Photo Credit: Groupon
I’ve been a championship shopper since 8th grade. My best friend and I would be dropped off at the mall on Saturday, while her mum worked at Sears. Yes, Sears. That’s how long ago I was in 8th grade. We’d swing by 5-7-9, Gap, and Delia’s. Told ya I was old. We’d have lunch, window shop, and try on clothes. Every weekend involved a marathon power walk through The Square. And each shopping trip involved one regrettable fashion trend after the next! I’ve seen so many trends come and go, that nothing really surprises me anymore. But, I have to admit that the Mom-ing while Intoxicated trend of the last several years still baffles me.
Slogans like, “It takes a village and a vineyard,” are everywhere. They’re prevalent at mainstream retailers and Etsy and Zazzle shops. Some shirts spell it out loud and clear that mom-ing is best done tipsy. “Mama needs wine.” and “They whine. I wine.” are front and center in countless shopping aisles. I never gave these tees much thought, because slogan shirts aren’t really my thing. But, I didn’t stop to think about the little kids among us who are reading these boozy shirts until a recent conversation unfolded.
As the mum of two very good elementary-age readers, I find myself answering questions about these seemingly harmless tees, hats, and totes. My first grader said, “What does ‘sustained by wine’ mean?” I looked up to see that she was pointing to a shirt describing how to survive motherhood. Before I could answer, my 4th grader said, “Oh, that’s alcohol that mums need to, like, even function.” To which my younger girl asked, “Do dads need it, too?”
I’ve always been careful not to glorify alcohol or talk about it as though it’s an elixir to sanity, so it was surprising that my 10-year-old still picked up on the messaging of that shirt. Her spot-on interpretation of the text made me glad that I haven’t personally ever sent her that message to her through some trendy tank top. Perhaps it’s easier not to inadvertently make wine/motherhood jokes, because alcohol has never been high on my list of cravings. We’re at an interesting place in our society where it’s common for ladies to joke about using Chardonnay to get through play dates or Rosé to relax. It’s easy to forget little ears are listening and young eyes are reading as two mums laugh nearby.
Should mums drink wine? Sure. Raise a glass. But, should mums joke about how wine is their remedy for the ills of parenthood? Probably not. Aren’t we all better than that?