Mommy Juice and Wine Culture: Are We Crossing the Line?

Yes, there is a question mark on this title. I’m truly not sure if my alcohol intake is absolutely normal, or if I should perhaps be concerned. Am I a functioning alcoholic? What I consume on a weekly basis drops me far outside the confines of being “low risk for an alcoholic disorder.” To do that, I would have to consume a mere seven drinks a week. The truth? Sometimes that seven is hit in two days. Easily.

Expanding on this logic: apparently, I am at risk for a disorder. I mean, I really enjoy my alcohol indulgences. However (and I’m not making excuses), I feel like I have a huge social support group behind me, telling me that my drinking habits are totally normal. That I’m not a functioning alcoholic.

Because of this, I’d love to begin a dialogue on drinking.

Let’s be honest – wine DOES seem to be the drink of choice, but there are many other options. Hop on any social media site and you find memes, blog posts, high profile accounts, and (even more so) comments endorsing the necessities of cocktails. Especially when you are a mom! I know I’ve been guilty of such endorsements. Can you relate to any of the following scenarios: 

Your kid’s teacher sent home an assignment to build a house out of popsicle sticks?
Answer: Wine

Your infant won’t stop crying?
Answer: Cocktail immediately (but pump prior!)

Three-year-old on a princess terror and has turned the house upside down? Multiple times?
Answer: Hello, drink! Thanks for being here. *said while looking at your glass in a loving manner*

In my world, alcohol has always been the answer.

I grew up in a household that defined the end of the day with some sort of spirit being consumed, so I now do the same. And as a mother, there are absolutely days when I can feel the grey hairs sprouting from my scalp and new lines etching themselves into my face. I think every parent has been there. Your buttons get pushed so many times, and the warning siren of an utter shutdown is blaring. Sometimes, a simple drink sure helps temper said warning siren. Bottoms up, parents!

Is there a groundswell for alcohol advocacy in this day and age?

Or is this simply how generations before mine did life, and I just didn’t know? An image of the 1950’s “martini” mother immediately comes to mind. Fast forward 60 years – has this stereotype morphed into “mom juice” and mamas rocking wineglasses & toddlers? More importantly, is there anything wrong with this?

How much has social media influenced this behavior?

Generations before us didn’t have the internet and all of its delectables at their fingertips. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter: the places where a glass of wine or a margarita is the answer to ALL THE THINGS.

How many of us here in Wine Country (and elsewhere) teeter on a tightrope of being a functioning alcoholic?

I mean, I definitely do not Rosé All Day. Ever. But there may be times that I Coffee Until Cocktails (the last coffee usually being consumed at the 5 o’clock hour). Because of this, I think that my behavior still carries a hint of dysfunction. Am I a functioning alcoholic? Are we, as a generation, technically functioning alcoholics?

As an ambassador of social media, I ask you, dear reader: Are we doing each other a disservice by answering immediately with the advice to drink?

Instead, how about an offer to come visit? To meet up for ice cream? How about scheduling a walk? Like I said earlier, let’s talk about drinking, Wine Country. Are we doing it right? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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4 Responses to Mommy Juice and Wine Culture: Are We Crossing the Line?

  1. Ashley October 5, 2017 at 2:51 pm #

    I’m really impressed that you opened this topic up.

    There’s no right or wrong answer, but it’s good to discuss. For myself, I definitely used social media as a way to justify my increasingly dangerous drinking habits. It was normal for a while, until it really wasn’t, and I joked on Twitter and other places about “never having to drink alone” (because the internet was always there, and somebody in those groups was also supposedly drinking).

    I’m over 2 years sober now. What really opened my eyes was when I realized that after one drink, I really didn’t know how many I would have. It took me a long time to realize that, but I finally hit that point. Sometimes, I could stick to 1-3. Most times, it was more. Too many times, especially when I didn’t have my kids, it was blackout drinking. And I was “normal” until I wasn’t. It was fun, until it wasn’t.

    I blog about my experience now, in the hope that others like me can realize the danger sooner than I did. For me, even if I could go back and have “just one” now, I don’t see the point. It doesn’t serve me in any way, it only dulls my emotions, and it’s an easy escape. I’ve worked hard to be more present in my life instead of running from all of the uncomfortable emotions, and alcohol apparently created many of the very problems I kept drinking to run away from (even small stuff, like being disorganized and feeling anxious/chaotic all the time).

    Thanks for writing this!

  2. Sarah October 6, 2017 at 8:43 pm #

    When we go out, my standard is two drinks. The problem is there are times when I come home and have… Likely defined as binge drinking, then nothing for a couple of days. Then one or two drinks another time and that is it.

    My dad was an alcoholic who stopped after my mom threatened to leave him (I was less than five and barely remember).

    I too wrestle with this issue, especially since problems run in my family. I know before kids I could, and would, drink a bottle of wine, myself, every night of the week. After kids I recognize there are a variety of reasons as to why I can’t drink so much any more, but there are still times where I recognize I drink too much. What worries me is that there are times where I tell myself, “Oh, I’ll just have one more”.

    This is an on going debate I have with myself. Thus far, I have mostly chosen to do what is right for my family with a couple of slip ups. I hope I have the strength to recognize when they need to stay ‘mostly’ for my family.

  3. Sharon October 12, 2017 at 5:57 pm #

    What a great topic. I have had this on my mind a lot as well. I feel like every day it is some new meme, “mommy drinks wine!” Or it is the standard, the gift to the teacher of a bottle of wine labeled “my kid makes you need this.” What are we teaching our kids? That adults need alcohol to cope?

  4. Angela October 23, 2017 at 4:32 pm #

    Great article! As a newer mom, it is very disheartening to see the constant flow of “Mommy needs wine” jokes and memes. My battle for motherhood has taken 5 years and over $100,000 in IVF treatments. Yes, being the mom of a 2 year old is more challenging than I ever imagined, but it is also the greatest gift and joy I’ve ever been blessed with!

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