Yesterday, as I sat out on the back patio watching my daughter swing, I skimmed through Huffington Post (as I do several times a day). Feeling adventurous (and maybe a teensy bit irritated by all of the Political Mudslinging Season back-and-forth on the Home page), I decided to check out the Parenting section. I came across an article written by Laura Rossi Totten in which she describes the stigma surrounding drinking (as in, responsibly, socially, you know, “having a drink”) when you become a mom.
I liked the article, and I agree with Laura on most of what she said. But there was one thing that struck me as, well, actually I haven’t figured out how I was stricken yet, but emotions that have made it to the semi-finals are embarrassed, bemused, irritated, nauseated, and tickled, but I digress. I was stricken by the whole tone of the article as though it came from a post-partum Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City.
Images of moms “trading in the Prada bags for Baby Bjorn” and attending a veritable cornucopia of mom-targeted events such as spa day, book club, and “make your own purse day” (no, I’m not kidding, apparently that’s really a thing) made me say, out loud, “Who are these moms and on which planet do they live?”
Maybe it’s just because I’m in Oklahoma, the great “buckle of the Bible belt,” or maybe it’s because I’m simply not that cool… but the moms that I know are scavenging the clearance rack at Target for a new summer tank top or beaming over having found Simply Apple juice on sale for $2.50. They’re scrambling to try to get their kids to day care or school or Nana’s house, get to work on time, and somehow squeeze in 38 spare seconds to manage a cup of coffee. The moms in my world aren’t “settling for reruns of Sex and the City,” in fact most of them probably haven’t ever even seen that show and have to be told who Carrie Bradshaw is in the first place (which is why I said who she was when I mentioned her earlier). They’re trying to figure out practical problems such as the traveling socks portal, through which random children’s socks seem to magically disappear with no warning. These moms are feeling guilty because they’re at work when they’d rather be home with their kids, or feeling even guiltier because they’re at home with their kids when they desperately want to be working. They’re trying, trying, trying, and trying some more – to make it to the PTA meeting this month, to be there for Susie’s game or Johnny’s play, to be available to help with homework without hovering, and to know where that fine line between helping and hovering even is.
When these moms have time for a glass of wine or an ice cold beer, they certainly aren’t making apologies or feeling guilty about it.
Here’s what else these moms are NOT doing: Having cocktails with “the girls” on a regular basis, having enough time to even maintain a group of said “girls,” attending wine tastings and soirees disguised as book club meetings, even knowing the “right” people whose friendships would secure invitations to such events, and certainly they are not mourning the days of old when they could watch “Sex and the City” and drink an entire bottle of merlot in an evening. Most of the moms I know have never even seen a Prada item in person, and many of them would feel terrible guilt for spending $30 on a “nice” purse at JC Penney.
If these Prada wearing, time-to-watch-Sex-and-the-City-having, cocktail drinking socialite moms exist in some mystical corner of the world, I demand they show themselves and tell the rest of us what their secret is!