I’ve been wanting to write about “Mom O’Clock” for a while, but have been unsure if I would open myself up to mommy backlash. Backlash in general stresses me out, but if you’ve ever been on the receiving end of mommy backlash, you know how devastating it can be. Nothing hurts like a thinly-veiled barb from a fellow mother. That said, the role of alcohol in a mother’s life and the effect it can have on her children has been fascinating me lately, especially as my children grow older.
Although I have always considered myself an excellent mother, my motherhood experience (like those of almost every other mother I know) has been fraught with insecurities. This summer Noah developed a repetitive nervous tic that had him sounding like an asthmatic squeaky toy, and I wondered if my goal to simply raise the least screwed up kid on the block was crashing down around me. Add to that Jason’s new phase of yelling “BAD BABY” and “I’m going to poke you in da EYEBALL!” in the face of younger children and one can see how I routinely turn to the comfort of a wine bottle. After one particularly stressful day, Noah encouraged me to pour myself a glass of wine and relax. He’s not yet five.
Then a couple of weeks ago, Jason, already precocious at age two and a half, reached for my empty wine glass and when I tried to take it from him yelled, “Hey! That’s MY wine!” And last night at dinner he grabbed our bottle of Trimbach Pinot Gris and said, “My have wine?” Noah has been known to focus imaginary play around the sale of Pinot Noir for “Twenty quarters.” Are they budding wine lovers and entrepreneurs, or heading for drunk nights puking their guts out at the age of 15? I’m just not sure.
Despite all of this (and despite this picture…TJ was just kidding, our newborn did not drink that wine), I do believe that TJ and I are modeling a healthy relationship with alcohol to our children. Primarily, wine is something that comes out at the end of the day. We sip wine while we make and eat dinner and we do not drink excessively in front of our kids. We have friends over and share wine with them while the kids are around, playing at our feet or eating dinner at the counter. Having a glass of wine at the end of the day, or “Mom O’Clock” as I like to call it to myself, is a natural part of their lives. Wine is seemingly part of their genetic code – our lives are rooted in learning about wine, experiencing wine, and selling wine. And it will be for the better part of their lives.
That said, I am trying to stay away from saying things like, “I’m going to die if I don’t have a glass of wine in the next five seconds!” or “Get me a wine IV into this vein right here!” or “Good God, is it time for the wine yet, my children are driving me NUTS!!” Yes, these are all things I have said before and, yes, I’ve said them in front of my children. But sometimes, at the end of a stressful day, a glass of wine can help bridge the gap from an iPhone that never stops buzzing to an impromptu dance party with my kids, and I do believe I’m okay with that. And I do believe they will be okay with that too.