I am a working mom. My day is full of deadlines, emails, networking and phone calls. I talk to brand representatives, executives and editors or plug away and promote my work via all my social channels. But, I’m also the family scheduler, meal planner, event organizer, boo-boo kisser and bedtime storyteller. My day begins at 6:30am and it rarely stops until well after 10pm, when my daughter is in bed and we’ve tidied up the place as much as two tired parents can. My husband flips on the TV or Xbox to relax, while I pour myself a glass of my favorite wine and grab a good book. This is my “me” time. My little moment of zen in a life where my entire day belongs to others. This does not make me an alcoholic, or a bad mother, although, this excerpt from Ann Dowsett-Johnson would like you to believe so.
On this piece from The Atlantic, Ann upon reflecting on her own mother’s addiction to Valium, writes “It never occurred to me—not for years—that alcohol was the mother’s little helper of my generation.” Here is where I take offense. Not just as a mom who enjoys her vino, but as the wife of a recovering alcoholic/addict. Alcoholism, by definition, is “a medical condition in which someone frequently drinks too much alcohol and becomes unable to live a normal and healthy life.” [Merriam-Webster] To say that simply enjoying a glass or two an evening is equal to an alcoholic makes light of what alcoholism really is and gives moms yet another finger to point at each other.
I do agree with one point Ann made in her article: in today’s world women, especially moms, seem to have this almost unachievable quest for perfection. There is no Roseanne or Peggy Bundy on TV showing us that being normal (or even a little crazy) is OK. The moms we see are doing it all, having it all with no sign of wear or tear. Celebrities and public figures go from having babies to bikinis in weeks and every mom is striving to have that pinterest perfect party for their kids. You wanna know why those pictures on Pinterest look perfect? Hours of staging, lighting and taking 100 shots, just to get one perfect one. That is not how life really is.
Dear women and moms, it’s OK to enjoy some wine, or chocolate, or tea, or… whatever it is you do at the end of your day to unwind. Our jobs are hard, relaxing is key to keep us energized daily. Regular consumption does not equal compulsion.
Also, please remember, it’s OK to not be perfect. It’s called being normal.
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