This post written by Bryn Palmer was originally featured on YourTango.
If a drink helps me relieve the stress of parenting, then why the heck not?
Drinking booze makes me a better mom.
Before you immediately start judging me, hear me out. Growing up, my mom never drank around us; actually, she really never drank at all.
She was always extremely busy (there were four of us), plus she worked full-time for most of my childhood. As a result, she was pretty on edge. Looking back, I think she really could've used a cocktail on occasion.
My parents were divorced, but my dad would usually have a beer or glass of wine with dinner. He was always extremely happy and jolly after one or two drinks. He would even get the quintessential rosy cheeks and laugh so hard he cried.
I didn't really realize what was making him loosen up and seem so carefree, until I was an adult and experienced the relaxing effect of alcohol for myself. Today, I love nothing better than to enjoy a beer with my dad and laugh our faces off.
Now that I'm a parent and a full-time working mom, I really enjoy a glass of wine in the evening as a way to wind down. My husband and I like trying out new cocktail recipes and local beers as well.
I'm not saying I drink every single night or that I'm getting drunk when I drink, but I have absolutely no problem admitting that raising toddlers is stressful, and alcohol takes the edge off.
Working all day and coming home to make dinner, get the kids bathed, and then starting the song and dance associated with the "bedtime routine" is enough to make me lose my mind on a daily basis. If a drink helps relieve some of that stress and makes me more easygoing so I can laugh when my 2-year-old decides to paint with his pee rather than yell, then why the heck not?
My partying days are over, so a "big weekend" for me is having a few of our parent friends over and drinking margaritas while the kids tire themselves out running through the sprinkler. I love entertaining, and although I certainly don't have time to plan a dinner party, I can definitely handle inviting people over for burgers and beers, while venting about our parenting trials from the previous week.
If you're wondering if drinking around my children affects my parenting, the answer is yes — but not in a negative way. I don't overdrink around my kids because 1) it would be irresponsible, and 2) I'm too old to cope with the hangover the next day.
Having a glass of wine with dinner or a mimosa at brunch is a luxury for me that I enjoy the same way I enjoy those damn chocolate almonds I can't stop buying.
I know some parents choose not to drink around their kids for moral reasons, which is their choice, but honestly, making alcohol this big, mysterious off-limits thing is probably just going to make kids more interested in it and potentially lead to them abusing it. The kids I knew who went on crazy benders freshmen year of college were the ones who lived a sheltered life at home.
I'd much rather my children grow up with an example of how adults can enjoy alcohol responsibly. So, to all of the other moms out there who are in the trenches of parenting and could use a drink to wind down, I raise my glass to you. Cheers!
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