“It’s wine o’clock”
“Bottle opener = Mommy’s fidget spinner”
“My kids whine so I wine.”
I’ve seen so many ‘mommy loves wine’ references across my social media I’ve lost count. They all make light of our love for wine. Many of us share them in solidarity of how we enjoy ending our long days of mothering and managing life, whether or not we work outside the home or have a partner. It’s become a statement of camaraderie in recent years as moms unite their voices in a joint chorus of ‘Yes, I like wine and I’m okay with saying it loud and proud.’
Along with the assertion that there ain’t no shame in ending a day with a glass of wine, there has been a chorus of rebuttals to the tune of, ‘Moms, you might have a problem’. I’ve seen blogs like ‘Moms: Let’s Talk About the Drinking’ and ‘Why Memes About Moms and Wine Aren’t Funny’ as if such comments condone, endorse and perpetuate alcoholism among women. I’m here to say, they do no such thing.
Put on Mad Men, or any show or movie about men in the 50s. The men all end their 9-5 unwinding in a chair with a finger or two of whiskey to take the edge off their day. And while their alcohol consumption may have verged on excessive, they certainly weren’t the only men knocking back a drink at the end of the day or week. You know why? Because men’s jobs were considered onerous since they were solely responsible for bringing home the bacon. They earned that drink. They were inspired, encouraged and expected to compliment their hard day at work with a stiff one.
Now that women are finally being acknowledged for having their own fort to hold down, now that we are raising our hands saying we want to kick back and relax at the end of the day with a glass of wine—now we have a drinking problem?
You’re damn right I ‘wine’.
I start my day dragging my kids out of bed in the morning, rushing them to get their shit together, face washed, teeth brushed, breakfast consumed, clothes on, bags packed, shoes on and out the door so that I’m not late for work. Then I get to work and try to brush off my hectic morning and push out thoughts of what I might have forgotten or what I have to do for the family (are there field trip forms to sign? Birthday party RSVP’s to follow up on, a birthday party to plan or a school project due? And on and on and on and on…) in order to be effective at my job. Then I rush out of work to get to the kids’ afterschool program before I’m late and they start charging me by the minute.
Next, I get home and rush to make the kids a dinner they may or may not eat, while I prepare my own dinner (that’s right, we don’t eat together. My husband gets home too late from work, so we eat two different meals. But that’s a whole other blog). Then, in the last hour of our day, I make sure the home work is done, the showers are taken and my kids maybe get in a half hour of down time, on a good day. Then it’s the bedtime circus. Then it’s the follow-up to the circus with my husband (who has finally gotten home) reminding our kids to simmer down and go the eff to sleep.
Then, it’s quiet. Finally. I end my days sitting down after a non-stop day of doing All. The. Things, and I pour myself a glass of red. That is how I choose to unwind. That is how I celebrate making it through another day with my kids’ lives and my household intact.
Damn right I look forward to that glass. Damn right wine o’clock is a thing in my house. Don’t write a blog about me saying that we need to talk about the wine jokes and that there is an epidemic of drunk moms. These jokes aren’t perpetuating a culture of alcoholism. All they do is perpetuate a commiseration of mothers who are saying they toast the end of their day. Much like men do with a finger of whiskey or an ice cold beer, without judgment.
Sure, the memes that circulate Facebook might be less harmless than we realize. It’s certainly an easy way for moms who drink too much to justify finishing that bottle of wine, in the name of ‘lols’. However, most moms are probably like me—joking about drinking online way more than we’re actually cracking open a bottle of red. It’s all about survival: 3 glasses of meaningless humour: 1 glass of actual wine sipped once the kids are in bed. But when enjoyed responsibly, in moderation, as a means of decompressing after a stressful day of momming, I’ll be damned if I’m made to feel badly about it.
As for me, I’ve likely forgotten one of the many things on my to-do-list. No worries though. I’ll remember that as soon as my head hits the pillow.