My Two Cents On Drinking

A blogger recently wrote a post about how much drinking is normal. For many women, drinking is normal. I am one of those women.

Now as a non-drinker, I’m sure her perspective is probably different than from those of us who enjoy wine regularly…whether your “regular” is every evening, a few times a week, or maybe once every few months. One message she delivered was that many mothers drink as a way to cope with day-to-day stress and/or to be social, and that is and of itself an interesting message and one that deserves to be discussed, whether you are a drinker or not. The other point she brings up is how much alcohol on a regular basis is too much alcohol, and I think it is also a good question, and one that should be talked about.

Most of the comments that she received on the post were positive, thanking her for writing the post and for bringing the subject to light. I myself retweeted the post because I thought others would find it interesting to read.

But.

Many people, including myself, did not leave a comment. Why? Because I felt that the delivery of these messages came across as judgmental, and I and many others found the post offensive.

In her post, she mentions how many drunk, middle aged women were at BlogHer this past August. Further into the post she mentions women who count down the minutes until they can have their first drink of the afternoon, and those who drink more than a couple of glasses every evening. She also talks about alcohol, saying she doesn’t need it to be social or to dance at BlogHer. She doesn’t need it after a long day of chasing around a toddler who constantly pushes boundaries.

Now here is my opinion about this post. Although she was writing it out of concern for one friend who she named in the post, she ended up casting judgment on many other friends. Whether she meant to or not, she offended many friends who do enjoy drinking. Friends who do not think having a glass of wine every night means that they may have a drinking problem.

I was one of those women at BlogHer – a middle aged woman who had many more glasses of wine than just one or two. I do not need wine to be social (though I will admit it makes it much easier for me to dance like a maniac since I’m not known for my coordination and rhythm!)

I am also one of those women who jokes on Twitter about whether or not it’s five o’clock yet, that I’m looking forward to a glass of wine, and who says my kids are driving me to drink.

I am also one of the women she talks about that has a glass of wine or two every evening.

Do I need it? No. When I was trying to conceive and during pregnancy I didn’t drink at all. I enjoy drinking wine, and I enjoy relaxing with it during the evening. I don’t drink all day long, and I don’t hide my drinking.

If my husband asked me to give it up and never drink again could I? Would I? Yes.

Does my drinking wine affect my ability to care for my children and husband? Affect my relationships with others? Affect my work? No, it doesn’t.

Is two glasses of wine a night two too many? Maybe. For me, I feel that it is not.

As I said, I know that there are many women who did not leave a comment on that post because they do drink regularly, and do not have an alcohol problem. They did not leave a comment on that post because they didn’t want to start a  fight on someone else’s blog. They were offended by the judgment that was cast about women who enjoy it after a day of chasing around their challenging, monster-like toddlers.

Or what about Shell from Things I Can’t Say who recently wrote a post (jokingly) titled Why I Hate To Recycle. Why does she? Because of the amount of wine and beer bottles in the recycling can. Do I think she’s an alcoholic? No. It was a joke.

I know that there are a lot of women out there who have a borderline problem that they are embarrassed to talk about, or worried about the stigma that comes with admitting to an alcohol problem. I think that writing posts about drinking is important. I think that we just need to be sensitive to the way we deliver our messages.

A few commenters mentioned on my friend’s post about drinking that the topic was a “slippery slope,” and it is. This blogger is someone who is very good at approaching sensitive subjects, but I think that because she doesn’t drink often at all, she did not realize how it might make women feel who do drink.

Maybe I should have left a comment. I did not want to start a fight there. I know many people would immediately assume that I was being defensive because I drink. That because I drank regularly, I probably have a problem. I thought that the best place for this discussion was on my blog, where I am free to share my own opinions.

There was one person, Gigi (@KludgyMom) who disagreed publicly. Gigi mentions that we should keep things in perspective and that not every woman who has a glass of wine with dinner or indulges at a blog conference is a case for intervention. The blogger’s response was to also keep things in perspective; that there are women who have drinking problems, some you would never guess.

And that is the point. Not judging the moms at BlogHer who enjoyed themselves by drinking (way) more than they normally do. Not judging the moms who enjoy a glass of wine with the neighbors in the evening or with dinner every night. Those are the people she specifically mentioned, and those were some of the people who were offended by the post, and who it seemed were trying to be made to feel bad for enjoying it.

So there’s my two cents. I drink wine, and that’s okay. What about you? How much drinking do you consider too much drinking?

Comments

  1. I love my wine. Not for the alcohol, but for the experience. My husband and I enjoy tasting wines together – it’s our hobby. Are there times when I drink a little more than I probably should? Yeah. That’s called a special occasion :)

  2. Natalie–Thanks so much for your post. I did read the post you referred to and also didn’t not comment because while I am really sensitive to the trials of realizing that your relaxaton method has become a coping mechanism and then a problem, I also really enjoy my glass of wine every night. And on occasion, I’ll enjoy two. I think there is nothing wrong with letting loose every once in a while in a responsible way to celebrate an event (like BlogHer). However, I do think that post did achieve it’s goal in forcing readers to think about why they do drink. Is it to cope? Is it for relaxation? Does it matter if it’s in moderation?

