Somewhere in the world it is "Wine O'clock".

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!

mom drinking memes

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.

But...

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.

Hmmm....

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?

Now....

Where did I put my coffee.....?

Natasha~

 

Where I ended up.

In the past two days... I have had one kid with diarrhea and a bad attitude (and I am not sure which is worse!!).

One kid who woke up in the middle of the night and puked her guts out and everywhere (I found even more of it today!).

One bout of something nasty myself.

One fight with a friend.

And one more thing added to my plate that already looks like this.

I know I crapped out on a post for yesterday, but it just was not in me AT ALL.  And I am squeaking this one in tonight because the plan was to get out of the house, go to Starbucks and write something profound and meaningful.

What actually happened was that I left the house, got in the car, had full intentions of sitting down in a quiet corner, having a nice chai tea latte and pounding out a great post....

...and then somehow I ended up at D'lish Wine Bar drinking wine and eating yummy food with the lovely Amanda Babichuk and Steven Hodges and a few other really awesome new friends.

And it was just what I needed.

Thank you lovelies!

And tomorrow is another day....

Hopefully one without any gastrointestinal issues or 'seconds' of any kind!!

Cheers y'all!

Natasha~

 

I am having a glass of wine DAMN IT!

Mamas, hands up if you have any kind of guilty mommy feelings throughout your days? Yup, that is what I thought. I did a little unofficial poll last week after a chat on twitter about a mama wanting to have a glass of wine and feeling guilty about it because she is also breastfeeding. The results are in, and "Mommy Guilt" is rampant and it looks like we may have an epidemic going on!

And it is about EVERYTHING!

Here are a few examples from my polling:

To much KD for dinner/lunch (this particular one was mentioned a lot??).

Not being a stay-at-home mom.

BEING a SAHM, but not wanting to play princess for the 500th time.

Too much TV (this is a big one too it seems).

Not being present in the moment with the kids all the time.

Not spending enough time with Kid 1 when Kid 2 comes along.

C0-sleeping (??).

Not finding time to clean the house.

Neglecting the fur-baby.

Spending time with friends away from the family.

Spending too much time on the computer/laptop/iPad/etc...

Yelling at the kids.

...and the list goes on and on and on.

Why do we put such pressure on ourselves? And who are we trying to impress? Last time I checked there was no Gold medal for being the perfect mother.

And even if there was, who defines the criteria for this coveted award? Who is it that is setting these ridiculous expectations?

Often it is ourselves. We think that we have to DO everything and BE everything to everyone because we are the mom. The reality is, that this is just not the case.

So the kids ate Kraft Dinner two times this week, it is still FOOD and they did eat ALL of it right? In my books, that is a win.

Do I really want to watch Toy Story 3 AGAIN or do the same puzzle for the 17th time today? Probably not and that is OK, because I am not a toddler trying to learn a new skill or a preschooler trying to figure out a storyline. I am NOT going to feel guilty about being a grown-up (and I am probably still going to do those things).

My kids watch TV. I monitor the programs and choose the ones that I think offer them the most educational value (I prefer PBS Kids to Treehouse and I will take Sid the Science Kid over a screaming Dora any day!!). The television is not a 'babysitter' for my kids anymore than it is for me. It is a form of entertainment and education and I would feel more like a hypocrite than anything else, if I told them they could not watch TV and then proceeded to plunk myself on the couch for hours at a time to watch "my shows"!

Guilt about having a glass of wine because you are also breastfeeding? Breastfeeding does not exclude FUN! And if you have had a hard day and need a glass of wine or a beer than GO FOR IT! Alcohol is metabolized in your breast milk exactly as it is in your blood and this is what Dr. Jack Newman himself has to say about it,

Reasonable alcohol intake should not be discouraged at all. As is the case with most drugs, very little alcohol comes out in the milk. The mother can take some alcohol and continue breastfeeding as she normally does. Prohibiting alcohol is another way we make life unnecessarily restrictive for nursing mothers. (Dr. Jack Newman, member of the LLLI Health Advisory Council, excerpt from his handout “More Breastfeeding Myths”)

Feeling guilty about working full-time? Why? You are providing for your family. This is an act of love and you should feel proud of what you are doing. Especially if it is a job and career that you worked hard for and really love!

Going out with your friends and taking some time for you? Really? This one should be the least of your guilty feelings.

You know the saying "Happy Wife, Happy Life"? Well, I have a new one....

Happy Mama, NO MORE Drama!!

Really. Think about it.

A Mama who knows when she needs to take time for herself, whether that is shoe shopping at the mall BY HERSELF or going to get her hair done, or sweating out all her stresses in a Bikram Yoga Class (that one is me BTW), or going for a run, or having a weekly girls night out, or doing WHATEVER it is that makes her happy, is a Mama who is likely to feel good about herself. A Mama who feels good about herself is not going to constantly focus on what she (thinks she) is doing wrong all the time and will be one who can say NO to all that guilt and drama. Hence Happy Mama, No More Drama!!

Now if you will excuse me, I have a glass of wine waiting to make me happy! ;)  I suggest you too find your proverbial 'happy place' and make regular visits to it and let go of your mommy guilt!!

Natasha~