Rant With Randi: Wine as reward? Maybe it’s time to put a cork in it

I’m starting to feel as if we (parents), are getting a little too overconfident and casual about drinking wine with friends, and then driving home with our kids in the car.

We are living in this “Wine is our reward for a hard day’s work” culture. “I need a chilled glass of Chardonnay” is another way of saying, “I’ve worked my a off and I’ve earned this glass of wine.”

I’m not going to lie; I’ve felt that way some days, and I have wine with friends. In fact, if you know me, then you know that I love to drink red wine. I drink a glass at night with my husband, and on rare occasions, when I’m out with girlfriends.

But I’ve been reading about this trend called “Chardonnay Play Dates” and I think it’s pretty self-explanatory. Groups of moms are getting together during the afternoon, so their toddlers can play and they can chitty-chat and drink wine. It’s caused me to take a step back and evaluate my own wine/alcohol consumption.

When I hear moms say things like, “Drinking wine is a validation that motherhood is hard and we need a break,” or “Needing a little Mommy Juice once in a while doesn’t make me a bad mommy,” it makes me cringe. I find these statements so off-putting. In fact, it says to me that these moms feel like victims of circumstances that are out of their control. Unless I’m way off here, they chose to be moms.

Statements like the above just make us moms look weak and pitiful. I’m a stay-at-home mom who used to work outside the home for a public health care company, traveling across the country and giving talks to hundreds of women, so I get it. Staying at home and raising kids can make any sane person go crazy, but let’s face it; we aren’t on the front lines defending our country. We are raising children, and frankly, it’s a fleeting moment in our lives. I have a daughter in HS and I have no idea where the time went. So I think we need to take the notion that “Being a mom is the most overwhelming job in the world,” down several notches.

There is a blog community called “Moms Who Need Wine,” which states up front that “If you’re not sure you could survive motherhood without a stockpile of your favorite Red — then you’ve come to the right place!”

Apparently wine makers have now targeted moms and make wine with names like Mommy’s Time Out and Mommy Juice. Their ad campaigns basically say that mothers have “earned the right to a drink.” “Tuck your kids into bed, sit down and have a glass of Mommy Juice because you deserve it,” is what it says on the back of the “Mommy Juice” brand’s label. Seriously? Who would even drink that? It sounds more like pre-packaged apple juice. When I read, “Moms Who Need Wine,” it tells me that these moms might have a problem to begin with.

Sure, it’s fun to laugh at those e-cards with saying such as: “The most expensive part of having kids is all the wine you have to drink” — or “I want my kids to be good at math, but not so good that they can count how many glasses of wine I’ve had.”

I think you can actually get through your day without your “stockpile of your favorite red.” I mean, really, moms? I’m calling BS on this Chardonnay play date in the middle of the day.

I love my wine as much as the next mom, but there’s a big difference between needing it to cope, and enjoying it with a good meal. I’m also much more aware of the impact because I do have kids that are of the age where they notice what’s going on, and it has an impact on them.

I think we are getting too overly confident with this “wine as reward” mentality; and combining it with our parenting responsibility, especially when we have kids in HS, is sending a pretty bad message all the way around.

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