    Thanks again for bringing up this topic.

    • mommyofamonster says:

      Oh I agree, Amy! That post definitely asked some tough questions and started some fantastic dialogue, and I know that ultimately that was her goal.

  3. I would love to be able to enjoy a glass of wine each night. And yes, for me, it is a way to relax from the stress of chasing my kids around all day. We no longer can support this luxury within our current budget so I now only get to enjoy wine a few times a month. I miss it so much!! I do not think that one glass a night puts myself, or anyone else, in danger of misusing alcohol. However, I will admit, that after a kid free weekend I am also a little worried about the neighbourhood opinions when I put out the recyclables. I do not believe we have a problem, but I worry about being judged.

  4. I am like you – i like wine – i drink it – not every night but on the weekends & if i am having trouble sleeping i will have a glass (which was actually suggested by my doctor). It helps me relax – it helps me feel better BUT like you it does not cause me any problems at home, work, with the kids & if my husband were to ask me to stop – i definitely could no problem.

    i didnt read the post you are referring to but i did hear about it – so i cant really comment on it. You are right though – we are not here to judge but it can be hard not to come across that way if you are honestly concerned.

    Interesting to think about though.

    • mommyofamonster says:

      It’s very interesting, which is why dialogue about it is so important! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  5. Wow. Uhm. I will start by answering your question you posed. How much is too much? It depends on the person. Overall, I think that too much is whatever amount becomes unmanageable for the individual. When it starts to interfere with your life, your family, your work, your health, your finances, your ability to maintain and function within a productive life. That’s a problem. Anything less than that is the grown adult’s prerogative. I was absolutely one of those women at blogher who drank WAY more than I normally would because I am a middle-aged mom who was off of mom duty for a full week and I can do whatever the hell I damn well please. I have never been so drunk at home that my kids were deprived of an adult who could respond in an emergency situation (be that anywhere from calling an ambulance to waking up in the middle of the night for a drink of water and cuddles if they need me). I never get intoxicated before their bedtime, and for those reasons I don’t feel it has ever interfered with my parenting ability. I also think that to publicly name someone about their private, personal matter which one judges as a problem is off-the-charts inappropriate. I think that if a person (mom or not) is making a legal, personal decision that doesn’t hurt anyone then to pass a sweeping judgment on an entire (large) group of people one doesn’t personally know is an unfortunate reflection on one’s level (or lack thereof) of maturity. This isn’t high school, we’re adults. There’s a reason the legal drinking age is 21. It’s so, hopefully, by the time we’re making decisions about responsible drinking we actually won’t be too far off from middle aged. Nice post, Natalie. High five.

    • Pure perfection, babe. Cheers.

    • mommyofamonster says:

      I think a lot of us took issue with calling out her friend in the post, although it’s my understanding that she spoke to her friend about including her in the post before publishing it. I don’t know if that is in fact the case or not. But she didn’t have to name her friend, I agree.

  6. Funny you should bring this up. I wrote about moms being “judgey” in my post yesterday and this is exactly what I was talking about.

    As a new mom I have found that in general mothers are even more judgmental than the average person although I’m not quite sure why. It’s almost as if one mom does something ‘perfectly’…in this case her idea of perfect is abstaining from drinking…and don’t understand why other people can’t or don’t do it their way too.

    This applies to other things too…like choices in school (public, private, homeschooling…), letting your kids watch TV, using cloth diapers, recycling…etc.

    I like wine too. :) I have 1-2 glasses on average 3 times a week. Sometimes more and sometimes less.

    • mommyofamonster says:

      Yes, I think this is definitely a hot topic and that we have to be extremely careful about our delivery of the message…I think that is why so many people were upset by the post.

  7. What a thoughtful post, Natalie.

    As a mother and woman who IS an alcoholic (in recovery for the last 6 years), I like to say that I’m not anti-drinking, I’m anti-ME drinking, simply because what happens to me when I do is biologically different than what happens to a woman who can have a glass or two or three of wine with no negative consequence.

    Addiction is a tricky, sly condition, and it snuck up on me with such stealth, it wasn’t until I was deeply entrenched in a horrible place that I realized I needed help. And yet, I was terrified of the judgment I knew I would face. The truth is that some people can drink and not become addicted, and others can’t. Either way, it’s not my place to judge.

    I’m honest about my recovery, now, because I believe that only in talking about these issues can we erase the shame that so many women struggle with every day.

    Thanks, Natalie, for bringing up such an important topic.

