Why I don't think it's OK to drink around children

Cate Thompson doesn't think it is OK to drink around children.

Betty Special Series

Moms Who Drink: Not Happy About Happy Hour

Why I don’t think it’s OK to drink around children

-Cate Thompson

women having a night outI heard about a new trend sweeping parts of the country on the television show The Doctors called Mommy and Me Happy Hour. You heard me, Mommy and Me Happy Hour!

Here’s the sitch. A group of mothers with toddlers, even newborns, meet up at a friend’s home to indulge in cocktails (supposedly just one each) and gossip while the kiddies suck back a variety of juices and play.

OK, I get the socializing aspect as every mother needs some adult stimulation to keep the brain from switching over to auto pilot after listening to too many SpongeBob SquarePants episodes blaring from the television. And I understand that the social interaction for the children is important as well, especially if they don’t have many opportunities to participate with others or meet new kids.

What I don’t understand and find disturbing is why alcohol has to be brought into the mix (pun intended).

The two women who were guests on the show promoting this idea stated that it was all in a controlled and responsible environment. In other words, nobody was falling down drunk or puking in the toilet by the end of the festivities. I don’t know about you but I can get quite a buzz off one drink. Even feeling slightly tipsy I find to be unacceptable when it comes time to driving you and your child home.

And how often do these gatherings take place. Once a month, once a week? If it is a fairly regular occasion, I have to wonder what kind of an affect it would have on the child. Below is a quote from Dr. Jim from the show:

“I think this is a good thing,” Dr. Jim says. “This is kind of how I grew up. The adults drank, and there wasn’t this mystified thing that was hidden away from the kids. You’re just kind of teaching them that drinking isn’t this crazy thing. It’s just this normal part of life that you don’t go beyond the edge.”

Dr. Jim and I grew up roughly during the same time period. I remember my parents having parties, and, of course, the adults were served alcohol. This in no way de-mystified my interest and curiosity in spirits. In fact, I couldn’t wait to try it once I got a little older. I had my first drunken experience at the age of 15 when a good friend of mine and I skipped school and got wasted at her house. I didn’t become an alcoholic but back in my mid-20s I could swig back five Black Russians during a night out and still dance like a Maniac Maniac!, speak coherently and not fly into a rage when the bouncer asked me for the fifth time to please put my shoes back on while dancing, it was for my own safety!

There’s a bar in Memphis that officially holds a Mommy and Me Happy Hour once a month from 1-3p.m. on Mondays. It’s one thing to have these gatherings in residential neighborhoods but in an actual drinking establishment!? Isn’t this crossing some kind of line?

I’m no prude when it comes to alcohol. I absolutely love Dirty Martinis! The dirtier, the better. I don’t partake much anymore mainly because of the calories and weight gain. It’s been years since I went out and enjoyed a leisurely drink at the bar. You’re probably thinking that I need to and you’re probably right. But would I drag my child along even if it were to a friend’s house to do so? No, I would not.

Ladies, if you need a drink that badly, save it for a real happy hour with a friend or two and leave the kids at home. It’s safer for everyone involved.

Please share your thoughts about and relationship with alcohol. Send your stories to Julie@BettyConfidential.com.

Read more in our special series: Moms Who Drink:

It’s Mommy Medicine

Interview with the founder of “OMG I so need a glass of wine or I’m gonna sell my kids”

When drinking becomes a problem

Interview with Dr. Toni Galardi on why moms drink and when it becomes a problem

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0 thoughts on “Why I don't think it's OK to drink around children

  1. hmm this is tough. It’s easy to judge these women from the outside looking in, but if you put yourself in their shoes would you still be scolding them?

    Many establishments are creating these sort of mommy-children environments. Like movie theaters setting a time aside where mothers can bring their younger children to the movies without disturbing older movie-goers.

    This may just be a trend-in-the-making, but I think it’s cool that more and more businesses are being accommodating to these hard-working, stressed out and tired mothers.

  2. i can see both sides of this arguement. I think going to an actual bar is crossing the line (where you’re subjecting your kids to strangers) but a small get together with your other mom friends and a glass of wine while the kids play doesn’t bother me. In fact I think it’s a great idea. I know my parents and their friends drank at picnic and bbq’s but i don’t remember as a kid understanding and I don’t think it had any influence over my wanting to drink when I was a teenager. As long as you’re smart about it, there’s no harm in this. If you get buzzed off of one drink then you never drink at all and probably wouldn’t be likely to drink at these get togethers anyways.

  3. This is ridiculous, really. If a mom was going to get drunk while watching her children she’d probably do it with or without these parties. I also think that it’s important to note if one of the mom’s did take it a little too far don’t you think her friends, as mothers too, would step in and offer her and her child a ride or call someone for her? I think that generally this is a non-issue that’s being blown way out of proportion.

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