Hey moms, let’s talk! Over a glass of wine, or not.
The whole wine-mom thing is out of control. Not the drinking per say, although that’s another topic for another day, but the idea of it. This idea that we moms are surviving on wine, caffeine, and chocolate to get us through our happily-harried lives is a myth, an airbrushed reality that only the likes of Facebook and Instagram can manage.
We all get it. Mom-ing it is hard. Someone’s always crying, fighting, and running away or towards our tired and slightly jiggling arms. There are always meals to be cooked, laundry to be folded, baths to be made, and work to be done. However we are more than this. There is so much more to call us together than that Cabernet or Riesling at the end (or middle) of the day.
The standard formula for a wine-mom is as follows: yoga pants, unwashed hair, Target décor under Legos in the living room, and a fishbowl-sized wine glass in hand. Bring on the selfie. And the meme. And the SNL parody, which you know is coming. It can be the Mom Jeans skit 2.0. Kristen Wiig would rock that. Except the whole thing is already a farce.
This phenomenon makes mom-life so much smaller than it really is. It pushpins us to an idea like a moth on display. We squeeze babies out of places no human should fit. We then teach these humans to eat, sleep at reasonable hours, and not to poop on themselves. We show them how to love one another, be tolerant of differences, talk one at a time, and share toys, which is more than we can say for the current political scene. We talk our daughters through puberty, periods, and peer pressure. We teach our sons to respect women and themselves. We basically prepare the next generation to make the world a place worth living in…all while working jobs in and out of the home.
We are hero multi-taskers and creative geniuses. Without women, there would be no Monopoly, circular saws, retractable dog leashes, or foot-pedal trashcans. There would be no APGAR scores or dishwashers or disposable diapers. We know how to use our minds as well as our mom-arms. Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a mom. Amy Poehler is a mom. J. K. Rowling is a mom. Beyoncé is a mom. Surely we’ve done enough for the world without needing wine as our lynchpin?
If we are going to find something to unite us as mothers, let it be ourselves: the creative, brilliant, funny, sarcastic, and compassionate women that we are. We don’t need wine to bring us together at the end of the day or the caricature it creates of us.
It doesn’t work that way for men. Whether you’re a mustachioed hipster in skinny jeans with a craft beer or a grill-dad in an apron with a Budweiser, you’re still just a dude. You’re not making memes about your “dad-ness.”
Let’s allow motherhood to be a vital part of our identity, while remembering it is still just a part. Let us be more than an oversized glass of wine at the end of the day. Have the wine if you want, but have all the rest too. Go for a walk or run. Read a good book. Create something, whether that be food or art or science. Show all your muscles and intellect and prowess. Let everyone else see the you that is you before, during, and after kids.
*This post originally appeared in Parent.co.