Childrearing

What I Learned From Writing About Being A ‘Drunk Mother’ On The Internet

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drunk motherSo, here’s a funny tale about the time I wrote a piece on being a mom and a “Fiscal quarter drinker,” and how I end up being either hated or adored, and maybe a mix of both.  While it’s surely not a sweet little bedtime story, it does have a valuable life lesson: to forgive others, but mostly, to forgive yourself.

I’m a writer and a mother, but above all, I am just a woman. I always believed in two things: speaking the truth and laughing while doing so. I wrote a tongue-in-cheek piece regarding my experience as a mother who imbibes once in a blue moon and pitched it around to editors. The piece happened to include a picture of me falling into a playpen. I’m not that new to the game; I know what sells and catches attention, and it did just that.

The “Playpen-Gate” moment occurred due to the following: I was wearing ridiculous footwear, subsequently lost my footing, and honestly – I had a few too many at an adult dinner party. It was a single snapshot that was taken at an isolated moment.  To me, it’s a funny and forgivable photo, one that I will easily share with my kids when they’re grown, and will be used as a teachable moment. I also thought it would make a great accompaniment to an article on how mothers shouldn’t be ashamed of moments such as these. That these moments can be forgiven, laughed at, and can maybe even carry a sense of unabashed pride. After all, if you’re a damn good mother all year long, what’s the shame in letting your hair down and embracing a moment such as this?

I wanted to break the archaic notion that women, once mothers, must lead lives of nothing short than perfection, and never having a moment of what I would refer to as one of society’s “Mommy Sins.”

In response to my piece, one woman wrote me and said that I should have written on how I drink no more than two glasses of wine on the weekend with my girlfriends, and how I go home and  turn into a mother again, before my carriage turns into a pumpkin. Nice idea, but let’s face it: that would make for a very boring article and I don’t even have time to drink on the weekends. I’m also not Cinderella. I wanted to use my experience to break the taboo, not deem it shameful and send it to some unbreakable box of secrecy. I’d rather admit and own up to a real moment and have mothers relate, even if I’m the only one admitting my errors. That doesn’t make me the best mom or the worst mom; it makes me a human being.

Quite frankly, I’m tired of reading articles on how to bake the best darn cupcakes and how to look like the most put-together mother in America. It’s not reality, and it’s certainly not my reality. As a reader, I want articles that I can find relatable; ones that make me laugh and challenge my ideals. As a writer, I’m not one to shy from controversy; in fact, I invite it. Controversy is like a dinner party of minds, where everyone leaves challenged, unsure of their stances and where people are so shaken that they forgot where they put their car keys. Controversy has the magical ability to get people talking, debating, and above all—thinking. I can’t say the same for cupcake decorating articles, can you?

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