    • mommyofamonster says:

      Yes, I feel strongly about bringing awareness to this issue and I’m glad that you shared your thoughts here! Thank you!! xoxo

  8. I love that you wrote this. I, like you, drink red wine every night. Do I need it? No, I enjoy it! I drank wine every day, before I had the girls, and gave it up the second I found out I was pregnant—no problem.

    My mom is pretty much a teetotaller (had to look up that spelling–whew!), and has suggested to me that I might have an alcohol problem. She saw her father being an angry drunk, and I think that’s where she’s coming from. I get that.

    BUT–I think it’s impossible for my mom, or anyone who doesn’t drink, to understand what it’s like to enjoy alcohol responsibly, even if it’s every day. It can be done in a way that’s normal and healthy. I’m not getting trashed every night. I’m just enjoying some wine, because I enjoy the taste, I enjoy having it with my dinner, I just like it, dammit! The difference, I think, is that it doesn’t control me.

    Okay, I’ll stop talking. Cheers!

  9. I read that post. I don’t think I commented because it’s such a slippery slope, like you mention. But it also makes me think that I talk about drinking WAY more than I drink. Becuase it’s funny, because it’s relatable, because sometimes it really is just too damn long until I can have a glass of wine.
    Which is part of the problem or challenges, at least, that we have when we only know each other through blogs and social media – we only get a glimpse of a person’s life. We don’t know enough to know if they really have a problem or if they’re hiding something and need help – be it with drinking or a lot of other things.

    • mommyofamonster says:

      This point is so true, Krista…our perceptions may be skewed because although we chat everyday, we still don’t really know each other.

  10. I dunno………

    I’m a wine-mom myself. There are days when I count the minutes till everyone is in bed and I can get in bed with my nice glass of pinot and a movie.

    But there were women at Blogher who embarrassed themselves. I get letting loose with your friends, sure a lot of us do it. But I have enough self-awareness to know that when I wake up in the morning, I’m probably going to A)feel like shit and B)be appropriately embarrassed about something I did or said. It’s not brag worthy, and I don’t even think it’s often very funny.

    I say this as a single mom who has taken a purposeful step back from the single mom blogging community because some of them are just so incredibly embarrassing when it comes to things like drinking and sex. Moms have it hard enough. Single moms have it REALLY hard. I already have enough negative social stigmas on me as it is, I don’t need other women out there reinforcing them for me.

    I sound like a prude. I’m totally not. Engaging in stupid behavior is one thing. BRAGGING about stupid behavior (and encouraging it in your “friends”) is another.

    And you know…..its the internet. You’re putting yourself out there. People are gonna talk. It happens.

  11. Natalie, THANK YOU for writing this. While I agree with some of what she wrote, it made me feel attacked for having a glass of wine.
    I agree that there are some people who drink too much. They put their family, friends, and job in jeopardy. They drive drunk. They participate in risky behavior. I honestly believe that the majority of us aren’t that way.
    My husband works out of town all week. I NEVER put myself in a situation where I wouldn’t be able to care for my child. But come Friday? Mommy needs some Jesus Juice. So back the hell up off me for enjoying some. I’m an adult. Having a drink doesn’t automatically make you a sloppy drunk.

    • mommyofamonster says:

      And that’s why I wrote this post…to remind others to be careful about the delivery of their message and about considering the audience that is reading it.

      Cheryl’s post was sincere, and I think we all agreed with her messages — it was the way she said it that rubbed some people the wrong way.

  12. I read/commented on the original post and I think it’s a tough call in terms of where to draw that line. The problem with something like drinking is that the people that do it irresponsibly (which I’ve done in the past,) taint things a little for the people who do it absolutely responsibly.

    I drink, but I don’t drink every day or even every week anymore, but I think that is fine for some people. For other people, not so much. Everyone has a different line, so it can be a touchy subject.

  13. I saw the other post, but didn’t comment. I don’t drink much at all…mostly because I don’t process alcohol well, so I almost always feel terrible the next day even with one drink, and because sometimes 1/2 beer makes me tipsy & sometimes it takes 3 beers…so I never trust myself to drive after even one drink.

    Honestly, though, sometimes I do worry a bit about people who consistently blog/tweet/FB about needing a glass of wine or a drink. I don’t think I’m judging them (at least that’s not how I feel)…it’s more that I’m actually worried about them. Sometimes on platforms like that, where we don’t “know” someone, it’s hard to tell if the person is joking, or if they really feel like handling a child is so stressful they MUST have a glass of wine. Or if it really is that difficult to abstain from drinking while on medication. I’m sure some of these thoughts stem from the fact that I absolutely couldn’t have even 1/2 a glass every night, so I just don’t understand. Again, my lack of drinking does not come from any moral high ground…it just comes from an inability to tolerate it.

