Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Happy Hour Playdates??

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. ;)


Anonymous said...

I have never had alcohol around my kids and most certainly never at a playdate.
I may not generalize and point a finger at anyone who did, but I'd wonder why anyone couldn't wait until evening, get a babysitter who wasn't drinking to stay with the kids, or leave them with dad if they wanted a girls night (either out or at one home).
I'll expand even to say that when adults have parties I believe they should not have alcohol if their kids are there, send them to or get them a babysitter.
Going out drinking does one take the kids?
I think those moms were wrong.


Chris said...

I saw part of this, and turned it off because it pissed me off. I rarely drink because of medicine I take, however, I'm with you on this one honey.

Seriously, all this over a couple glasses of wine at a playdate? It's not like they were chuggin' down shooters at the bar or passing around the brown paper bag covered bottle in the park!

It's not illegal, to drink if you are 21 and over. There is a huge difference between having a glass of wine and being drunk. These Mom's were not lushes that were endangering their children.

There is also a gigantic difference between a Mother and a babysitter...Don't even get me started there.

Unless someone is in danger of being purposely harming or injuring them selves or others, live and let live people. Or just mind your own damn business!

I get so sick of women tearing other women down over dumb shit.

MamaKBear said...

Em: What about being role models for your children...letting them see the alcohol can be enjoyed responsibly and safely? I read many comments around the blogworld stating that a lot of the kids whose parents did not drink around them, or acted as if alcohol was "taboo", ended up as adults themselves who either abused alcohol in high school or college, or worse...became alcoholics.

I grew up with parents who would occasionally have a couple of drinks while my sister and I were around, and guess what?? I turned out just fine. And in high school I didn't have the curiosity about alcohol that a lot of my peers had...going to parties all the time to get drunk or whatever. I actually never drank at all until well after high school.

What about going out to a restaurant with the family? A Mom shouldn't have a glass of wine or anything with dinner? You also asked "Going out drinking does one take the kids?" That is different from just having a drink or two in the presence of a child to me. If I myself am going "out drinking" it means I intend on at least getting somewhat sloshed. :)

Chris: Yeah, I gotta agree with what one of the Moms on the segment said: This is just another way of women tearing other women down. I usually don't make posts like this one, but the whole thing kinda pissed me off too.

SignGurl said...

I'm with you on this one, Dana. Who am I to judge others' parenting skills?

The Today piece did make the women look like lushes. They had camera shots that looked past empty glasses to a child behind them. So, not fair!

kaliblue said...

"Now, if you'll excuse me...I suddenly have the urge to have a margarita. ;)"

ROFLMAO... Priceless I tell ya:-).

MamaKBear said...

Jenn: Yeah, and the worst thing about it was the fact that the interviewers were women also. I used to like Meredith!

Kali: LOL...glad I could give you a chuckle! :)

MrsCoach2U said...

I'm sure the women doing the interview have hired help to care for their children. They would never have their children around alchohol because their children are never around!!!!

My parent's never really drank when I was growing up, they did tell me that it was their choice to not drink, nothing was wrong with a drink here and there or people who did drink.

I may have a drink with family in front of my children but I never drink so much I can't care for the children. We don't go out in public to bars to drink b/c my husband is a coach and it doesn't look good but we have alchohol in our home. We've taught our children that it is off limits to them, it is for adults only. Adults who have earned the right to partake of it and when they grow up it will be their choice, until they are grown it is our choice.

Is over-eating, gambling, watching suggestive TV or cussing not wrong too? I'm sure they have no problems with letting their kids watch movies or play games that involve these activities. I don't think they should be drunk but a drink or two won't hurt.

MamaKBear said...

MrsCoach: Exactly! There's a big difference between having a drink or two, and just being drunk. That seems to be what a lot of people are forgetting.

My parents didn't drink all that often when I was growing up, and I never saw them drunk. (Though I think Mom was feeling pretty good a couple of times! lol) They also talked to me about drinking responsibly when I was old enough.

BTExpress said...

What is this all about? It never seemed to matter before if a parent had a drink. Why is it that now they are making this out to be a big deal and acting like it is something new? People have been drinking around their kids forever, i.e., BBQ's, a drink or two before dinner, wine with dinner, drinks when you and your friends get together, etc.

I guess a parent should never have a drink unless the kids are old enough to drive. The parents could be called upon in an emergency any time of the day or night.

MamaKBear said...

BTE: I know! It's kinda silly how this whole thing came about. I thought it was ridiculous how the Today Show made it seem like this was something new, when it's not at all. I guess because they focused on Moms at a playgroup, all hell broke loose. LOL

I'm sure that if my Mom didn't have that occasional evening of a few drinks that she might have had herself committed. LOL! My sister and I could be a handful, I'm sure.

Katie McKenna said...

Odd isn't it? While I never drank around my daughters that was my choice. I believe that the answer is in balance, being responsible.

There were parents who drank around their kids all the time and dragged them to bars ( or made them stay out in the car - even during winter. ) I never liked that.

Kayliana is 8 and she could not go into a casino/restaurant in Montana with us because they smoke. Even though the casino was on one side and the restaurant on the other.

Never mind the fact that they sell alcohol in the restaurants here and in Montana.

Sometimes I think that people pick and choose what they think will be most popular to discuss. Or cause more fuss.

Anyway, don't forget the telephone tax credit .


MomThatsNuts said...

Oh honey, you know I am the mom of 5 wonderful children. Do you want to know the secret????

give the margaritas to THE KIDS,..they sleep much better...



Burg said...

Hmm.. I suppose that it's really bad that I had to drink quite a bit before my oldest's second birthday party..

What can I say? I can't stand my in-laws!

MamaKBear said...

Burg: LOL...Yeah, a few drinks before a small child's party are definitely reasonable! Thanks for stopping by! :)

Monica said...

There is a big difference between a babysitter and a mom.

But my concern and I didn't see it addressed (I didn't watch the segment, though) is: if there is a playdate then someone is driving. I don't drive even to this day with my kids in the car not even after one drink.

At home where I'm not having to drive? I can see where it's ok and you'll find the ones behind that segment having one at a bbq, too.

Now, if we have the neighborhood thing going on where everyone's in walking distance, playdates with that can be handled fine. One or two drinks don't set a person off (usually). But I don't see the neighborhood stuff go on so much these days.

My kid's old enough to drive. You can pass me a margarita as well. :)

sherrypg said...

Here is the Mom who was interviewed by Meredith


She is so mad at the way they biased the interview. She was led to believe it was going to me more of a discussion, not an attack on the moms.

I agree with her.

MamaKBear said...

Monica: Yeah, that would fall under the "common sense" part of the whole thing, wouldn't it? I don't drive if I've had even one drink either. I've been thinking these playdates are neighborhood things that the Moms and kids walked to, so I hadn't really thought about the driving aspect of it.

Sherry: I've got "Surburban Bliss" in my favorites now, and will be adding her to my blogroll. She's absolutely right that it turned out more of an attack than an interview. I also found it amusing that when Matt Lauer point-blank asked Meredith Veira what her opinion on the whole thing was, she couldn't (or wouldn't!) give an answer. Thanks for stopping by! :)

The Girl said...

I'm shit faced as I type this comment. Nothing wrong with a lil of anything available to ease the pain of kids!!


PS. I'm joking incase someone reads this without a SOH.

PPS. I've been to a bbq and consumed one or two alcoholic bevies infront of my son .. does this make me a piss head?