of friends who mainly consist of middle class suburbanite moms. I know this is typical behavior for many of us because we have all had honest conversations that have confirmed my suspicions. We all agree that we drink more than we probably should.
I’ve noticed a shift in our society. Mom drinking is no longer a hush-hush topic. It seems as if these days moms and wine go together like peanut butter and jelly. Mom drinking has become so socially acceptable that it’s hardly taboo at all. In fact, it’s almost celebrated.
Mom meet-ups frequently include wine tastings, children’s birthday parties are extra fashionable if margaritas are served, and even finishing up large after school projects with other PTO moms are often times bring your own bottle affairs.
A quick scroll through Facebook makes it seem as if every other meme about parenting involves drinking. Not only is mom drinking talked about frequently on social media platforms, drinking has even become a running joke between friends. A new mom has a rough day and people come out of the woodwork to encourage her by saying that “it’s 5 o’clock somewhere.” In fact, I’ve noticed that sometimes I personally find it easier to connect to a fellow mom by chatting about the best place for Happy Hour than it is to make small talk about the weather.
These thoughts have led me to question if this new norm is healthy. Is it healthy for us to use alcohol as such a massive crutch in parenting? I can’t help but wonder it it’s damaging for our children to rarely see moms on a play date without drinks in their hand. Will our children be more likely to struggle with alcohol when it’s not uncommon to find juice boxes and beer sitting side-by-side at birthday parties? Are we sending the wrong message to those around us that our lives are so miserable that we need to soften parenting with alcohol?
I’m obviously not writing this to shame anyone or to say that I have the answers. These are heartfelt questions that I find myself searching for answers for. I’m also definitely not suggesting that we halt the wine drinking all together and go back to the days of prohibition, and I’m not one to get upset over innocent jokes. However, I can’t help but stop and wonder if maybe, just maybe, society (myself included) has taken the mom drinking thing a little too far.