It seems like many suburban moms are going ‘back to the future’ to ease the stress of child rearing.
According to a feature in Thursday’s New York Times, more and more moms are gathering at the end of the day to share war stories, gossip and, yes, glasses of wine, martinis or some other alcoholic drink.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I love my glass of Grgich Hills chard at the end of a stressful day. But what makes the suburban moms’ Kahlua klatch different is that they bring their little kids along for the ride. So, as the accompanying photos with the article demonstrate, the moms are walking around with their vodka martinis or merlots while the little kids are left to fend for themselves.
Many of the moms are defiantly proud of their social networking. One, in fact, blogs about it from her home in Michigan. The site’s logo is what Melissa Summers calls a ‘momtini,’ a pacifier garnishing a half-full martini glass.
Other moms disagree. One, in fact, Jennifer Ramsey, says on her own site that "giving up a career (and a piece of my identity) and boredom were the core reasons (she) began drinking."
Some academics and sociologists worry that, like Ramsey, the women are drinking to ‘escape’ and might be little more than modern counterparts to their desperately bored predecessors of the 1950s and ’60s, typified by June Cleaver in the classic sitcom "Leave it to Beaver."
There are always two sides to every story (and, as one woman complained, there may even be a double standard in place when it comes to society’s view of women and drinking). But, for me, something about the Momtini lifestyle just doesn’t seem right from an image standpoint. I have to believe the little kids are receiving the wrong message when, week after week, they see mom drain one glass of vino after another.
And, are the moms just getting together for companionship or running away from stress? It’s an interesting trend to be sure.