Can I drink alone?…With a baby?
There have been a lot of social posts recently on women and drinking. Some say that we, as women, with our memes and posts of ‘wine o’clock’ and ‘Mommy drinking time,’ are anti-feminist and we deserve more than to saturate ourselves with the numbing effects of alcohol. Others say that we, as Mums, ‘deserve a glass of wine’ and if anything, we have taken strides as women to enjoy that glass of wine at the end of the day, ‘Don Draper’ style. Can I drink alone?…With a baby?
It goes back and forth: Are drinking parents bad parents? Are strictly sober parents the saints of our booze-happy generation of Mums and Dads? Am I, as a ‘wine-o-clock’er, part of the problem? Have I perpetuated a stereotype of female drinkers, a generation of booze-hounds who can do nothing more than drink ourselves from reality? Am I a bad parent because I crack a cider during nap time and enjoy some wine with friends? Can I drink alone?…With a baby?
As I pour myself a glass of red, I’ve decided that I don’t care.
I like wine. I always have and I always will. Being a mum is not going to change that. There are so many opportunities to feel mom guilt on a daily basis, I will not let this be one of them.
I travel with my son quite a bit (as you know) and I love it. Sometimes it is on my own and sometimes it is with my husband. I (we) like to taste the proverbial fruits of many different regions, sip some ciders or beers, savour some cheese and swirl a glass of local wine as I (we) explore the best that a destination has to offer. Sounds reasonable, yes? Life is meant to be enjoyed. The world is our oyster, etc, etc. And now we have a beautiful baby boy to discover it with.
Although he is only ten months old, my son has such a great personality. He is funny, expressive, happy and loving: I enjoy every second with him. Regardless of how many times he has thrown his spoon on the floor, or how often he has scraped his food from his tongue and handed it back to me, the glass of wine (or three) that I am drinking during dinner makes this all a little bit easier to handle. A more laid back Mummy is a more patient Mummy is a happier Mummy. But let me make this clear: I am not drinking BECAUSE of him; I am just drinking because I LIKE DRINKING WINE. I also like being silly and sometimes, wine help me get there faster than not. Can I drink alone?…With a baby?
Yes- I am drinking three glasses of wine while alone with my son in a restaurant.
Yes – My husband and I have gone to bottomless brunch with the baby in tow.
Yes – My baby is napping in the hotel room and I’m drinking white alone on the balcony.
And you know what? That’s okay!
Because I am a good mum. I am a good mum who likes to drink wine.
Because I would never put myself into a situation where I could not care for my son.
Because I would never drink myself into a state that compromises my ability to be a responsible parent.
But a state where I giggle a bit easier or laugh a bit harder at the book he threw on the floor…again…sure.
I don’t think that my enjoyment of wine is going to turn me into an alcoholic or open a gateway to harder drugs. I don’t think that me drinking wine is going to emotionally scar my son. I don’t think that drinking wine it is a reflection of my feminist views or lack there of. I don’t think that enjoying wine alone, with my son, or with my friends, is deeper than the fact that I like wine and I know my limits. (I’m also not pregnant or exclusively breastfeeding and NEVER drink and drive)
Perhaps this is an overly simplistic views and I appreciate that this post does not address many of the alcohol driven issues highlighted in other articles such as the need to escape, the ability to live life in a haze and the need to excuse inappropriate behaviour caused by booze. I realize that not everyone will agree with me on this. But frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.
Conclusion: So am I a Mum that drinks? Yes. 100%.
Feel free to raise a glass and join me…Or not.