Shifting the Perspective on Mommy Wine Culture


As a mom who doesn’t drink, I feel constantly bombarded by messages about the relationship between moms and drinking, specifically drinking wine. From memes to shirts, to custom wine glasses, you can buy just about anything with a catchy saying about moms drinking. Wine culture is everywhere.

“Rookie parents reach for the wine bottle as soon as their kids go to bed. Veteran parents just drink all day.”

The message that drinking wine makes parenting easier isn’t true. Not only does it create a false reality for parents, but it also sends a worrisome message to kids. I never want my kids to feel like I need to drink or take something to be with them. I don’t want my kids to feel like they’re an unmanageable burden. I want my kids to develop a healthy relationship with alcohol. To do this, they cannot intertwine alcohol with their daily tasks.

“Approving my kid’s friends based on which parents I think will drink with me”

Everyone wants to be in the in-crowd. As a non-drinking mom, I get excluded from things. I’ve accepted this and it doesn’t bother me. However, I would hate for my kids to be excluded from things simply because I don’t drink. Maybe this is tongue-in-cheek, but my lack of drinking makes people uncomfortable. I’ve had people try to convince me to drink. Others have asked really uncomfortable, deeply personal questions. If my non-drinking makes you uncomfortable, then maybe you should evaluate your drinking.

“If mom drinks 2 glasses of wine in preparation for kid’s math Homework, then 1 more during, and then 3 more after it’s done, how drunk is mom?”

Parenting is hard. Math homework is nearly impossible, but do we want to send the message, even indirectly, to our kids that we need to alter our brains before embarking on a challenging task? Better yet, do we want to send that message to ourselves? We are capable of so much. We don’t need to drink to tackle new things.

“Alcohol is the only substance you have to defend not using.”

Wine culture is pervasive. Drinking is ingrained in most aspects of American life. What if we shift the narrative? What if we show the good, the bad, the ugly about life? Maybe we wouldn’t feel the need to escape parenthood if we could more freely talk about its challenges.



  1. That last line I think is the key. Instead of being honest about how hard parenting and life are, we drink. Instead of challenging all of the ways that our culture doesn’t support families (no paid parental leave, outrageously expensive childcare, unrealistic expectations for after school activities, work schedules that don’t care about family schedules, etc.), we drink. It’s the parenting equivalent of the movement touting flashy things like bubble baths and chocolate as self-care, when self-care is really more about boring things like getting enough sleep and going to the doctor when you need to. It probably doesn’t help that there’s money to be made selling us wine (and wine glasses with snarky sayings to put it in), but no profit in addressing the deep, systemic issues that cause parents to feel stressed.


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