Off Duty Mom

Thoughts from an exhausted mom who is NEVER really "off duty"

Justifiable Alcoholism

It occurred to me recently that I talk about drinking wine pretty often.  I admitted to crying when I ran out of the stuff once.

I started to wonder whether admitting openly to loving wine (and actually also loving beer, margaritas, cosmopolitans, whisky sours and anything with Chambord just as much), was…inappropriate for a mom.  I guess I had flashbacks of that scene from “Desperate Houswives” when Bree is “caught” tossing out a bag full of empty wine bottles and her friends chatter about whether this was indicative of a problem.

I have officially decided that no, it is NOT a problem.


I decided that a little imbibement (imbibing? imbibitude? imbibishousness?) is good for the soul.  Or at least the sanity.

And, I realized that I wasn’t alone in this thinking.

Where have you been all my life?

It seems as though I am not actually the first mother to be overwhelmed by life.  While I understand that alcohol isn’t “the answer” — I mean all of those afterschool specials of the 80’s weren’t wasted on me, people — I do think that it is nice to revel in the things still left in my life that aren’t directly connected to diapers, Diego, dirty fingernails and Disney Channel.  For me (and for moms, everywhere, I imagine), a glass of wine symbolizes something acutely adult.  And, it is something typically only to be enjoyed when children are not around.  So for that reason alone, it is an escape from the exhausting duties of the day.

I was sad for a long time because I figured that I was the only one out there who felt like she was failing at motherhood.  I never seemed to have my crap together.  Every time I saw a mom with her baby in the grocery store and noticed that both she and the baby looked lovely and well-rested, the baby never screamed and the mom had impeccable make-up, I died a little inside as my kid had a tantrum and I realized I’d not showered in two days.

Blogging about stuff like this, I hope to let others out there know that you’re not failing at motherhood unless you are neglecting, abandoning or harming your children.  If they are getting love, support, attention and all of Maslow’s cacophony of “needs,” I think we’re all square.  Nobody gives a shit if your hair has been brushed recently.  In fact, you’d probably make all the other moms out there feel a little less awful about themselves if you just went ahead and went out with your hair looking like that.

Look — my go-to hairstyle of 2010 actually made it to the runway, y’all.

But, back to that wine.  Let us not forget what has brought me to my blog today in the first place.

Wine is awesome.  Really, as I mentioned before, grown-up drinks are all good in my book as they help us remember the parts of our lives that belong to US, not the vast majority of our days that belong to someone else (children, work, etc.).

I have learned that there are plenty of moms out there who believe in the benefits of having adult beverages.  Facebook even has groups like “OMG! I so need a glass of wine or I’m gonna sell my kids” that has been trademarked.  There is also a site called Moms Who Need Wine  that offers humor, recipes, support and nuggets of happiness for like-minded women.

Of course, there are always a bunch of jerks who want to ruin my buzz by insisting that marketing wines to mothers is irresponsible or that buying into the “culture” of drinking among mothers is dangerous.  To those of you who are against the idea of a legal adult enjoying a cocktail every now and again, I say:  “don’t do it, then.”  In all things I am generally against telling others what to do, think, say or drink, so I will happily agree to stay the hell out of your business if you stay the hell out of mine.  Of course, all things must be done in moderation, but suggesting that a responsible adult ought not to have a bottle of wine with dinner with her (or his — wine does not discriminate) partner after a long day and the kids are in bed is ludicrous.

I suggest you all take a look at Moms Who Wine when you have a moment.   Here is a blogger who really gets it.  And, by “it,” I mean “drunk.”  But, in a good way.  Really.

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17 thoughts on “Justifiable Alcoholism

  1. mrserinl on said:

    Haha! LOVE this! You are definitely not alone. And thanks for the Moms Who Wine shout out!

  2. Reblogged this on time2sh1ne and commented:

  3. Pingback: Wine Marketed to Moms? | Moms Who Wine

  4. I don’t partake often as alcohol tends to upset my stomach, but there are days that I NEED a glass (bottle?) of vino. If it weren’t for my IBS, I’d probably have more of those days 🙂

    • Someone very close to me suffers from IBS and now can’t enjoy the coffee he loves so much as it causes him such problems. It’s an awful ailment, really. Hope you’re feeling well. Take care!

  5. Love this post! Been there, done that! I do feel a tad guilty when my daughter (she’s 3.5 years old) lovingly asks me when I get home from work, “mommy, where’s your beer?”

  6. Not just the wine, I’m contemplating a stiff rum and diet caffeine free cola. Diet because that means it’s healthier. Perhaps you would consider joining Parents Anonymous, where alcohol is the solution not the problem.

  7. I am right there with you! Wine is good, and it contains antioxidants which we all need! 😉

    • Ooohh… I forgot about antioxidants. Good point. Thanks so much!

      • I totally got your feelings about the pristine mother/child that you run into while yours is having a tantrum and you’re dirty ;). I used To make excuses for my filthiness when I had a baby, but it just continues! Errands done or shower but not both usually.

      • Isn’t that the truth? I am just constantly surprised by how tough it is to juggle my life now. I never thought I’d maybe not be handling it. But, some days I am really not handling it and I think more moms should be honest about these realities so that the next crop of new moms don’t have to endure so much guilt about not being able to do it all.

  8. Yes! Yesterday I was that woman in the supermarket, carrying my tantrumming toddler over my shoulder back to the car.

  9. While I’m finding myself relating to many of your posts, this in particular speaks to me. I could have written it myself, if I weren’t so worried about posting yet *another* reference to wine in my blog. My mother is already sending me concerned e-mails. Thanks for making me feel better about my “habit.”

    • 🙂

      You’re not alone. And, frankly (as is the case for you, I am sure), I talk more about it than I actually do it. I have a very occasional glass (or three) of wine here and there and I don’t really think I should have to apologize for it. Neither should you!

      I shall head over to your blog immediately to read about our sisterhood in Mommy Juice.

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