One of the newest trends (or as some people might say, controversies) swirling around parenting circles is the increase in "tipsy mommies." A tipsy mommy is a mother, usually a stay-at-home mom, who gets through the challenges and stresses of motherhood by drinking just enough liquor or wine to stay "tipsy" each day. Some mothers grab juice bottles, fill them with cocktails, and take them down to the park with their kids. Recently some liquor manufacturers have begun promoting "mommy juice," which is basically a cocktail marketed to mothers who want to spend their days tipsy. Other moms wait until the afternoon hours, or "wine o'clock," to begin sipping their wine to take the edge off.
While on the surface this seems like a fun way for mothers to spend their normally stressful days, it comes with some obvious concerns from the community at large. For one, the safety of the children is in question if their mothers are impaired by liquor. And, in the case of an emergency where the mother has to drive, the trend can lead to major problems.
Rather than being judgmental about the moms who choose to drink in order to get through motherhood, perhaps a better approach to the issue is to explore some of the possible reasons behind it.
The Peer Pressure Effect
Just because someone has graduated from high school and college doesn't mean that she's graduated from the pressures of wanting to fit in. Many mommies hang out together in tight-knit groups to share experiences, vent and help each other out. So when the alcohol comes out during an afternoon play visit with the cool, fun mommy next door, the temptation to get tipsy with friends is sometimes hard to resist. There may be a tendency to think, if another mommy is dipping into cocktails to get through her day, is it really so bad?
If you take a look at American media and entertainment, which many moms take in on a regular basis, there's not much surprise that being a "tipsy mommy" has become a trend. Reality televisions shows, sitcoms, soap operas, movies and series frequently depict characters drinking casually at all hours of the day. The suggestion here is strong -- moms, who may feel lonely or isolated, frustrated and bored throughout the day are eager to pull out a bottle of wine or blend a cocktail and have a drink with their "friends" on the television.
A Break from Reality
Some people drink to take a break from their reality, and that is the exact reason why some mommies like to stay tipsy. Stay-at-home moms are constantly on the go; their lives are hectic. They spend most of their time with kids. They can rarely take a moment to themselves because they have to spend so much time being concerned about another person's life and well-being. Some mommies may also feel empty and bored with their lives. They may feel unfulfilled and that they want more out of life, but know that is going to be difficult to do while raising kids. So they drink as an escape from feeling stuck.
Moms may have fun drinking with friends to get through the day, but there are much better ways to stay stimulated or less stressed while taking care of young children. For instance, starting a hobby or home-based business can be exciting and fun—especially if done with friends. Another idea is for mommy friends to get together and set up a schedule where each of them can have two hours of the day to themselves to do whatever they want, just for themselves, while the others watch the kids. This might mean taking a Zumba class, exploring a childhood dream, such as playing the guitar, or even just getting some much-needed sleep.
The tendency for moms to drink to get through their the first stretch of caregiving years could lead to later problems with alcohol addiction. In fact, might the tipsy mommy trend be masking some underlying problems many women have with addiction? Or, might the trend be happening because mothers need more help, support and time to themselves? It may be a result of cultural expectations and peer pressure to do too much.
Getting tipsy with friends can be fun sometimes, but should only be done in moderation—it is possible to have some fun being a mom while also prioritizing the safety of the children. If you find yourself looking forward to "wine o'clock" on a regular basis, try to assess whether your tippling may be due to an underlying addiction. If you feel dependent on those drinks to get through each day of motherhood, it is probably time to seek help.