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Friday, September 20th, 2013
This morning at the bus stop, we parents actually cheered after our young kids got on and left. We called out: “It’s Friday! We made it! No one died this week!”
The six of us–a tightly knit group of moms and dads–would have poured ourselves several tall ones if we’d had time to grab the vodka bottle on the mad rush out the door. Sadly, we were sober. Thankfully, there’s always tonight! And Saturday night! And Sunday, Monday, Tuesday… Okay, okay.
So here’s where I’m going with this: Best friend bloggers Lyranda Martin Evans and Fiona Stevenson completely understand how we were feeling–how every parent feels sometimes–so they wrote a book called Reasons Mommy Drinks that is based on their popular blog. It comes complete with cocktail recipes and o’h-I’ve-been-there’ kinds of stories. For your Friday reading pleasure, they’ve given me permission to excerpt one below:
Page 174: The After Eight
“1 ounce creme de cacao
1 ounce creme de menthe
splash of milk
Fill a glass with ice. Pour in all of the ingredients and stir. Enjoy after 8 p.m. but before 9 p.m. lest you turn into a sleep-deprived gremlin the next day.”
And according to the authors, you need this drink because:
“Nine o’clock used to be a dinner reservation. Now it’s a bedtime. By the time Mommy feeds you squash, washes squash off the wall, and gets you to bed, she has exactly 23 minutes to eat whatever you didn’t in front of The X Factor before she passes out with her hair encrusted in squash. Being up at 2 a.m. used to mean it was a good night. Now it’s a very, very bad night. It means Mommy will also be up at 3 a.m., up at 4 a.m., and up for good at 6 a.m. Those wee hours used to be for flirting with the bartender to keep the drinks flowing while sexting her backup plan for a booty call. Now she spends that time praying you will go back to sleep while texting her sleep-challenged Mommy friends and cursing the “bulletproof” No-Cry Sleep Solution and Daddy’s ability to sleep through anything. Sometimes, when Mommy’s in line for her fourth American Misto of the day, she’ll overhear a 20-something lament about being “soooo exhausted.” When Mommy was single, “exhaustion” referred to a state of ennui that came from being bored with skinny jeans and dating guys with ironic mustaches. Mommy misses that kind of tired.”
If you need a laugh along with some alcohol, pick up this little book. Or give it to your frazzled friend who is in even worse shape than you.
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Thursday, July 11th, 2013
Books about women and alcohol are all the rage this summer. I recently posted about Her Best-Kept Secret. Today, I want to suggest a memoir about a mom who got toasted way too much and then worked hard to fix her life. Author Heather Kopp‘s Sober Mercies: How Love Caught Up with a Christian Drunk is a great book for any parent who’s interested in alcohol and how it affects our kids. It’s especially helpful for, well, drunks. Heather tells you more about her incredible journey from addicted to clean below:
“I recently got an email from a mom I’ll call Lucy who recognized herself in my book. Which is to say, she’s an admitted alcoholic who hides her problem well.
Lucy is married to a prominent doctor, the mother of two school-aged kids and involved in her church. She admits that by all counts, she has a beautiful life. “So why can’t I stop drinking?!” she wrote. “How the hell did this happen?”
My guess is what happened to Lucy is what’s happening to a growing number of moms. It’s become trendy these days to combine happy hour with play dates, or to reach for a glass or two of wine in the afternoon to take the edge off a hard day with the kids. For most moms, that’s fine. But for women predisposed to alcoholism, pretty soon happy hour turns into a daily habit—and every day becomes a hard day.
Once we realize we’re stuck, denial kicks in. “I know for sure that I’m a great mom,” Lucy wrote. “My secret drinking hasn’t ever harmed my kids. I never slur or stumble. Sometimes, I think it makes me a more loving, patient mom.”
I don’t doubt that Lucy can drink copious amounts of alcohol with nary a misplaced foot or word. Increased tolerance is a hallmark of alcoholism. Neither do I doubt that drinking makes Lucy less irritable with her kids. Nothing soothes an alcoholic’s agitation more quickly than a drink.
But here’s the rub. And I say this with love: We’re kidding ourselves if we think that our addiction to any mood altering drug or activity isn’t affecting our kids. And we’re dangerously deluded if we conclude that it can actually improve our parenting.
By the way, this was me to a T. My own kids were in junior high and high school when I spiraled into alcoholism. I clung like a cat on a curtain to this idea that what my kids didn’t know couldn’t hurt them—but if I didn’t get to drink, I just might.
What I failed to reckon was that kids sense it in their bones when you are not fully present. They know you’re numbing your feelings and some part of you has gone missing. Usually, they just can’t put it into words until later. My kids were grown before they could name the myriad ways alcohol robbed them of Mom.
Of course, many addicted moms aren’t so subtle in the havoc they wreak. I know plenty who have lost custody of their kids because of drugs or alcohol. Ironically, though, it’s those of us with the wherewithal to work hard to try to manage our drinking who often stay stuck the longest. We high-functioning, fine-wino types take first place in rationalization and image management, but we’re the last to reach for help.
I suffered for twelve long years before I finally admitted my life was unmanageable and got into recovery. Since then, I’ve struggled to name and grieve the losses—conversations I never had with my kids, intimate moments we never shared—because I don’t even know what I missed.
Of course, I would have done better if I had known better. Which is part of why I wrote Sober Mercies. If you’re struggling with an addiction or know someone who is, maybe my story can serve as a kind of catalyst for healing.
