Hey, moms. I’m not a big fan of resolutions, but I’m going to throw one out there for the rest of you. Let’s cool it with the whole “Mommy needs wine” thing this year, okay?
Now, don’t worry; I’m not the Fun Police and I sure as shit don’t want to take away your booze or “mommyjuice” or “mommywine” or whatever you call it. I love wine as much as the next guy — perhaps even more. My Instagram handle is @theboozybungalow, you’re reading my cocktail blog by the same name, and as I write this my son is tucked safely into his robot sheets dreaming about Dinotrux while I’m on my second glass (er, jelly jar) of my favorite $9-a-bottle vinho verde.
All of that is to assure you that I am firmly in the PRO camp when it comes to moms drinking wine (here, let me pour you a glass; you’re gonna love this stuff). But here’s the thing: I really wish you’d stop citing motherhood as the reason you do it.
Unless you’re churning out a bunch of kids because your religion tells you to, or you’re someone’s handmaid (and I bet neither of those groups is bragging about their chardonnay consumption on social media) for most of us, having kids is a choice, and a privilege — not something that should require numbing by way of a cheap bottle of fermented grape juice.
I mean, of course, yes — motherhood is stressful as fuck. That most of us do it willingly doesn’t negate the fact that it’s challenging, exhausting, and at times, downright terrifying. But if you’re constantly using alcohol to cope with those things, that’s kind of a problem. And even if you want to ignore that problem, it’s still really uncool to publicly and repeatedly blame your habit on your kids.
You don’t need motherhood as an excuse to imbibe, and it shouldn’t be your reason, either. Have a glass because you’re celebrating, or just because you’re a grownup and it’s Tuesday you fucking want to.
Own that shit.
By joking that “mommy needs wine,” because “#momlife amirite?!,” you’re basically showing your kids (and, really, everyone else) that you need alcohol just to deal — more specifically, to deal with your life of privilege that’s populated by the people you’re supposed to love more than anyone else in the world. And while I’m definitely not up for Mom of the Year — and I definitely am guilty of using alcohol to “unwind” on occasion — I don’t think “introducing alcohol as a coping mechanism” is anyone’s idea of #momgoals.
If things are really so bad you feel you need wine, talk to your doctor, because you probably do need something, and it’s probably not wine. But if you’re enjoying a glass or three in a social setting or even to unwind, just own up to the fact that you’re an adult woman drinking a goddamn glass of wine. Even if your kids totally stressed you out earlier in the day, do you really want to associate your kids with your drinking? (No. No, you do not.)
Not only are you modeling unhealthy drinking habits with your “mommyjuice” memes and cheesy coasters, you could very well be emotionally screwing up your children (more than the average parent otherwise does, I mean), even if your kids are still really young.
Seriously though: Have you ever tried to have a conversation with a toddler? Because they take everything super literally. Recently, my husband was talking about “throwing dogs on the grill,” and my three-year-old son panicked and wailed, “No, Dada! Don’t cook our dogs!”
So if “Mommy needs wine” is a running joke in your house, try to imagine for a minute what your kids are going to say about you to their therapist in 20 years. And if you think you and your friends, or family, or whoever you make these jokes with will magically stop making them once your kid starts to comprehend it even a little… well, good luck with that.
If you like wine (and don’t have a drinking problem) go, enjoy your wine! Enjoy your children, too. Maybe don’t make a habit of doing both at the same time? And at the very least, don’t blame your kids every time you raise your glass.
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