Mary from over at "It's Not All Mary Poppins" had a post on this subject a couple days ago, and I've been thinking about it every since. I've been surfing around for different posts on the subject, and there are MANY...it kept me occupied with reading for quite awhile.
The "Today Show" apparently had a segment on TV (which I missed) about some Moms in a playgroup who would have a drink or two of wine as they hung out together and conversed while their kiddos were playing. The show was apparently biased, and made these Moms out to be a bunch of alcoholics who were bad mothers for drinking AT ALL in the presence of their children.
SO...now there's been a big to-do over this question: "Is it okay for Moms to get together and consume alcohol while responsible for the care of their children?" I am shocked this is even an issue! The Today Show made it seem like this is some new trend, when in actuality it's not. Mothers have been having drinks around their children for decades.
Anyone who reads my blog knows that I'm a big fan of Jose Cuervo. Yes, I drink. Yes, my kids have been present while I'm drinking. No, I don't get drunk while they are awake...I save that for after they've long gone to bed, and I'm not the only person here in case an emergency was to come up. I also don't drink every day...definitely not an alcoholic who HAS to have alcohol to handle my children.
I don't see anything at all with a group of Moms having a drink or two while on a playdate with their children. If I attended playdates, I might even suggest having margaritas together or something while the kids played. It's not like these Moms are there getting completely shit-faced drunk and letting the kids play in traffic. They are having a drink or two and enjoying the company of other ADULTS while the little ones enjoy other kids their size being around to play with. As a SAHM, I understand completely the need to be with other adults occasionally...and if there's a little alcohol involved in the get-together, then so be it.
Of course, the time of day that the playdates are being held makes a difference too. Now, if they are occurring at 9 or 10am, then I don't think it's that appropriate...but in general I think it's in bad taste for ANYONE to be drinking that early in the day, and usually those that do ARE alcoholics. If the playdate is being held at like 4 or 5 o'clock in the evening, then it's a bit different. It makes more sense to me, because it's towards the ending of the busy day when a person may have a drink or two to unwind.
A point that was brought up often in comments on this subject was what makes these Moms having a drink and socializing while the kids are around any different from a family BBQ, where drinks are being served? Also, why wasn't the subject of Dads being in charge of the kids while at a ballgame and having some beers discussed on the show? It seems like it's perfectly okay if the Dads drink alcohol while caring for the children...but Moms?? OH NO! The world will end!! Children will be scarred for life!!
Give me a freakin' break.
One of the questions asked by the interviewer on the show (which happened to be Meredith Veira, formally from "The View".) was, "Would you want your babysitter to be drinking while in charge of your children?" She implied that the babysitter drinking while watching the kids was no different than the Moms watching their own children.
Now, this question has different answers possible. But first...I am NOT a babysitter. Being a Mom and being a babysitter are NOT the same thing. A "caregiver", like in the setting of a daycare, is NOT the same thing either. I was a preschool teacher for 3 years in a daycare setting, and it's just not the same.
As for the question...you have to take in consideration WHO is doing the babysitting. If it's the kids' grandparents or my sister, or somebody I completely trust is not going to let anything happen to my children while in their care, then I don't have a problem with them having a couple of drinks. Not at all. I also know that I'm not going to show up to get my girls and find the grandparents or whoever completely sloshed and the kids playing with the kitchen knives or something. On the other hand, if the babysitter is someone that is being paid to watch my kids for a few hours that I might not know all that well yet, then yeah, I would prefer that they didn't drink during that time. Especially if they're underage anyway. Maybe after the person has watched my kids on several occasions and I'm more comfortable with them, then I might not mind if they had a drink during the evening, but I would probably still prefer that they wait until the kids were in bed.
SO...c'mon...let's discuss this! Go and read the article on the subject on the "Today Show" here. There will also be a place where you can watch the video clip from the segment. Then come back here and let's talk about it in the comments!
Now, if you'll excuse me...I suddenly have the urge to have a margarita. ;)