One of the more snide comments while out and about with all 5 kids is something like, “You must drink a lot.” I’m not even going to begin to go into how rude that is or what it says about the people saying it to me, but I do want to point out the practicality of drinking when you have any kids.
First of all, with the exception of the last 6 months, I have been pregnant, breastfeeding, or both for the last 9 years! Clearly, drinking while pregnant is frowned upon and I’ve had 5 full term pregnancies. That’s about 4 1/2 years where drinking is completely off limits. Yes, you can drink while breastfeeding, but why would I? Drinking too much causes dehydration which leads to headaches and body aches…a hangover. I have a life long problem with dehydration, so I literally have a small hangover every morning that I have a breastfeeding baby. Why would I want to make that any worse?
Second, do the math on what I just said in that last paragraph. I’ve been pregnant, nursing, or both for the better part of the last 9 years. I recently turned 30. Yup, I’ve been a baby factory pretty much since I turned 21. And my husband is 18 months younger than me. So in that brief time between when I turned 21 and when I started making people, it wasn’t like I could go bar hopping with my boyfriend/husband. Heck, he wasn’t old enough to drink at our 3rd wedding!
We already had a baby by then. A sweet, precious little baby who woke up at dawn from the day she was born. Needless to say, getting drunk wasn’t a real high priority.
I also have this deep seated, slightly irrational fear that something horrible will happen to my children after I’ve had a few drinks and I won’t be able to take care of them or get them to a hospital. I know that’s highly unlikely, but it freaks me out enough to have no interest in drinking. And even if I drank a few shots and nothing happened, what about the next morning? Baring the likelihood of a catastrophic hangover, I’m still going to be tired. And I don’t just have 1 child that wakes up at dawn; I have 5. And they’re loud. 5 very loud, very well rested children talking at me in elevated voices less than 5 hours after I’ve been making friends with Jose Cuervo is not my idea of a good time.
I have lots of mom friends who have a few drinks from time to time. I don’t think any less of them. I’m actually a little jealous of their ability to not have a total freak out about it and relax. And while the people in the store offering me a bottle of wine to “deal with” my 5 kids probably mine well, it’s just never going to happen.