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Drinking and Parenting: How Much is Too Much?

Does watching the clock for the moment I can enjoy an adult beverage mean I have a problem or make me a bad mom? I say it makes me a better mom!

I enjoy a cold beer or three in the evenings. I do! And I daresay it makes me a better parent.

Now, I know a bunch of you are going to immediately assume I have an alcohol problem, just because that seems to be the nature of things within the online parenting community – a lot of finger pointing and judgment. But I’m going to assert that if you think I have a problem, you’re the one with the problem.

I wrote about this on my personal blog, The Girl Who, yesterday and received a lot of interesting comments. I’m actually surprised by the comments, which are much more supportive than I thought they’d be.

Within the parenting community, it seems like there is no leeway in being a person who enjoys drinking responsibly. If you admit you drink in the evenings and, God forbid, actually watch the clock in anticipation of that first swallow, you are immediately ruled an unfit parent and a burgeoning alcoholic. Heather Armstrong, from Dooce, used to write about how she likes bourbon. She hasn’t done that in a while but recently, after she announced her separation, I marveled at all of the speculation about how and why she and her husband are separating and one thread on some douchey hate blog really took the cake with a comment thread about how alcohol probably played a large role in the separation because she used to write so much about drinking liquor.

But my point is, she writes about enjoying liquor and a hundred people talk about how she probably has alcohol problems. Bitch, please. Of course I’m expecting comments wherein you tell me that if I can’t make it through a day without alcohol I need to get myself to the nearest AA meeting. That’s not the case. I can make it through the day, sometimes I don’t want to. If I’m on point all day — diapers, games, Kindermusik, swimming lessons — then where’s the harm? You bet yer ass my eyeball is glued to the clock, not only for naptime, glorious naptime, but for cocktail hour.

So what? Does admitting that make me an alcoholic? Or normal? I could pull a Mormon mommy blog move on you and explain how motherhood is a blessing, a joy, a privilege… Or I could pull the opposite move, which is also apparently all the rage, bemoaning how sucky parenthood is, but the truth is parenting is all those things and sometimes, a lot of the time, the only way to get through is a really excellent cocktail hour. And that doesn’t make me a bad parent. Hell, it makes me a better parent.

I’d like to hear your thoughts on drinking and parenting.  If you’d like to read the rest of the blog post and weigh in, please click on over to The Girl Who.

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