    That being said, I’m sure some of the confusion (on both sides of the issue) comes from the fact that it’s so easy to joke about. I’ve even been known to say at the end of a long, terrible work day “geez, I need a drink.” I don’t have one…but does the person I said that to at work (or in the case of twitter in the social media context) know whether I went home and had a pepsi or went home and had a six-pack? No.

    Very thoughtful post. Thanks for sharing the other side.

    • mommyofamonster says:

      And thank you for understanding my goal in sharing the other side.

      I agree with you that we do all joke about it a lot and that if nothing else, we all need to think about what we’re putting out there on Twitter everyday.

  14. I go through phases – I can have a little glass of wine every night for months and then absolutely no alcohol for months. I think that because our days for the most part are full of domestic chores and Teletubbies and hand paining – having a glass of wine at the end of the day reminds us that we are adults :) And when I do go away for a weekend with friends or just my husband, I almost always drink a bit more than I normally would just because I can! Everyone needs to let loose once in a while and forget about nappies and responsibility.

    I didn’t read the original post, but it sort of horrified me that someone would say that it’s not cool for “middle aged” women to drink – inside we all feel 25 and why not let loose in the company of others we can relate to and can trust??? I don’t think many of us go clubbing with the 20-year olds on a regular basis, so conferences like BlogHer are the perfect places to let out the 25-year old inside of us 😀

    • mommyofamonster says:

      Yes — and at the conference during the day? It was business as usual. It was during the evenings when we let loose – when we were all out with our friends (most of them who we just finally met for the first time).

  15. I think that it’s really easy to judge people who drink when you don’t. I think you’re drinking too much when it starts to interfere with your ability to work, be a mom, wife, sleep, etc. I can have two glasses of wine and function just fine. (Except drive)
    I think people need to remember that women drink more at occations like conferences, parties, etc. When I get away from my kids, I tend to drink a little more. I don’t have a drinking problem, I just happen to drink. And the only time I’m concerned with the age of someone drinking is when they are under age, not middle aged.
    I wonder what she would think of my shirt that says I have twins, therefore I drink twice as much? Somehow I think I know.

  16. Um, I drink, maybe a lot to some people. Do I have to – yes sometimes I do. I have 4 kids and a glass of wine at night helps take the kink out of brow. I love drinking at weddings, events, in drieways in the fall… it’s a part of my life. It’s not a problem. I think if you have to wonder whether or not you’re drinking too much too often than you probably are. Can’t we all just have a toast and get along! Good for you for putting this out there!

  17. Great post Natalie and well worth the wait!

  18. good post. I 100% agree with you on this one

  19. Thank YOU for delivering another perspective on the whole issue.
    I agree with the Babe (@stayathomebabe) that it varies from person to person how much is too much. And if your life, finances, ability to function is compromised, you most likely have an issue. If you hide it from someone, you may have an issue. If it’s a compulsion… it may be a problem. Depression and I are BFFs. And sometimes, I have to consciously steer away from that nightly Corona b/c I know 1 will turn into 6 and I will feel like crapola in the AM. But most nights, I enjoy a beer or glass of wine, or two before bed. And there have been MANY days when I have cracked a bottle at 4:59 b/c 5:00 seemed too far away!
    I was probably one of those people who were on the offended side. I don’t want to be judged or perceived as judged. I think that to write a general post on a topic, inspired by an article read or an experience is one thing. To name names and basically point fingers, even if well intended, should be thought about VERY CAREFULLY, and maybe not done.
    Bravo lady!

    • mommyofamonster says:

      “To name names and basically point fingers, even if well intended, should be thought about VERY CAREFULLY, and maybe not done.”

      That is exactly why I wrote this post! As a reminder to tread lightly on posts about such hot topics!

  20. I agree with points that BOTH posts made.

    All I’m going to say is that I love wine. I grew up with it, it is part of my family and my life.

    Always will be.

    • mommyofamonster says:

      I too agreed with every point Cheryl made…just had issues with the delivery of the points 😉

  21. I think you raise two very interesting subjects. The first obviously being the drinking. I see the merits of the other post as well. I’m sure there are women who maybe drink too much. I would think they’re in the minority. Not to say that makes it a less serious issue. As long as they’re not glamorizing or advertising it to their children, or being reckless, it’s not a problem to me.

    The second issue is that of trust. Or better, discretion. As bloggers, we should be able to talk to each other or meet each other or get drunk and dance like a maniac with each other without being judged. And without being the fodder for someone else’s blog post. The other post made BlogHer seem like a weekend-long kegger with a bunch of non-professional women who couldn’t control their drinking. I’ve never been to BlogHer but I am sure while there is fun had, business is conducted as well. Same as any other conference.

    There needs to be a certain amount of “this is off the record” when bloggers get together. If it’s not, we need to ask or be honest with each other so we don’t offend someone, inadvertently or not. Even if you’re not naming names. It’s called respect.

    Sorry for the long comment. I’m glad I read this post and shared it with my followers.

