I like wine. Have for a very long time actually. And before I liked wine, I liked Strongbow and before that Traditional Ale and before that (well, to this day, to be perfectly honest) gin and tonic. I even like a few shots of tequila now and then.
Just no sambuca! NEVER, ever, any more sambuca! Or GoldSchlager. That stuff is just wrong.
I've liked booze for a long time. I REALLY liked it one particular year in university that is very much a blur to me and could explain why I just barely passed English Lit. that year (it was an 8 AM class people!).
There was always some kind of alcohol in our house growing up. It was my grandmother's drink. She liked gin. And whisky. And vodka. And beer. And I may have inadvertently sipped a few of her tumblers in my young life having mistaken them for glasses of orange or apple juice.
We also grew up with my very French Godparents who would offer everyone, kids included, an aperitif -a tiny glass of Dubonnet- before dinners at their place. I can remember feeling so grown up sipping that sweet red liquid out of my tiny little glass at these special celebrations.
So, just so we are clear, I like a good drink and have been a social drinker for most of my life.
Why all this booze talk you ask?
Because I have a bit of a rant in me that I must get out.
THIS IS DRIVING ME BATTY!
I can not stand all of the websites, twitter hashtags and chats, Facebook pages, memes, and yes, even books about mothers and their NEED to drink, their REASONS to drink, and all the ways that motherhood seemingly makes women RUSH for a bottle of booze to cope with all of it!
Maybe I am being too sensitive. Or maybe this is just another form of brilliant marketing on the part of the wine makers and sellers of the world. I mean seriously people, there are wines called "Layered Cake" and yes, even one that is actually called "MommyJuice". And let's not forget the "you can drink as much of this as you want because it's called Skinny Girl" creation (which I do also enjoy every now and then).
And these so-called reasons that moms need to drink? The implication is that it is our kids and the daily drudgery of caring for our babies. Of doing laundry and chauffeuring and making lunches and wiping snotty noses and breaking up fights and picking up toys and stepping on teeny tiny Lego pieces and finding glitter glue in our favourite pair of shoes and reading Good Night Moon ONE MORE FREAKING TIME. It is hard some days, that is for sure.
I find the whole idea of marketing booze specifically to the "mommy" crowd condescending and belittling. And yes, I am throwing this beef of mine in there with all the other mommy-fying of words and concepts that the world continues to come up with simply because some women also happen to be mothers (you know my all-time faves - mompreneur and mommy blogger).
I also think this epidemic of memes and the cultural trope that is the frazzled mom and her glass of wine that we see all over the internet sometimes hides a darker underside of self-medication, alcohol dependence and addiction. I also worry about what kind of message this sends to our kids about responsible drinking. Mommy needs her 'special juice' to relax, to get through the day, to DEAL with all of it! What kind of example are we setting when what they see is Mama seemingly using alcohol to blur the lines of reality a bit so that all will be good in the world again.
I repeat. I LIKE WINE.
I like it with a nice meal. I like it after a long day. I like it while I am sitting in a bubble bath with my special candle burning and some soft music playing. I like it at book club with my ladies while we spend about 15 minutes talking about the book and the other hour and 45 on just about everything else in our lives. I like it while I am sitting at my laptop writing and I like it on beautiful days enjoying my backyard and the view from the comfort of my deck chair.
What I don't like it this feeling that somehow mothers need a reason to have a drink, that we are only drinking our "mommy juice" as a form of coping with the stress of everyday life and not a way of celebrating or even just enjoying our lives. And I especially don't like that for some women who may be excessively drinking and putting their health or the safety of others in danger, all of these memes and Facebook pages and books serve as a way to sanction what could potentially be harmful behaviour.
What it all boils down to is this. The message that I hear in all of these memes and themes of mommy needing booze is that a woman can't just enjoy a nice glass of wine BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT SHE WANTS TO DO. Nope, she has to have a good reason to drink. And it's her children, those evil little beasts of burden, that are just that reason!
And for me, that is just wrong.
Please tell me that I am not the only one who feels this way?
Where did I put my coffee.....?