Betty Special Series
Moms Who Drink: Drinking Moms Unite on Facebook
OMG! I So Need a Glass of Wine or I’m Gonna Sell My Kids
-Julie Ryan Evans
About six months ago Christine Trice had one of “those” days and quickly set up a Facebook group “OMG! I So Need a Glass of Wine or I’m Gonna Sell My Kids.” Apparently women everywhere could relate, and today the group is about 70,000 strong, with new members joining every day.
We recently caught up with Christine to talk about the group.
JRE: How did you get the idea to start the group?
CT: It was a true “mommy moment”. The kids were in rare form over holiday break, and for some reason I thought it’d be a good idea to try and wrap up a project on my laptop (amongst the peace & quiet – HA!). It was nearly impossible to concentrate on my work as I resisted tending to my kids. The next thing I know I’m perusing Facebook over a glass of wine in a desperate attempt to tune out the intermittent beckoning and whines coming from the next room. I already threatened the kids that I would sell them to the gypsies if I heard “MOMMMM” one more time, but since I’ve never followed through on that one it didn’t really hold much clout.
Then it happened; my epiphany. SELL MY KIDS! I know I can’t really sell them, and I’m sure I would miss them terribly if I really did find a band of gypsies to unload them for a while, but the thought was tempting, and I was convinced that I’m not alone in my peril. So I created the Facebook Page OMG! I SO need a glass of wine or I’m gonna sell my kids!
I invited one of my BFF’s to join, who is a mother of four and a magazine publisher. I knew she could find the humor in this. I was laughing out loud pretty hysterically as we were messaging, and I think my kids thought I’d finally snapped. All of the sudden I was in my little world, complaining and laughing about my kids and my day with my BFF, and no one around me had any clue what was going on. I had created my virtual “me time” that would suffice until I could get out for real with my gal pals and enjoy a communal bottle of wine.
I have to tell you that I’m somewhat technically “challenged” and not being very privy on the Facebook ways, I accidentally made the OMG group public and it literally spread like wildfire!
JRE: What was your goal in starting it?
CT: I remember when our first daughter was born, I was so freaking neurotic. Like BAD. I was one of those moms who thought it was bad to tell your child “no”, rather I would offer her an alternative that I could say “yes” to. And I would never admit if I didn’t absolute adore every waking and sleeping (and lack of sleeping) moment of motherhood. How could I complain? If I did, other moms might think I’m a bad mom. Or worse, my child might resent me. WTF?! It took a while for me to figure out that I was borderline crazy (ha!) and that the clan won’t be happy and well cared for if Mom isn’t happy and well cared for. And what the hell kind of lesson would I be teaching my kids if I didn’t put myself first now and again?
Along comes daughter number two. Neurosis is pretty much in check, and I like to think that there’s somewhat of a happy balance going on. At this point I embrace the word “no”, and I’m all about “me” time. But I found that there were still so many moms in my circle, both close and casual, that were so quietly critical of themselves. I saw some of the old me in them, and it would make me sad for them.
Fast forward a few years to my mommy moment. In my epiphany it all became clear in an instant. This social networking thing could allow my mommy friends a platform to tell it how it really is, without the threat of judgment or persecution or without the worry of hurting anyone’s feelings. We can all just let it out and not carry the weight on our shoulders. And we could LAUGH at ourselves beyond the virtual LOL.
JRE: What was the date you started it?
CT: Over Christmas break, December 2008.
JRE: Have you been surprised by the thousands of women joining the group?
CT: YES! Pleasantly surprised! And there are even some dads who’ve joined, too! The posts are amazing. I think I’ve been able to personally relate to nearly all the posts I’ve read. They make me laugh, sometimes hysterically. Some posts are much more serious, and some women feel comfortable to share their fears and true struggles and ask for help. And of course as mothers we are nurturers, so many are quick to respond and offer support.
I will never forget the first post I read from a mother in Australia. I thought, “OMG! This mom in Australia can totally relate to how I’m feeling right now.” That might sound silly, but I never considered that a mom from the opposite end of the world would be experiencing the same trials and tribulations of motherhood that I was experiencing at that very moment. Moms from all around the world have joined. There are no cultural barriers or bias, only the “word of Mom”. And “OMG” pretty much sums it up. It’s all about “OMG” moments of motherhood.
JRE: Why do you think so many moms turn to wine?
CT: It seems like some nights just pouring a glass of wine, no matter what’s within arm’s reach, is a simple luxury. I think there’s a decadent appeal to drinking wine, regardless of its vintage or price tag. And as multi-tasking mavens, us moms often run endlessly on fumes while we tend to the needs of our families and demands of the day-to-day. Just the thought of a glass of wine paired with some chocolate and nice conversation with a gal pal or my husband is the topper to the perfect day.
JRE: What kind of feedback have you gotten from women?
CT: The feedback has been pretty incredible. I was not expecting such an outpour of positive feedback or really any feedback at all. But the response has been absolutely amazing. I receive so many e-mails from moms thanking me, mostly for the laughs and for the validation that they’re not alone. I also hear often from women that they’ve been looking for a group like this to connect to other moms where they can “keep it real”.
JRE: What do you say to people who think moms drinking is wrong?
CT: That’s an interesting question. If you asked me that question 10 years ago when our first daughter was born, I would probably give you an entirely different answer!
I think that most things are fine in moderation, and I feel the same about drinking wine. I really don’t see any harm in moms, or dads for that matter, openly drinking at all. Of course we should all be concerned with the message we’re sending our kids, and I think that teaching our kids that adults can drink responsibly is a very good lesson. Otherwise wine or alcohol might very easily become the elephant in the room. Do we really need to run that risk? Taboos give kids more reason to rebel. It’s kind of like arguing. None of us parents wants to argue in front of our kids, but come on! This is real life, and it happens. What makes it a bad situation is when our kids don’t see us make up. Conflict resolution is an important life skill, and we are our kids’ best teachers. Drinking responsibly is an important discipline that’s never too young to learn. I’m not saying that drinking excessively in front of your children is acceptable; I truly feel that’s wrong. But an occasional glass of wine (or two…) is fine with me.
JRE: Do you have plans to take the group and the Web site further?
CT: YES! Be on the lookout for my OMG blog, which is slated for launch this summer! I’ve developed a pretty cool concept based on the demands and requests of OMG members. This has been such a fun project.
JRE: Have you ever started another group on FB? If so, which one and please describe your experience — different or same from this one?
CT: Yes, I started a group for my primary business, Brown Bag Botanicals. I started the fan page to use as a marketing tool but there’s not a whole lot of activity. Funny thing, that’s what I was trying to work on when I had my mommy moment and launched my OMG group! HA! If I only associated wine with that group, I might have 70k members like OMG!
Please share your thoughts about and relationship with alcohol. Send your stories to Julie@BettyConfidential.com.