    • mommyofamonster says:

      Yes – BlogHer was business during the day, and letting loose with friends at night. 😉

      The other post was written with sincerity and she made some fantastic points, and I think if she left out the BlogHer part, many of us would’ve felt better about the delivery of the messages.

  22. Thank you for this. I’m not a big drinker (Usually only after an especially stressful day of my 3 elementary schoolers behaving like the raging pygmy horde that they are), but I have been made to feel bad about it by others who actually have no children (or sense of humor).

    • mommyofamonster says:

      I tell you, those kids drive us to drink (and yes, that’s a joke…I’ve definitely got a sense of humor)! 😉

  23. I read the post and commented, too. I am a mom in recovery, and I was part of the Redbook article that is mentioned in the post. The article was about motherhood, drinking and the power of sharing our truths – in this case within the addiction/recovery community – how we shared our stories of addiction online and ended up with meaningful, healing friendships as a result.

    I think no matter what opinion we are expressing – about anything, really, but in this case about drinking – it’s important to tell our OWN stories, our own experiences. Not “anti” or “pro” drinking, for example, but engaging in thought provoking discussions without having to be on one side or the other.

    When we’re speaking our own truth – it may be (and this is just an example, not from the post) – “I don’t drink because I want to be 100% present for my children” – that is just one person’s truth. If someone is saying “I don’t think other women should drink because they aren’t present for their children” – that is a whole different thing.. that feels judgy, right? Because someone is expressing an opinion AT other people, just simply stating their own truth.

    It’s so important to talk about drinking – from the reactions to this post, and the other one, it’s clearly something people are hungry to talk about. I long for a world where we can put our own truths out there, provoke thoughtful discussion and not have it be an “us” vs. “them” situation.

    Motherhood and drinking is a lightening rod because it brushes up against people’s opinion about how to parent, like so many other issues do (breastfeeding is another example). If people felt like they could tell our OWN truth without judgment we could educate each other, instead of take sides, open each other up to new insights and ideas, instead of closing each other off in the interest of being right.

    -Ellie

    • mommyofamonster says:

      I really agree with everything you said, especially that we need to talk about this more and keep it out of the closet. And if my post and Cheryl’s post do that, then I think we can both feel satisfied with how we approached it :)

      Thank you for reading and for leaving a comment!

  24. I think I was the only other person who commented in the same fashion as Gigi did. As said in my comment, what is normal or too much depends on the person with glass in hand. My normal, lately, seems to be a glass or two every other night. I completely understand that this is far from normal for someone who doesn’t care for wine, or drinking of any kind of alcohol.

    I love wine. I first learned of it, and it’s histories when I was in middle school. My grandfather had a friend who made his own and had great stomping parties.
    To this day I can still taste my first sip of Merlot paired with freshly home cured prosciutto. We all see wine/alcohol in different lights. It means something different to all of us. I’m not ashamed to admit I sit in the evenings beside my computer working with a glass of wine next to me. Beauty of being a writer is I get to ‘drink on the job’. I love getting together with my girlfriends and have girlchat, toasting to a funny tweet that only we would get the humor in.

    I try not to judge others. I know that I could probably easily be judged. When do I think it’s a problem? When you can’t take care of your children, or you feel the need to hide it. If you are feeling guilty over something you are doing, it’s probably wrong.

  25. oh bravo for keeping the conversation open on this! I haven’t read all the comments or the original post but I am going to do that. I drink almost every night–a glass (or two!) of wine. I never drank by myself before my kids—but my husband works very late and I am usually writing, watching TV, reading… in other words, I get a little bored. I totally drink to take the edge off the day. I love wine and I love that it relaxes me.
    I understand that some women do have drinking problems and it is a different story. It is NEVER ok to drink and drive or endanger your or anyone’s children. This is not, what I believe, we are discussing here.
    I am over feeling weird about it. cheers from a twin plus one mommy!

    • mommyofamonster says:

      I think we’d all agree that it’s never okay to drink if you are putting your children, yourself, or others in danger.

      Cheers! Look at all these twin moms coming over to chat!

  26. Great post. Some nights, I have a drink. Some nights, I don’t. I didn’t drink when I was contemplating pregnancy or while pregnant. I didn’t get hammered while my husband was at sea the first 7 months of Klaw’s life.

    If I have a whole night or weekend to myself, might I overindulge? Yeah, I might…but only once or twice a year because I get hangovers now.

    Much like everything else, this isn’t a cookie-cutter situation. One drink is too much for some people. However, sometimes it’s easy to look at that mom who finally has a night to herself without a baby on her boob who just wants to let loose and judge her.

    • mommyofamonster says:

      I think it’s just important to talk about drinking in all it’s shapes and forms. Thanks for reading and for commenting!

  27. People need to make sure they’re not being judgey. That’s it.

    I enjoy wine every night if I have it in my house. Why not? I don’t have it until my kids are in bed. Even on the rare occasion when I do have a glass earlier, I nurse it and pretty much don’t feel it.

