I wanted to weigh in quickly on the current discussion about moms drinking during playdates. Melissa at Suburban Bliss took some flack a while back for posting about cocktail playgroups, and it cultivated enough discussion that she was asked to be on the Today show to talk about it. Mrs. Kennedy at Fussy responds, saying that the woman against whom Melissa was pitted during the discussion was not a mom who understood the silent, lonely, struggle with desperation that some mothers consistently deal with.
Clearly, the segment was too short, but I was interested in the ways in which Melissa and the other woman in the interview (Janet) were clearly on not on the same page; Janet’s only response (and she repeated it, over and over), was that women need to find *healthier* ways to relax, to socialize, to have fun.
Duh. This woman does not DRINK AT ALL. Of course she disagrees with drinking around children; she disagrees with drinking fundamentally.
Because my question is this: if women are NOT allowed to drink around their kids, when ARE THEY ALLOWED TO DRINK?? I mean, when are the kids NOT around, or NOT a part of mom’s purview? Even if I do hire a babysitter so I can leave my house to drink, I’m still responsible when I get home for them when I get home–probably still with a little liquor left in me?
Where’s the discussion about dinner parties, where children and drinks are involved? Is it OK for me to have another family over for dinner, and for us to have drinks with dinner? Oh, no, probably not.
This is not a discussion about responsible drinking, or parenting. It’s a discussion about control. Of which we as humans, I assert, have an amount. I can have friends over, and we can choose not to imbibe (which we do sometimes). There are many other factors in my life that could prevent me from getting my kids to the emergency room: My car not starting, for one. Me tripping and breaking both legs as we rush out the door and I slip and fall on my perpetually-icy back porch.
OK, I’m mocking a bit. But I think the more important question must make us look AWAY from the well-off suburban moms drinking expensive wine and cocktails in the afternoon. Those women are not neglecting their children. Those women are not hurting anyone, or anything. The more important questions deal with children who are abused, or neglected, or otherwise mistreated. And such treatment of children isn’t ALWAYS the result of drug or alcohol abuse, anyway.
The Today Show is not finding these families and having Meredith interview them. God forbid morning television actually deal with a real problem.