Friday, July 9, 2010

Parental Temperance

I don't quite remember which site it was or why I was there as I tend to avoid most parenting message boards.  I have enough drama in my real life thankyouverymuch. Anyway, I came across an interesting debate about whether or not parents are allowed to ever get drunk.  While, like most, I don't advocate getting rip-roaring drunk and making an ass of yourself in front of your kids, I was shocked by the number of people that said they either a) haven't touched a drink since their first child was born, b) will never have even one sip of alcohol in front of their kids and/or c)you are a horrible parent if you drink in front of your children.  Those were the overwhelming responses.  And honestly, I was really surprised.

I grew up surrounded by responsible alcohol consumption. My dad had a drink when he got home from work each night and my mom enjoyed a regular glass of wine.  Both my grandfathers drank gin martini's during family parties and as a kid my Gramp B ( husband of bad-ass Grandma) always gave me one of his olives. Every family party had an unguarded cooler of beer and a table full of wine. 

Despite the prevalence of alcohol, no one was ever drunk.  Sure, sometimes the laughter got a little loud or someone was a bit sillier than normal but I never witnessed anyone falling down drunk. (Except at family weddings.  L family weddings are Legen...wait for it....dary) Despite being constantly surrounded by booze, I didn't drink until I was in college.  Even my college days, save for a few ridiculous nights, we're pretty tame.  Therefore I was shocked how many people were so adamantly anti-drinking when it came to doing it in front of their kids. Very few people admitted they do drink, but like me, they probably lurked, unwilling to start a flame war.

Sure, I don't know back stories.  Maybe they don't drink for religious purposes.  Maybe they had alcohol parents or family members. I don't think there is anything wrong with not drinking.  However, I also don't think I'm a bad mom for enjoying a regular glass of red wine.  Max will grow up in a house where alcohol is consumed and consumed responsibly.  My husband and I will never have too much that we can't drive, even when at home because we never know when an emergency will occur. He'll be taught that it's okay in moderation and it needs to be respected, even when the time comes that he's a moronic college students like his parents once were.

Now if you'll excuse me, the baby is asleep, the pizza is on it's way, a long week is over and I'm due for a beer.

10 comments:

Katie said...

as i read this, i have a glass of red wine :-)

i completely agree that we need to be responsible now, but that is part of being a parent. and let's be honest, if we didnt have alcohol at parties, the friends we have that dont have kids, that rarely come over now, definitely wouldnt come - at least mine!

Jenn said...

I agree with you on every point. You can totally raise Max to know that alcohol is something that adults enjoy in moderation, and it isn't for kids. That's how I was raised, too. wsssssssssssssssssa <-- I'm leaving that because it's from my cat Lucy walking across my keyboard. I think she's saying hi.

Nina @ Momma Go Round said...

I totally see both sides of the fence, since well, I am both sides. I grew up in a religiously confused house with a dad who I rarely saw take a drink, but don't cut off my mom's pinot grigio supply. It was the same as you, unguarded cooler cause there was no need to guard it, and grandparents always drinking their bloody mary's.

In college, I finally found my religion and part of it is no drinking. For me, that has never really been a problem since I was always more like my dad (and you).

What's weird though it that it makes my mom and brother incredibly uncomfortable. I could care less if they drink, it's their choice. As long as they are responsible and not wasted infront of LJ, it's fine. But they seem to have a huge issue with it and feel like they need to ask me all the time if I want a drink or try to make me feel weird about it. Got any insight? Would love your thoughts on it!

Sandra said...

I'm laughing as I type this! Great post! I hear ya about the I'm-Super-Parent message boards, I stay far far away. As for drinking, I don't, but not because I'm trying to protect my kids, it's because I'm a bitch on wheels without a hangover. I don't need the headache and the noise that the kids make bashing my brains out. Anyway, thanks for stopping by, and I'll be stopping by here more often!

Sandra said...

PS: I love the name of your blog...that's the title of my life!

Heather said...

I have a little over a month to go on my 2nd pregnancy. For the last 8 mos. I've been counting down the days--not to my new baby but to a nice glass of red wine. I can't wait!

I was raised in a non drinking home simply because my parents didn't really like drinking. I don't much care for getting drunk (or even buzzed). I do like a glass or two of wine from time to time though.

On the flipside, my husband comes from a major drinking family. I'm talking 30 beers per person at a Saturday bbq. It does make me kind of uncomfortable but no one ever gets sick or belligerent, no one drives until the next day, and if they're gonna do it, I'd rather have them safe at someone's house than out at a bar.

Jenny @ mamanash.com said...

They should do a survey and see what the correlation is between those who will drink in front of their kids and those who won't versus those who are Catholic and those who are not. I think you get my drift.

This comes from a mom whose son enters a neighborhood party saying: "We brought BREWDOGS!" It was seriously awesome. Lucky for us most of our neighbors are Catholic and thought it was pretty funny.

Jenna said...

Shit, my grandparents used to put whiskey on the baby's gums when they were teething. Works, too.

Not being a parent myself, I am strictly against the no alcohol at all policy. I went to college with a girl who was raised ridiculously strictly like that, never learning the concepts of responsibility or moderation and when she got to college and didn't have anyone controlling her, she went insane. Drank herself silly, and made a lot of very, very bad choices.

A beer here and there (and a few when da Bears play) is a nice way to relax and that's nothing to be ashamed of, and I kind of find it silly that people would disagree.

Cecelia Winesap said...

My moderate alcohol consumption is good for my little man's health. It keeps his mother from going insane so she can properly care for him. :)

Raine said...

I completely agree - I think I may have seen the same message board. I understand if a person makes a personal decision to not drink or whatever around their child, but what I don't understand is how they can then judge people who do. Thats my biggest complaints with these message boards, its not mothers sharing ideas, it is mothers judging each other.

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