Why I do not want to have a cocktail

Everyone loves a great parody of the popular Disney movie Frozen – I have seen several that I love – especially “Let it Go” by Deva Dalporto. But last week as I watched a video called “Do you want to have a cocktail?” – I developed an uncomfortable feeling in the pit of my stomach.

We have heard the expression thousands of times. “I need a drink” is plastered on social media streams by harried parents and adults, often accompanied by the “it is 5:00 somewhere.” As I watched what is clearly a clever and humorous video – I wondered – at what point do we go too far?

In this instance, the first feeling that bubbled to the surface was the honesty of one mom seeking out companionship with other adults. We have all been there and felt the same need for adult conversation – and the idea of connecting with others and building relationships is a healthy coping mechanism for stress management. All moms – need relationships with friends and peers to vent about the difficult moments in parenting as well as to share the successes.

But as I watched this mom – foraging around her neighborhood in search of someone to have a cocktail with – even going as far as approaching another mom at the helm of mini van full of children – I paused. What might those children have been thinking as the woman approached with a martini class and bottle of alcohol in hand?

I should back up. I drink wine. And dirty vodka martinis. And champagne. (Not all at the same time – because yuck.) I recently cut my alcohol intake down to twice a week since attending a wellness retreat earlier this spring AND because of my marathon training in an effort to fuel up on “good stuff” as much as possible (because hydration is like a second job when you are training to run 26.2 miles). But more than that, the change in my habits evolved from trying to make healthier choices – for myself, but as a role model for my tween daughter. She knows that when I am having a glass of my favorite wine, I am savoring the taste and how it pairs with what I am eating. Or maybe that I am celebrating something special.

My response is not a judgment – because trust me – as a mom to a stubbornly independent tween, the idea of escaping to my patio with a glass of wine in hand at the end of the day is not foreign to me. We have all felt those moments of frustration. The problem lies in the message of responsibility that we are sending to our children because if I know anything about parenting – it is that our children are ALWAYS watching us and creating meaning based on our actions and behaviors.

What if instead, the mom rushed around the neighborhood in search of a running partner or someone to try a new yoga class? Clearly “Do you want to run a mile” or “Do you want to do some yoga?” are not as humorous. But they are healthy ways to model coping with day to day life. By reframing our thinking and the messaging that we unknowingly transmit to our children – we foster healthy habits and responsible behaviors in children that will one day grow to be adults dealing with stress and frustration themselves.

Why I do not want a cocktail

And later – after that run or yoga class… then maybe you ask a friend if they would like to have a cocktail to celebrate the new milestone.

Maybe I am being too sensitive…. or maybe I am not just treating the video as something funny that was created. Clearly, many of my friends found the video amusing.

But my answer to this undoubtedly creative mom – is that no…I do not want to have a cocktail. At least not right now. Maybe you could come over for dinner and we could have one then?

 

**While I do work with The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (FAAR) as a #TalkEarly blogger, this response was not part of the campaign. But if you are interested… learn more about the work that FAAR does to fight drunk driving and underage drinking.

Written by Elena Sonnino

Elena Sonnino

Freelance Writer, Digital Media Strategist, Runner, Cancer Survivor and Chaser of Dreams. Elena writes about finding everyday wellness in far off lands, at home in the Washington D.C. suburbs and everywhere in between.

1 Comment

  1. I love this piece! I spent plenty of years drinking plenty of drinks, and that contributed to my chronic health issues such that having anything stronger than kombucha nowadays is completely out of the question! I have to live totally clean or I am knocked on my ass. I’m clearly a whole lot more sensitive than most folks – like the weakest canary in the mine – but I do think that many people would feel a lot better if they imbibed only for the joy of the taste and not as a socially accepted crutch. All the jokes you referenced disturb me! I won’t be able to run again without a lot of PT and foundation work, but I do love “Do you want to do some yoga?” In fact, a few years ago, Pleasance of Lil Omm yoga here in DC made a big impression on me when she said at a Holistic Moms meeting that your kids are looking to you to see how you get through that rough patch at 3:30. Do you reach for a chocolate chip cookie, or do you get out your mat & sit down to breathe? Sure, she has good chocolate in her studio – for the enjoyment, not for the crutch. Same deal with alcohol strikes me as a lot healthier than substituting a substance that stresses your liver at least a little when what you really need is something deeper.

    Thank you for a great post!

    Reply

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