I am not encouraging you to get drunk while watching your kids – but I am suggesting that a glass of wine or a beer while you are adulting and parenting and POSSIBLY CONNECTING WITH ANOTHER MOM is just fine.
My absolute best friends in this stage of life have all started off similarly. We have something small in common, but we aren’t sure what else to talk about. Maybe we run in to each other randomly, but often enough to know that we may actually make good friends. Then one of us suggests a play date.
I was watching The Today Show, and they were talking about research that had just been published about how couples who enjoy a few drinks together are happier – and stay together longer – than those who do not. I’d like to apply that theory here, to this post. While I have not done much research – well, maybe I have? - on the subject, I do agree that enjoying a glass of wine with my friends as we watch our kids play brings us closer together. We feel more comfortable, happy, and laid back. We share easier and intervene less with our children. I feel as though we even cross the line from ‘playdate friends’ to REAL FRIENDS. Once a real friendship evolves, it becomes near and dear to the heart, and not easily let go of.
Don’t read me wrong here, there are plenty of playdates that include no alcohol – most of them don’t. Almost all of them don’t. But I have certain friends (my closest actually) who I LOVE to spend the day with, and we just happen to enjoy some wine at the same time. Again – this is not a college frat party. We are taking care of our kids and sipping on wine.
I have learned that you can test the waters by holding or attending a new playdate group and then mentioning meeting up for a glass of wine sometime or having a mimosa next time! Other moms will either love you or brush the idea off completely. You’ll know who to invite over next time.
Why I Offer Wine
Wine tends to bind most middle-class and middle-upper-class moms. It’s true. We all have the same (or similar) problems, schedules, and lives. While not everyone drinks, most moms do enjoy a glass a day (or so). It is yummy – and I feel (MY OPINION) that is makes me a happier mom in the evening! A glass of wine at an afternoon playdate means I’m not cranky for kid bedtimes.
It’s not really about the WINE --- it’s about the friendship that develops over the wine.
Wine being served invites a more relaxed atmosphere. Even if no one drinks any, knowing that there is wine as an option allows everyone to feel more comfortable.
It helps that my mom friends are in walking distance, so I have no guilt about playing and driving! But those who drive over only have a glass and stay for quite a while before they head home.
When Offering Wine Backfires…
Sometimes wine is a bad idea. I advise you get to know someone a bit before pouring them a glass. If wine is poured, it becomes a much longer playdate than one sans wine. This becomes a huge problem if you end up not really liking the other mom – or her children are not meshing with yours. It’s hard to end a playdate if there is still wine in a guest’s glass. I have actually had this happen, and the mom asked for a second glass! It took all my willpower to not down the bottle to escape her children. (Only slightly kidding) But alas, I had to parent my own little ones for the rest of the day.
So beware – wine is wonderful, but also dangerous. Once you have had a mom over for a cocktail playdate, she may want to come back again… and again. (Oh the life lessons learned from If Your Give A Mouse A Cookie)