Friday, January 26, 2007

What do you think of this?

Blogger Melissa Summers of Suburban Bliss was on television today, discussing the "new" trend of moms having a drink or two at playgroups.

Melissa's kids are a bit younger than my own, so I really don't experience "playgroups" anymore, but anyway. I watched the segment and am stunned at how our society has found yet another way to pit mothers against each other.

When my kids were little, we were on a pretty tight budget, so I don't remember terribly many times that I drank, whether with friends or not. However, we did host New Year's parties which were attended by people with kids, and there were certainly adult beverages in the room. And children. And nothing bad happened.

And as the budget has allowed a bit more discretionary spending over the past few years, my kids have certainly seen Mommy and Daddy drinking wine or beer. In fact, there's a lot of evidence that red wine is good for Mommy and Daddy.

The more I think about this interview, the more I become infuriated. Is this what we're doing, now? In America? Calling mothers to the carpet? Mothers who sacrifice and do the best they can to raise nice children? Mothers who are, more than ever, isolated from family and friends, don't know their neighbors because of our more-mobile-than-ever society? Mothers who work hard with no pay? Because this whole Mommy Wars thing is a bunch of crap.

I'm sure there are plenty of people who would criticize my family for our style of parenting - I work about 45 hours a week and also do volunteer work that takes me away from the family for another eight or so hours per week. My husband does the laundry and picks up the kids from school. But you know what? My kids are great. They're loved. They have parents who are involved not only in their lives, but in the life of adulthood, too. The kids get glimpses behind the adult "curtain" more and more, because we think they need to see what adulthood is before they get there. So they see us have a glass of wine. They hear grown-up conversations. They even see us kissing sometimes.

But you know what? They're totally not ready to watch Monty Python's The Meaning of Life. Don't ask.


Pam said...

I am SO sick of the mommy wars as well.

I think it's all devised to keep us pitted against each other so we don't rise up and demand equal pay, maternity leave, family friendly workplaces, top quality day care, superior public education, etc.

We also practiced attachment parenting. I got it from them more than anything for "leaving my kids for someone else to raise". Gimme a break. I am SO OVER all mommy groups.

furrjenn said...

Oh, is THIS an example of what you mean by "Mommy Wars?" I interpreted it a bit dfferently.

I actully like the playgroup I go to with my daughter. We live in a small rural community near a cool college town, and there are a lot of really interesting younger families around.

I offered to hostess a potluck brunch at my house this last December for participants in the group and considered having the makings for mimosas, but decided against for financial reasons.

I do admit that I'm a pretty chatty member of our group. I like to tell (what I think are) funny stories about my family, and I do have opinions on things because I am an adult and my life experience entitles me to such perogatives (gasp). For example, I have no desire to have children past the age of 35. I don't want to risk my health or the health of my baby, and frankly, that's just too old for me. FOR ME being the significant modifier.

Cripe, I need a drink...