When this issue first came to light over the summer, I debated whether I really wanted to open the topic up for debate on my blog. But a new article in a parenting magazine has me ready to start a discussion.
I'm talking about women, specifically moms, who drink. In July, a New York woman died in a crash that also killed four children and three other adults. Apparently the woman was legally drunk and impaired by marijuana. There is no excuse for what she did, no justification. But after this case made the news, suddenly various media outlets pounced on the trend of moms who drink. Moms. Not parents. Moms.
I sat down yesterday to read my latest issue of Parents magazine and found myself staring at an article titled "Playdates with Cocktails." The article highlights women who get together and consume alcoholic beverages while their children play. First of all, who are these moms and where do they live? During the playdates I've attended we barely have time to use the bathroom, let alone toss back a few cold ones. I'm not saying that there aren't moms out there who don't crack open a bottle of wine while they're all hanging out, but I have a hard time believing this happens on a daily basis in every suburb of America.
The thing that bothered me most about this article is that there are pages devoted specifically to women who drink. At the end of the article there is a small blurb about the message dads who binge drink send to their children. The message I'm receiving? It's OK for dads to crack open a beer, or two or more but the second mom does it we need to be outraged. Think about football Sunday. The stereotype is a "family man" blowing off steam with his buddies by sharing a few beers (or in the case of my neighbor, opening up the kegerator to the men in the neighborhood). But if moms take a night to share Cosmos with friends, they should be chastised.
I'm well aware that alcohol abuse is a serious problem. I don't condone drinking and driving. I don't think it's a good idea for parents, well, really anyone for that matter, to drink themselves to oblivion. But I also don't think there's anything wrong with enjoying a glass of wine at the end of a long day or having a cold beer with your dinner, whether you're male or female.
Everything we do as parents influences the decisions our children will make later in life. Whether you binge eat, smoke, swear, speed... and, yes, drink. It is all absorbed by our children.
Clearly I am one of the moms who partakes in a glass of wine on occaision. I drink in moderation and I don't hide it from my daughters. One of them asked me once if she could have a sip of my juice (they drink a lot of white grape juice, I was drinking a Chardonnay). I explained to her that I was drinking wine and wine is for adults. Case closed... for now. Perhaps by not making alcohol taboo, I'll have opened up a better line of communication when I need to start having "those" talks with my girls. So, let the discussion begin....
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