My Real Beef with Mommy Wine Culture
Making light of excessive alcohol consumption is only part of the problem
Apparently, there are two types of wine drinkers in this world: 1) connoisseurs, and 2) mommies.
The connoisseurs keep their wine in elegant racks, or better yet, temperature-controlled cellars. They sniff and swirl their wine before allowing it to pass their lips. They care about tannins, mouthfeel, and other terms that are not part of our common lexicon.
The mommies hide their wine in the back of the pantry. Sometimes they buy it in boxes. They drink standing up, sometimes out of the bottle. Often, there is no sipping involved. That’s because mommy wine consumption has nothing to do with pleasure or taste. According to all the memes, coasters, and T-shirts, when it comes to wine, we just always need more of it.
And of course, our sensitive female taste buds can’t handle Big Strong Man Drinks, like beer or whiskey, so we quell our constant anxiety with fermented juice. It’s cute, really. Then we go online to share middling memes and have a good laugh. And if the 482,806 results for “mom wine” on Etsy are any indication, we also go online to buy things printed with these same middling memes and to laugh some more.
But here’s the rub: “mommy wine culture” is not actually funny. Partially because the memes are played out and only occasionally chuckle-worthy, at best. Partially because they make light of excessive alcohol intake as a way to cope with the trials and tribulations of motherhood.
But — and this is coming from a mother who drinks a daily glass of wine before bed (which my doctor knows about), as well as a daily pint of beer before dinner (which, ever since a former doctor’s condescending lecture, I leave off the intake form) — my real beef with “mommy wine culture,” and particularly with its commodification, is that it trivializes these trials and tribulations, glossing over the very real and completely overlooked needs that mothers actually have.
The trivialization starts with the word “mommy.” Don’t even get me started on “mommy.” My own kids never even called me mommy, though if they had, I would have been okay with that. I’m not okay with grown adults, particularly grown men…