    But you know what? I shouldn’t even have to say that. You shouldn’t have felt the need to write this. Except, to illustrate not being judgey. Because I think that’s really the main issue here.

    • mommyofamonster says:

      I think that with such a hot topic, we just need to watch how we’re delivering the message…even when everybody agrees with the ultimate message that drinking for some women is a major problem (or could become one).

  28. I enjoyed this. Saw the link on Daddy Knows Less. Personally, I’d dance with you drunk or sober and just so I know, do you drink white or red?

  29. I really didn’t realize how judgy moms were until I became one…and became judged. I think whatever one does is their business, and if it doesn’t affect their family or hurting someone then it shouldn’t be an issue. I don’t have a glass of wine every day (wish I did though!) but I don’t have a problem with someone who does. I love me some margaritas and some martinis. So does being a mom=no drinking ever again? No, I think not.

  30. Thank you for writing this. As previously mentioned for some reason moms are very judgemental of eachother. Im not sure why. Anyways, pre baby I would finish a bottle of wine in one day on the weekend or if it was a particuarly bad day at work during the week. Post baby Im lucky if I can finish one glass. I still enjoy it; I just dont have the time for it anymore. I would love to be able to have a glass everynight and Im jealous of those of you who can! As for getting drunk at a convention; please, those moms finally had time off to themselves. Dont be so judgemental. Im sure what they did there was not the norm and was more of them cutting loose for a night. Well written post. Thank you.

    • mommyofamonster says:

      Thanks for swinging by and sharing your thoughts — it’s so important to talk about this topic!

  31. This is such a well-thought out and well-written response. It is such a loaded topic. I don’t drink… though I used to. My husband enjoys a glass of wine or a cocktail/shot most nights after the kids are in bed. Is there a problem? It is soooo individual.

    • mommyofamonster says:
    • Loaded topic is the perfect description (no pun intended!) What I mean is that it immediately ruffles feathers, which is why it’s important to pay attention to how we’re delivering the message.
  • I read both posts, and now I’m commenting on both of them. I think it’s fine for women to have a drink every night and not have a problem-there’s nothing wrong with that. It can be somewhat of a slippery slope though, and where the fine line is drawn from problem drinking and non problem drinking can be crossed without the person realizing it. I think that is where the problem is. I know I fall into the group of women who can’t drink everyday. I really can’t drink at all, because one drink turns into me not being able to stand up because I’m so drunk 3 hours later. But I’m glad people on both sides of the issue are talking about it and I agree with the others who are commenting that we should be able to tell our story without others judging.

    • mommyofamonster says:

      Yes — the important part of all of this is that we’re talking about it. Thank you for sharing your experiences on the subject.

  • Bits of Bee says:

    Great post topic! I come from the perspective of a woman who doesn’t particularly love wine, but who enjoys a nice hot cup of Baileys or two on weekend mornings, who loves an ice cold beer in the evenings, and who on special occasions, loves to indulge in fancy drinks while enjoying the company of good friends. I have been in the position where I’m surrounded by people who are on-their-ass drunk, who have actually pushed so hard for me to “catch up and drink more” that I’ve felt bad for not drinking more. I’ve also been in the position where I’ve realized that I’ve had too much and have tried to coax others to catch up because I felt lame for over drinking. I don’t see anything wrong with having a glass or two each night, and sometimes wish I enjoyed wine more so I could join in on the #wineparty. I do understand the concern for women who take it too far, but I don’t think that justifies calling out all women who drink as having a problem.

    • mommyofamonster says:

      Agreed!

      And I don’t think I’ve pushed anybody to drink more since my younger (and stupider) days 😉

  • I don’t think that all women who drinks will end up in rehab!
    When my marriage was in it’s troubling semi-comatose moments, yes I would drank my sadness, pain and loneliness on those many nights after my boy went to bed. I’m more of a gin & tonic girl than wine BTW. I would drink my gin & tonic alone almost every night. Did I turned into an alcoholic? No. After my separation – and now finally divorced, I barely drink unless it’s a night out with my friends. Now I don’t drink at home.
    I wouldn’t want to throw the stones to anyone who enjoys their drinks. This is a slippery topic for sure.

    • mommyofamonster says:

      Which I think is why so many people stay away from discussing it — it automatically gets people touchy, you know?

  • Thank you thank you thank you Natalie for writing this. I too read her post and couldn’t comment. {Not to mention I had a glass of Moscato in my hand at the time}. I have wine a couple nights a week. Do I ever get drunk when Im alone with my kids? No. My husband works late at night. But when he is home–you better believe this mama enjoys a few glasses of wine on the weekend. It IS my time to destress from the week. I always joke about needing a cocktail but I dont actually need it. If my husband were to ever ask me to quit drinking Id do it right away. No problem.

