Thursday, November 12, 2009

Make Mine a Double - Parents Magazine Strikes Again

I didn't find anything in the current issue of Parents Magazine to get annoyed about!

HAHAHA! Yeah, right.

There is a whole article about Playdates with Cocktails. Dun dun dun!

Apparently I'm a bad mother because I've had a glass of wine with another mother while our kids played. Karen? Jen? The sanctimommies are coming for us! Run!!

The author cites an example of a woman who had the equivalent of 10 shots of alcohol in her system when she crashed her car in New York and killed herself and seven other people (including her two year old). Tragic? Of course. But there is a world of difference between a glass of wine at a two hour playdate, and ten shots of alcohol.

Most adult women are intelligent enough to see the world of difference between a glass of wine (or a mojito, which is the first example in the article) and ten shots of alcohol. In fact, most people who aren't in a coma can tell the difference between ONE drink and TEN.

I would like to point out that I have never, ever, ever read an article about dads who get together with other dads and watch sports and drink beer. I know these things happen, so where are all the alarmist articles? Oh - hold the crickets, there are two whole paragraphs about dads in an inset at the end of the 3 page article. The inset can't tell the difference between appropriate social drinking and alcoholism either, though. According to Parents, it's wise for dads to "watch their (alcohol) intake when they're around the kids." And apparently it's necessary for mom to be sober as a judge until the kids are well through college.

"Even if you aren't driving," one mother in the article says, "your kids could wander out of the house, fall into the pool, or stick their finger in a socket."

I'm not going to quote the whole article, but it's insulting. It's insulting to insinuate that women can't responsibly enjoy a drink or two in the company of their friends, without compromising the care of their children.

It's annoying that we have this idea that kids must be vigilantly supervised by a sober, responsible adult every second of every day or they are going to DIE (or, my favorite, they're going to be molested - because there are roving bands of child molesters out there, lurking, just waiting for Mom to turn her back on her 5 year old boy in the public restroom). You know what? It's bullshit. Your kids are going to die of heart disease, and so are mine, and so are most of us reading this, statistically. Let's dial down the hysteria, already.

Here is the truth - I am still able to call 911 after I've had a glass of wine. I am still able to count to two (which is the number of kids I have) after I've had a glass of wine. If I drink so much that I can't count to two anymore, then perhaps I should stop. Or if I have so many kids that I can't count that high after a glass of wine, then perhaps I should stop both having kids and drinking. It's possible that the two are related.

I hereby give all of you, mommies and daddies alike, permission to drink and playdate. Find another parent in your neighborhood (so everyone can walk home) and have one of those Smirnoff things - my neighbor Chelle and I call 'em Koolaid for Grownups. Or spend the night at your sister's house so that after the kids go to bed you can split a bottle of wine and talk about all the fun you used to have. Or go to a friend's house as a family, let Mommy have a cocktail, and have Dad drive everyone safely home. I promise, your kids aren't going to stop breathing because you're drinking. Really. They might even learn a responsible attitude toward alcohol if they're exposed to a parent who drinks socially and in moderation!

I think the biggest danger to our children is having a mother who carries The Weight of Her Maternal Responsibilities so heavily that she can't unwind and have a drink like a grown up once in a while. Or maybe it's our culture, which has us convinced that our kids are going to spontaneously combust if we aren't hypervigilant at all times. Yeah, I'm pretty sure that's the biggest risk.

But a glass of wine? Totally fine. In fact, I'm going to go find one right now...

18 comments:

strwberrryjoy said...

I think you'd like the book called THREE MARTINI PLAYDATE! http://www.amazon.com/Three-Martini-Playdate-Practical-Guide-Parenting/dp/0811840549/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1258074563&sr=8-1-spell
Don't bother buying it, though. You can probably read the whole thing standing up at the bookstore in about 5 minutes...it's more like a long magazine article.

ML said...

I really to appreciate your vote of confidence on this one, but yeah, I've been SO drinking at playdates since the diaper phase was over! How else is a sahm supposed to stay sane, people? Happy Hour ain't just for people that get paychecks!! And don't even start me on the gender equality of parental responsibility...Nice post!

Rachel said...

Loved this post, and I agree! If only I wasn't pregnant, I'd be joining you for that glass of wine, it is Friday afternoon here after all!

Cate said...

Yes, the two are almost always related, even in a family with fewer kids. What a funny line! hee hee.

Maggie said...

Whoo boy, things like this scare the sh*t out of me & the thought of ever becoming a parent (that and vomit. ew.). Don't want a daughter, what with the clothing and the role models these days. God forbid I spank or yell at my child as punishment. And if my kid isn't particularly good at soccer? He/she will make the team anyway, so as not to hurt his/her feelings...am I right? So to follow in the footsteps of my Mom & her girlfriends...watching the kids in the pool while they sip a glass of wine? Not for this generation! I'm just waiting for the day when all of our (the ones who grew up with Moms who drank wine at playdates, without DVD players in the car, drank water straight from the garden hose, played outside sun up to sunset all summer long with no video games--I could go on and on...) heads explode and we cease to exist because CLEARLY the parents of our generation did it wrong, and we can't possibly survive! It's going to end soon, just you wait!

