I do not drink alcohol when I am pregnant or breastfeeding. Now, keep in mind that I have been trying to conceive, pregnant, or breastfeeding since 2003, with only a few months off here or there. It seems that as soon as I regain custody of my tatas from one child, I relinquish rights to my womb to another.
What all this means is that – when I finally do wean Lilah – I am going to be a mighty cheap date.
I miss drinking. I do. Not in the I-need-a-drink-before-I-begin-ripping-of-my-fingernails-and-howling-at-the-moon kind of way. More in the wouldn’t-a-glass-of-wine-every-now-and-then-be-lovely kind of way. I was just never that heavy a drinker before, although I had my mid-twenties like everyone else. By the time I was trying to get pregnant, I was largely over hard liquor. I just didn’t need that nasty, bile-filled kind of feeling in my belly.
Beer? I am just going to say it, even though it means Anheuser-Busch will probably pull my sponsorship. Beer tastes disgusting. I cannot believe anyone likes it. I am to this day convinced it is an Emperor-has-new-clothes type of phenomenon, with people just faking a desire to drink that swill in order to impress others, who in turn are afraid to admit their uncool antipathy towards sharp, carbonated liquid that smells like piss.
But I like wine. Red wine, to be precise. Shiraz. Merlot. Brunello. I am no sommelier (that’s, like, a wine expert), but I know what I like. Remember that my father did write the definitive book on building one’s own wine cellar. I may think he’s an ass, but I obviously inherited something from him other than the dashing good looks and the propensity to over-think things.
When Lilah weans, I will clean out those dusty glasses that hang out on the top shelf of my cabinet and sometimes pour myself a small glass of wine while I make dinner. Actually, it will be a big glass because I like the way the large glasses breathe, but there won’t be much wine in it. I am taking care of three kids. I am cooking. I’m not an idiot. But, I don’t think a few sips of wine when I am not driving anywhere will hurt anyone.
Nor do I think an occasional glass of wine at dinner sets a bad example. To the contrary – I worry that my kids don’t get enough of an example of a responsible way to handle alcohol. I am relieved my father-in-law does sometimes have a drink around the kids, so they can see that adults have a first glass now and then without needing to have a second glass.
Everything in moderation, folks. Everything in moderation. Show your kids that alcohol can be used responsibly – I’m all for that. Enjoy an adult beverage, because, shit, you’re an adult.
Should you get behind the wheel of a car after drinking? Hell, no. We make a show of one adult asking the other, “Will you drive home?” before even ordering a drink. Should you get sloshed in front of your kids? Absolutely not, and if you are, then I think perhaps seeking some help is in order. In fact, I sort of think that getting piss drunk and waking up with someone else’s panties on ought to be behavior reserved for weekends away from the children. A drunk adult would be useless during a middle-of-the-night fire, and parents have to think about the safety of their kids.
I am thrilled that the blogosphere has given those who need it a safe place to admit they need help. I am also angry that the Mommy Bloggers are being attacked for writing about drinking. There is no shame in wanting a drink now and again. There is nothing wrong with referencing alcohol in one’s writing as a way of bemoaning the stress of parenting and the wish that perhaps we were young and hip again. Because we’re not. We’re old farts with little screaming people to take care of. And sometimes, we’re allowed to go out with our girlfriends for a drink.
Or, in my case, a quarter of a drink, since any more than that and I’m likely to start swinging from the light fixtures.