    • mommyofamonster says:

      I think many of us realized that all the joking on Twitter could lead others to think we really have a problem! I’ve never thought about it before, but it’s an interesting point…

  • This is an interesting topic. I am not opposed to the occasional glass of wine in the evening after putting the kids to bed. What I am opposed to is when the drinking and “good times” start to overshadow the job of being a parent. I think you really need to evaluate your drinking if it is starting to become a priority or getting in the way of your responsibilities or causing you to make questionable parenting choices.

  • i think you need to stop worrying so much what others think of you —and i believe it was eleanor roosevelt that said “Noone can make you feel inferior w/out your own consent” -we are big girls now…WHo the F cares what anyone thinks?? i enjoy your Blog but sometimes i feel like i am watching a bunch of sorroritys go at & compete with each other for readers (the blogging world)it is kind of pathetic when you consider that we all have little ones looking up to us –

    • mommyofamonster says:

      Gena – thank you for pointing out to stop worrying about what others think! It is a problem I’ve always fought with 😉

      I think your point about the competing and going at it is an interesting one, especially because I’ve never blogged about anything like this before, and I’ve never blogged about taking a stance on the opposite side of another blogger’s point. So I’m not sure why you think I’m competing for anything or feel that I’m in competition with others.

  • All I will say is that the opening lines of Cheryl’s post really sold me on BlogHer. Sign me up!

  • This is a topic I often wonder about. I drink. I look forward to a beer at the end of a long day. Does this fit the mold of loving christian mom??? I have no idea! I think there is a stigma against it in the christian community. Many are very conservative about drinking. Me? I like a beer at 5! Does that mean I love Jesus any less? Or my kids are suffering? Absolutely not! I’ve often wanted to approach this topic on my blog and get honest feedback from moms, but haven’t found the words or timing yet. Great post.

  • I love my wine. I love to taste differently wines and pair them with food. My husband and I like to enjoy a glass or two, or three in the evenings and on the weekends.

    I read the other post and see where she’s coming from, but didn’t comment because I really didn’t know what to say and like you didn’t want to start a right fight.

    I love my wine. I’m in control of the amount I consume. I don’t ever put anyone in danger because of it.

  • Lambs, I think we are all missing the point. As bloggers we create our own space in which we are free to express our opinions and perceptions of the experiences we have in a whatever way we deem appropriate. That’s what I took away from that post. A very eloquent writer expressing herself on a topic that she felt strongly about.

    • mommyofamonster says:

      Oh, I absolutely agree with you! Which is why I posted my feelings here instead of there 😉

      And there’s no doubt she was full of sympathy for Deb…her heart was definitely in the right place when she wrote the post.

  • I think any post that generalizes people is out of line. Not everyone who has a couple of glasses of wine every night is an alcoholic or incapable of controlling their alcohol. The moment it starts affecting your ability to lead your life then yes it’s a problem but I would venture to say that this does not apply to most of the people she was referring to in her blog. I drink wine, I enjoy wine and I live in France where wine is a way of life. I don’t consider myself an alcoholic nor do I take it to the extreme where I’m fumbling drunk every night.

  • Wow. I’m wondering if we read the same post. I didn’t find Cheryl’s post judge-y at all. I also thought that she said that she has had drinks, and has no problem with people having an occasional drink, and drinking. She just doesn’t drink much at present because she’s too neurotic and her hubs can’t drink. Not because she thinks she above it, etc. Actually I don’t think she thought about it too much before seeing so many drunk women at BlogHer & reading the recent article in Redbook.

    I read her post as a reaction to the article in Redbook, and a personal one at that, given that a close friend (whom she was not aware had a problem) was featured. It got her, and many of us, to thinking about alcoholism in our community.

    Condemning every mom who has a drink at the end of a long hard day? Didn’t read that part! She was *maybe* a little judgey about the women at Blogher that get wasted but really, if you are a middle aged adult getting sh*tfaced at a semiprofessional gathering, don’t you kind of bring that on yourself?

    I agree with C lo who said it well. There were a LOT of women at BlogHer who drank a LOT too much. It does make one wonder.

    There are also a lot of people who say they NEED alcohol every day. Whether it is an expression, a common turn of phrase (I’ve tweeted that I need a drink after a trying day so I’m painted with that brush too) or an honest appraisal of addiction… that is for the speaker to say. But NEED is not normal when it comes to booze. Enjoyment and need are different beasts.

    Flippant tweeting aside, habitual and daily need is almost always a red flag. It’s not enough to say you could stop at any time. You’re still an alcoholic even if you quit for a period. That’s in all the literature. It’s the need that makes it so, the craving that doesn’t quit.

    It’s a fine line between a relaxing ritual and a habit you cannot break. I think Cheryl reflected honestly on that fine line, that slippery slope, and with a high degree of sensitivity as well. If you don’t actually have a problem, I can’t see why her post would put anyone on the defensive. There’s no attack there, just concern.