AHEM.

Anyway, carry on with the birth control. At this point my head will explode due to a "bad" upbringing before I can bring a child into the world to mess up just like my parents messed me up! Heh.

Anonymous said...

This is why I love your blog!

Very well said *cheers*

-Dori

Heidi said...

Amen!

katshepherd said...

I'm raising my glass as I type!

The Rambling Housewife said...

I read an issue of Parenting once...

I got so annoyed, I decided not to bother anymore. Seriously? The whole thing struck me as condescending and rather obnoxious. I'm glad to hear that it wasn't just me (sometimes I wonder).

I also think you make a good point about children learning a responsible attitude toward alcohol by seeing that modeled for them.

Unfortunately, I will have to find another "vice" to model responsible use of for my children, (perhaps dancing, which, along with alcohol, were both forbidden at the Wesleyan college I attended. Seriously.) because I've yet to find a type of alcohol that really tastes good to me. I'll probably keep trying though. :-)

Amy said...

Rambling Housewife - you need to come on over for a playdate. I'll find you a drink that'll knock your socks off.

We'll start with chocolate martinis... :)

The rest of you all are invited too, of course.

Amy (former bartender)

Single mom w/a husband! said...

I am SO glad I found your blog!! I was reading Parents magazine and saw this ridiculous article about Playdates & Cocktails. I actually laughed out loud at the quote from someone name Merritt Patterson about kids possible wandering out of the house or sticking their fingers in a socker while we SAHM's apparently sit around and tie one on!! Does this woman have kids?? I will have to find out! All I know is, my doctor asked me if I drink, and my response was "I have two toddlers, OF COURSE I drink!" I swear without my the kids playdates which allow for MY playdates (aka venting sessions.lol..) I would have lost it long ago!! What a joke! I may just cancel Parents...

Amy said...

Single Mom w/ A Husband - I let my subscription lapse MONTHS ago, and it just won't stop coming!

Glad you enjoyed the post! Stick around!! :)

Single mom w/a husband! said...

Lol..I hear that Amy! I don't remember ever paying in the past 3 yrs!! I am serious though, I am going to find out if this Merritt person even HAS kids. As soon as I do, I will let you know. Oh, and now that I found this I am not going anywhere!!

painted maypole said...

here, here. I'd clap, but one hand is typing, and the other is holding a wineglass.

Anonymous said...

I found your blog after reading the insulting article about alcoholic playdates--it irritated me on so many levels I don't know where to start! I was actually searching on-line for the full text to send to my friend in Singapore, as she would get plenty of laughs out of it. She and I already have a pact to post bail for each other--in my case it will be for allowing my children to pack bags at the supermarket which inadvertantly contain alcohol (I've been sternly advised that this is illegal on more than one occasion). At any rate, such a relief to find like minded moms!!! I will tune in to see what comes up on your radar next...

a. nichole said...

Thank you so much for posting about such a ridiculous article! I, too, was looking for the magazine article to send to my mom friends when I stumbled upon your blog. I was so offended on so many levels by the entirety of this Parents issue, but that article was a real blow to the integrity of all mothers. Using the NY Taconic tragedy as an example was particularly offensive. And then that little blurb---oh yeah, dads should watch the drinking, too---made me want to scream.

Is common sense no longer an attribute that modern parents possess?

Natalie said...

Thank you so much for posting this blog. I read the article, and immediately searched for commentary. I think I might have given up on the hope that there are still sane, reasonable people out there if no one had yet challenged the condescending tone, insulting insinuations, and ridiculous examples cited by the Parents article. Sheesh!

So thanks for restoring my faith in normalcy, and while I am enjoying that glass of red wine tonight, I will raise my glass to you!

Dawn said...

Love this blog and this entry is great. I stopped reading those magazines ages ago, even if I'm bored in a doctor's office. They are horrid! I wish I could find some mom friends who liked to have a glass during a playdate. :)

This whole thing about never being impaired in front of kids makes no sense to me, in a culture where (rx) drugs are pushed on us at every moment. I suffer from panic disorder and was on Xanax Xr for quite some time (otherwise, I'd never have left my house...) It definitely impaired me more than a glass of wine would have!! But, no one blinked an eye. I am now off the Xanax (and the Laxapro), only because I hated those pills. (I run a lot to get rid of anxiety now.)

But back on topic, this zero-tolerance crap has gone away overboard. My husband is French and often has wine with dinner..big deal.