It has been a while since I wrote or published anything. Vacation and life in general got the better of me. Anyway, I never thought that I would be writing about the “Mommy needs a glass of wine” phenomena, topic, controversy, fact or what ever you want to call it but here it is.
As I was taking my baby for a walk the other day I saw something that made me laugh. On our way we passed a dad pushing a stroller. The thing that caught my eye was a can of beer in the cup holder on the stroller handle. The dad in question was accompanied by friends also drinking beer. Just another bunch of guys on vacation taking a walk by the sea drinking beer. I probably wouldn’t even have noticed them had it not been for the stroller. You see, when you get a stroller of your own you start noticing other strollers.
My first reaction was to giggle and text my husband the funny thing I just saw. Then I started thinking. Had it been a group of moms on vacation taking a walk by the sea drinking wine, or other drink of choice, how different would it look?
As these guys weren’t drunk, but hanging out having a beer in the afternoon, the whole situation had a somewhat positive feel to it. Here was a guy who instead of “sticking” the wife with the baby and going off to have fun, gave her a bit of “time off” and took the baby along for a stroll around the town with his mates.
If it had been a mum pushing a stroller with a can of beer in the cup holder surrounded by female friends also drinking would it look the same? Something tells me no. She would probably get cross looks, comments and possibly even get called a few names. Can’t she at least put down the alcohol when she is taking care of the baby?
But that is not what I wanted to write about. I do not want to write about the different expectation the world has of women and men. And I am certainly in no way condoning excessive drinking in public, or in private as far as that is concerned. My question is “Does mommy need a glass of wine?” and for that matter “Does daddy need a beer?”
Well the answer is yes and no. No, of course we don’t need it to survive. Not the way we need air. Yes, sometimes some of us need a glass to stay sane.
It is not about the drink, it is about taking a moment for yourself to relax and do something you want to do. Wine is grown-up. When you are surrounded with kid stuff all day every day you need to have a grown-up moment or hour once in a while. A little bit of time without diapers to change, spills to clean or screaming matches to moderate. Most times taking 15 to 20 minutes to wash your hair and shave your legs is enough to make feel human. Sometimes you just need more. You need to feel adult. You need to reconnect with the former grown-up you. Go out with friends. Have a quiet chat with you husband/wife. You need to remove yourself from your usual surroundings to find your center.
It is also about self moderation. You probably know best how much you can take, but before you go for your limit think about the possible consequences. It doesn’t have to be something major. It can be as simple as your kid calling from a sleepover to come and pick him/her up early and you cannot drive. Being a mum or a dad is a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and for the rest of your life job. You never retire from this job and you are always on call. If you are not absolutely sure of your limit, or if you don’t have backup available, just stick with one. It is not worth the risk. And I believe it goes without saying that you should never drink and drive.
I don’t have a habit of drinking alcohol. Never learned how to. I don’t know which wine goes with what food. I feel guilty when I think about drinking “hard liquor” and wasteful for thinking of ordering a cocktail. It is more of a vacation thing for me. When on vacation I will occasionally have a glass of wine or beer. Luckily, for the rest of the year there’s coffee and chocolate. Coffee and chocolate are my glass of wine.