The return of June Cleaver

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 what740555_2   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.

2 thoughts on “The return of June Cleaver

  1. Perhaps, Andrew. But, living in the ‘burbs and interacting with some of these “moms,” I have firsthand knowledge of some who have let the bottle take control of their lives. I wasn’t trying to pass judgment and am all for social networking (virtual or physical). I just think that this particular “hobby” could end up being a bad thing for some of the participants.

  2. I don’t know Rep…you make it seem as if these women are downing glass after glass and leaving the kids to fend for themselves, but I don’t think that’s what this is all about. Every situation is different, but the NYT example seems to be more about companionship and doing something entertaining at the end of the week. I don’t see anything wrong with the Momtini lifestyle as long as its done in moderation. Seems like there’s definitely a double standard in place when it comes to women and drinking.