parent opinion

'Let's talk about what you're really saying when you call someone a "wine mum".'

We’ve all seen the GIFs and the memes with women drinking giant glasses of wine to survive motherhood.

I have shared them for lols in WhatsApp groups and I have liked hundreds of silly wine-related posts on social media, but a recent article in The Atlantic about the ‘Many Faces of ‘Wine Mom’ got me thinking.

Enjoying a glass of cold Pinot Gris come 6pm is pretty much how I roll most nights.

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I might be cooking, eating or washing dishes whilst sipping but as bedtime gets ever closer, it feels like a lovely adults-only treat to mark the end of another busy day.

The term ‘Wine Mum’ has been around for many years on the internet but has recently been popping up more and more in a pejorative fashion.

If someone calls you a ‘wine mum’ it is likely not a compliment. In the same way that if someone calls you a ‘Karen’, they are trying to make you seem old, irrelevant or whingey.

So – how to feel about this?

On the one hand, I find it amusing, as like me, most of the mums I know also enjoy a wine.

To be a ‘wine mum’ is then simply a factual statement about women who happen to be parents enjoying a grape-based beverage of a night.

On the other hand – why aren’t there any jokes, memes or derogatory references on Twitter about ‘beer dads’ or even ‘wine dads’? My husband Jules enjoys a leisurely glass of wine at the end of his day too and yet no one is out there trying to make him feel bad about that.

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And there’s the rub.

Similar to being dismissed as a Karen, being called a ‘wine mum’ is yet another way of making women – and in this case, mothers – feel guilty.

The implication is that us wine mums are making choices that might harm our health, our waistlines and worst of all – our ability to be responsible mothers.

Will no one think of the children!

I am sure you can hear my eyes rolling as I type.

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Yes, I enjoy a wine at the end of most days but I am also not doing anything illegal. I am not suggesting that we dismiss the serious issues of binge drinking or alcoholism, but I do think we need to question why we label mums who enjoy a wine and not the dads.

Us women have enough to feel guilty about when it comes to raising humans. Unlike the men, we apparently have to worry about the ‘juggle’, the mental load, losing our baby weight, cooking nutritional meals for our kids and not ever ageing a day.

And now we have to feel guilty about enjoying a glass of wine too?

No thank you internet.

Being a mum (and dad) is hard work and I think we should all just agree that wine (or gin or whiskey or beer) can be a deserved treat when taken responsibly by responsible adults. This does not make us boozy, irresponsible ‘wine mums’.

In fact, can we just all agree that term is ridiculous and must never be used again?

Let’s not add wine to our never-ending ‘guilty’ list – especially if the men are continuing to enjoy theirs guilt-free.

The silly memes may continue as long we all promise never to use the term ‘wine mum’ to shame another woman who’s just doing her best to parent – with a nightly side of Pinot Gris.

Cheers!

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