It’s never too late to reach for help. And more important, it’s never too soon.”
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alcoholism, cocktails, drunk, Five O'Clock Cocktails, Heather Kopp, moms and drinking, Sober Mercies, soberboots.com, wine | Categories:
Guest Blogs, Memoirs, Mom Must Read, Must Read, Parenting Advice
Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013
I admit it. When my kids were younger, a friend and I would get our toddler twins together for the three-martini playdate. (My husband had to come drive us home.) That ended when I got pregnant with my son. Luckily, pregnancy only lasts nine months. I have given and received bottles of wine for baby showers. What about alcohol as a gift when the baby first comes home? I always bring some along with a lasagna. For summer fun–and let’s be honest, for an effective school’s-out coping mechanism–do you round up kids and friends and drink while dinner cooks on the grill?
Maybe it’s just me.
But according to the brand new book Her Best-Kept Secret, it’s more like everyone minus a few hold-out teetotalers. Drinking among women–and I’m not talking about college-aged bingers–has been on the rise for decades. Author Gabrielle Glaser gives fascinating reasons why. My favorite was that so many of today’s moms scaled back or opted out of intellectual careers to focus on our kids. Instead of spending more quality time with them, though, we wind up behind the wheel for hours chauffeuring our little over-achievers from soccer to swim team to math camp to equestrian lessons. When we get home (after driving is done, of course), we crack one open. Glaser writes, “Despite increased opportunities, many women feel they still haven’t measured up… ‘Women may simply find the complexity and increased pressure in their lives to have come at the cost of happiness.’”
Cheers to that.
Of course, there’s more to it–from wine marketing campaigns aimed at women to reality TV shows. Bethenny Frankel and Skinnygirl Cocktails are, for better or worse, huge hits. Whatever the reason, Glaser’s onto something. Every mom I know drinks often. And this book, Her Best-Kept Secret, mostly focuses on those of us who drink regularly but do not have an addiction problem. She correctly notes that most moms feel ashamed of their wine and try to hide it. How often have you said, “Oh, I really shouldn’t,” as you pour the third glass? Do men act so self-conscious? My husband doesn’t.
With humor, thoughtfulness and skillful research, Glaser paints a picture of mature female drinking today. You’ll see yourself or your friends on almost every page. She also touches on addiction–she controversially takes down Alcoholics Anonymous programs–but this isn’t a preachy book. I read it in a few hours sitting by the pool while the kids swam last weekend. I liked Glaser’s confession that she drinks most nights, but takes one or two off a week. The book is filled with helpful and enlightening suggestions. It’s great, so read it. Then grab your favorite drink.
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Thursday, March 28th, 2013
Are your kids off from school tomorrow? Mine are. *drink* Does the Easter weekend mean you’re getting together with family? *drink* Have you bought the Easter basket and all of its stuffing yet? *drink*
Author Rose Maura Lorre has the perfect solution to the many conundrums of parenthood–and adult life in general. She just wrote a luscious book–the recipes and photos require the use of this adjective–called The Big Book of Martinis for Moms. This chick knows what she’s talking about. Full disclosure: Rose was my summer house mate on Fire Island for a few years in our twenties (way before kids) drinking days. Her recipes were delicious–and they still are on her blog, The Five O’Clock Cocktail.
So make yourself and others happy. Buy the book for yourself and give one to a friend.
I asked Rose a few quick questions, and below those, check out her recipe for Mom Must Read–the Hemingway Daiquir-tini:
KK: Why do moms need your book?
RML: Since becoming a mom, I’ve found that a) I need a cocktail more than ever, but b) it needs to be just the right one, properly made and well chosen for my mood. The days of just indiscriminately having a few drinks at the end of the day are long gone, as I’m far too exhausted to tolerate more than one drink per evening. So what I like about the book is that it gives moms lots of worthwhile options, including plenty of classic cocktails, no matter what their cocktail-making skill level and whether they prefer their cocktails sweet, bitter, fruity, etc.
KK: How did you *drink* do your research?
RML: That would be where my years of pre-parenthood having a few drinks on most nights came in! I also write my own cocktail blog Five O’clock Cocktails where I do a lot of cocktail experimentation.
KK: Are cocktails a yes or a no at a playdate?
RML: A no, for several reasons. Firstly, playdates are usually during the day, and while I’m a firm believer in “it’s 5 o’clock somewhere” (hence the name of my blog), I personally would find getting through the rest of the day a drag if I’m a little tipsy when it’s, say, 2 in the afternoon. Second, there’s no way I can foresee getting through a playdate without a spilled cocktail (martini glasses do not come with snap-on, spillproof lids!), and while I don’t cry over spilled milk, a martini’s a different story. Basically, I just think a cocktail tastes best when it’s a reward well deserved at the end of a long day and able to be enjoyed in relative quiet, with non-Wiggles music playing softly in the background if Mom so chooses.
KK: Which drink should Mom Must Read readers try first?
RML: Definitely the Hemingway Daiquir-tini
- 1 ounce light rum
- 1/4 ounce maraschino liqueur
- 1/2 ounce grapefruit juice
- 3/4 ounce simple syrup
- 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
- Garnish: lime wheel, 1 cherry
Pour everything but the garnish into an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously for about 20 seconds. Pour into a martini glass. Garnish with a lime wheel and cherry.
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