    I have to say, given the number of alcoholic women that I know and love, I feel the same concern. I’m glad it is not my personal cross to bear. That doesn’t make me (or Cheryl) better than those who struggle. It just makes us lucky in this one regard. We all have struggles though. We don’t have to have the same struggles to offer sympathy.

    • mommyofamonster says:

      “Wow. I’m wondering if we read the same post” That is EXACTLY why I wrote this post!

      Because I agree 100% with Cheryl’s message, and I know she was being sincere (I even say in my post that she is a blogger that that is good at approaching sensitive subjects), but I and many others read her post differently than you and others did. I think this is why we need to be very careful about how we deliver a message when dealing with such a hot issue.

      Yes, her post absolutely got us all thinking and talking about this…and that’s a good thing. I didn’t say she condemned every mom who drank, not anywhere in post did I say that. I did say that it sounded judgmental, and from many of the comments here, and from conversations I’ve had with others, a lot of people agreed.

      I also agree that daily need is a problem, for sure. I think so many of use drink wine regularly (and I did say everybody’s “regularly” is different) because we enjoy it, not need it, and if that’s habitual, I don’t think it means I have a problem.

      Again, the point of this post was to remind others to be very careful with how they deliver their thoughts and messages on such a delicate/hot subject…and to put my two cents about drinking out there in my own space :)

  • Missed all this.

    I was at blogher, didn’t drink, but did see drunk bloggers.

    Maybe they don’t remember being that drunk?

  • I didn’t read the post you speak of, but I wish I had. I do love to get other people’s perspectives on this subject. I drink just about every night…a glass of wine and it’s definitely part of my wind down routine…as is reading blogs and watching TVs. I guess if I have a drinking problem, I may have a blog/TV problem as well.

    I’m also hypersensitive about these issues b/c I had an Aunt who was an alcoholic for years and was way too far gone by the time anyone really knew how bad it was. I monitor myself closely, but see nothing wrong with going a bit overboard when you know you won’t have to wake up at 3AM and deal with children. Thanks for writing this…it’s interesting to see other points of view.

  • I guess I didn’t find Cheryl’s post as judging others – but it was written about her true concern and love for her friend. It’s a very important topic that needs to be discussed and I’m not sure how your post is bringing this discussion to us in an open way. I am glad we all have our blogs to write and give our opinions of a topic – but I guess I don’t know why you had to directly quote your friend in your blog to prove to us how you felt judged by her post? If you have an issue with a friend – call her, email her, go have coffee…and then if you want to discuss this important topic of drinking – then write a post about how you feel about it – not how you feel judged about it. It makes me sad when I see friends and bloggers using their voices to directly hurt someone else.

    • mommyofamonster says:

      I’m sorry if you feel that my post was written to directly hurt Cheryl – I guarantee you that was not my intent at all. Whether I quoted her or not in my post, my message would’ve been the same. I didn’t write my post to prove anything to anybody. I simply wrote how I felt about drinking, and why I feel it’s so important to be careful with the way you deliver a message about such a hot topic.

      It seems from the comments that my post did open the door to furthering the discussion on the subject of alcohol, most comments didn’t mention Cheryl at all :)

    • I think it’s dangerous territory when we start telling each other that our feelings–be it hurt, concern or Natalie’s (and many others) feelings of having been judged–are invalid. I think that Natalie’s blog is hers to post whatever she would like, and if we don’t like it then we don’t have to read it. Or, if we feel hurt or judged enough that we feel incapable of sitting back and staying silent then we can write our genuine responses on our own blogs… or here in her comments… as we see fit. To tell her that she should write a post about how she feels, not how she might feel judged, is a hairsplitting at best and undue, unsolicited, censoring advice at worst. I think that opening an honest dialogue about differing positions is healthy and mature. Natalie didn’t attack any of the points in the original post, she disagreed with the delivery and was very clear about that in her post as well as all of her responses to comments. I thought it was brave, honest and eloquent writing and I hope that when I feel equally moved to address an issue that I do it as well as she has.

  • mommyofamonster says:

    When writing this post, my intent was not to cause drama or single a person out, it was to tell my truth…to offer my two cents.

    In the last couple of weeks, there were at least 5 posts written on various blogs on the topics of drinking and alcoholism, and each and every one of the posts was helpful to at least one person. But, the one thing that none of us thought to offer you are the resources where you can find help if you need it. Here is some information for those of you who need it:

    • Alcoholics Anonymous – http://www.alcoholics-anonymous.org
    • Al-Anon/Alateen – http://www.al-anon.org
    • National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism – http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/FAQs/General-English/Pages/default.aspx
    • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration – http://www.samhsa.gov

    Additionally, comments on this post are now closed. If you have any thoughts or ideas that you’d like to share, you can email them to me at mommyofamonster@hotmail.com.

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