I don't remember much else, other than she felt like she was drinking more than she should. She wasn't driving drunk or blacking out, I don't think, she just felt like she was drinking too much in the evening and her blog post was a rather dramatic proclamation - a Hello I'm Insert Name Here And I'm An Alcoholic - kind of announcement.
I came away with mixed
Yeah, yeah, I know there are a bunch of you who're gonna shake heads and fingers but, quite honestly, I don't give a shit. I'm a great mom. But come five o'clock and I want to pop the top on a can or two of beer, I certainly will. I'm not sloshing around the house with smeared make-up, a highball in hand, threatening kids with a wire hanger or anything. Just enjoying some beer or sometimes wine while I make dinner, clean up and put the kids to bed. I'm generally in bed by nine. And you know what? Life's short. If I'm not hurting anyone and am able to unwind and have a good time with my kids between five and seven, so what?
It seems like, nowadays, the above paragraphs will immediately earn me the title of Alcoholic In Denial. Like, someone who admittedly enjoys drinking is obviously standing at the precipice of an immediate descent into alcoholism and this post is either a secret cry for help or the first of many denials until I am, of course, chugging Listerine for a buzz and finally bottom out.
Within the parenting community, it seems like there is no leeway in being a person who enjoys drinking responsibly. If you admit you drink in the evenings and, god forbid, actually watch the clock in anticipation of that first swallow, you are immediately ruled an unfit parent and a burgeoning alcoholic. Heather Armstrong, from Dooce, used to write about how she likes Bourbon. She hasn't done that in a while but recently, after she announced her separation, I marveled at all of the speculation about how and why she and her husband are separating and one thread on some douchey hate blog (which I won't link to because FUCK THEM) really took the cake with a comment thread about how alcohol probably played a large role in the separation because she used to write so much about drinking liquor.
Get the fuck outta here! If anything, a hearty drink or two in the evening probably helped the marriage last as long as it did. But who the hell knows and speculating about the demise of somebody's relationship ain't my bag. Whatever happened is deeply personal and probably not as interesting as you think. Marriage is hard, people change, shit happens.
But my point is, she writes about enjoying liquor and a hundred people talk about how she probably has alcohol problems. Bitch, please. Of course I'm expecting comments wherein you tell me that if I can't make it through a day without alcohol I need to get myself to the nearest AA meeting. That's not the case. I can make it through the day, sometimes I don't want to. If I'm on point all day - diapers, games, Kindermusik, swimming lessons - then where's the harm? You bet yer ass my eyeball is glued to the clock, not only for naptime, glorious naptime, but for cocktail hour.
So what? Does admitting that make me an alcoholic? Or normal? I could pull a Mormon mommy blog move on you and explain how motherhood is a blessing, a joy, a privilege... Or I could pull the opposite move, which is also apparently all the rage, bemoaning how sucky parenthood is, but the truth is parenting is all those things and sometimes, a lot of the time, the only way to get through is a really excellent cocktail hour. And that doesn't make me a bad parent. Hell, it makes me a better parent.
You tell me - why does it seem like parents can't admit to drinking around their kids without being called irresponsible? How much is too much? What is the line? Is there a line? How much are we exhausted parents really drinking behind closed doors? And why does it feel like if we admit we enjoy drinking our parenting abilities will be judged?