Moms Can (& Should) Drink Around Their Kids


Being a mother is incredibly hard. It is so hard, in fact, that there is a whole line of comedy designed around moms who drink. The three martini play-date may be a joke, but for many moms, it is also very real. There are horror stories -- Diane Schuler's horrific accident to name one -- that give drinking around kids a very bad name. But it is not all bad.

Children take a lot out of you. They are happier when you are relaxed and sometimes it is really hard to relax without some kind of outside substance. Obviously I am not advocating altering oneself like the young mom who recently dropped her 7-month-old baby after overdosing on Xanax. But a little alcohol or medication taken at the right times might help to calm the nerves and might help in the long run.

Now, obviously, most of us are smart enough not to overdose on something while we are the sole caretakers for our children. But you don't have to be in a drugged up stupor to not be great for your kids. Think of all the times there was wine at play dates or birthday parties. Did you ever have too much to be totally responsible?

It is a fine line. I have a personal rule that I never want my children to see me altered. My husband and I will have a glass of wine or two after they are in bed. We will drink when we are out to dinner and they are with a sitter and we will even have a beer or two around them, but that's it. It is just common sense.

Still, I think children should learn to drink responsibly from their parents. Neither of my parents were big drinkers, but there was always alcohol around. They drank responsibly and as I have grown, I have done the same.

I have never believed the answer is keeping alcohol and drugs off the table entirely. Children in Italy are allowed glasses of wine and they have far less of the binge drinking problems we have here.

So instead of saying that moms and dads should never drink around the kids, it seems to me that in a social context where no one is driving and no one is drinking like it is a frat party, it is good to have alcohol or "adult beverages." Kids see it, they get used to it. There is no taboo. And mommy and daddy stay (mostly) sober. It's a good idea.

Of course, those who can't stop at one or two drinks may not want to practice this, but those who can should not feel badly. If a glass of wine at the end of a long day helps you parent better, then go ahead and indulge.

Do you drink around your kids?



Image via Ed Clayton/Flickr

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Pua Smith

Right now, with my children being 2 and 1, I have never and will never drink or take any medications (not even my pain medications) while I am the sole caretaker of my children. My husband travels a lot, so while he is gone I don't have any wine or anything when they are in bed. I don't in any drinking and driving, and knowing my luck, something would happen that night that would cause me to need to drive.

tuffy... tuffymama

I'm just like Pua, above. DP doesn't drink at all anymore, so if I want a glass of wine, I do it while he is home. I don't. Even think I've copped a buzz since the night before the night LO was conceived, though. Too much is going on in my house on any given day for me to be anything less than completely on the ball. I still collect wine, though. I joke that I'm going to live my twilight years in a drunken stupor so I can enjoy all my lovely bottles.

nonmember avatar Don Swanson

Thank you Sasha for your breath of fresh air about this subject. You have hit the nail on the head. When you keep these substances as taboos, your kids will eventually experiment, and all too often in ways and amounts that are unhealthy. It's funny how we talk soooooo much about the need for children to learn by example from their parents.....except when it comes to alcohol and drugs. What sense does that make?! And unless you weigh 90 lbs or less, one glass of wine is not going to leave you unable to drive safely.
Keep repeating this story every time you get the chance. It desperately needs to be heard!

xavie... xavierlogan09

No. I don't drink. My so drinks every once in awhile. He only drinks when our son is asleep for the night.

Ashle... AshleyP0710

I personally don't enjoy drinking but my sister in law and my brother have a 14 week old son and they are not drinking at all while caring for their son.

grand... grands301

I agree with Pat.  You always have to be at the top of your form. What if something happens in the middle of the night with one or more of your children?  Perhaps, if you go out to dinner with your husband and there is always a designated driver. but, not in fron of the children!

ChicH... ChicHippie

No. I do yoga to relax and destress. Alcohol and I don't mix.

Chalk... Chalkoholic

I completely agree with the author. My parents were very comfortable drinking a glass or two in front of me, and I therefore never thought of drinking as a big deal (or forbidden), thus was never tempeted to "rebel" by getting wasted. I never drank through high school, and to this day do not drink to excess. As a nursing mom, however, I do think it is my responsibility to be extremely cautious should I choose to have any more than one drink (and even one is rare!)

dandk... dandksmom321

I usually have a beer or two with dinner so my kids (6 & 7) see me drinking responsibly quite often and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Stacey. Stacey.

There's a time and place for everything in moderation.

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