In defense of my nightly glass of wine

wine o'clock So there are 22 days until school starts here. Not that I’m counting, of course. And I’m starting to wonder if I’m going to make it.

Honestly, I have loved having Annie home this summer. On the verge of 2nd grade, she’s at a lovely age. She’s still a little kid who loves to cuddle with her mama. But she also has a longer attention span and actually likes shopping with me. Score!

And Grace is adorable at 4.5 years old. Funny, enjoys crafts, also loves snuggling with mama. Full of love and goofiness.

But put them together? And these kids are fighting all. the. time.

I am constantly refereeing their ridiculous bickering and trying to get Grace to stop crying for JUST FIVE MINUTES.

“She splashed me in the pool! She punched me too hard when she saw a Punch Bug! She is yelling at me! NO I’M NOT!!! YES YOU ARE!!!!!!”

It’s all day. Every day. And it’s because we’ve hit that point of summer where Annie being home is no longer a fun novelty for Grace. She wants Annie to go back to school and wants Mama all to herself again.

And Annie is honest to God sick of her little sister’s crying and tantrums. Plus she wants Mama all to herself too, while she’s not at school five days a week.

Which leads to … you guessed it … little girls hanging all over me. You know, when they’re not fighting.

And OH MY GOD I’M NOT SURE HOW MUCH LONGER I CAN DEAL WITH THIS.

So, when we are home and 5pm rolls around, you better believe I pour a nice glass of wine and sit down for five minutes to enjoy it while that peppy little British pig, Peppa, entertains my girls.

And then I happily nurse that glass of wine while I cook dinner and clean dishes and mediate pint-sized protests for the rest of the evening.

I am all done at 5pm. Actually, I’m all done at 3:30pm lately. Because, THE FIGHTING.

And yes, that glass of wine helps me make it through some of the rough nights.

I don’t neeeeeeeed a glass of wine to relax. I can get through a night perfectly fine without it.

But one glass of a rich Cabernet Sauvignon or a buttery Chardonnay sure does make the “witching hour(s)” a lot more manageable.

My glass of wine mellows me out. It helps me relax. And on the toughest nights? Yes, it enables me to be more patient when my kids are at their worst.

Does that make me an alcoholic? Am I dependent upon a substance to get through the night? Can I go without wine and not throttle my kids?

No, no, and yes.

Sure, I can get through a night without a glass of wine. I can also get through a summer without buying any new clothes. And I can certainly make my way through a month without going to Starbucks once.

But new clothes and Starbucks are perks that make life more enjoyable. And that’s how I think of my glass of wine: a lovely, delicious perk that makes me feel good.

Is this dependence?

What do you think? Do you have a glass of wine (or a beer, or whatever alcoholic drink) each night?

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25 Replies to “In defense of my nightly glass of wine”

  1. I completely agree that a glass of wine a night makes getting through the dinner/bedtime hour significantly easier. I am all for it! And it is nice to know that it’s not just my boys (5 and 3) who fight all the time. I feel like I am constantly negotiating with them or trying to keep them in their separate corners. Bring on the Pinot Grigio!

  2. I enjoy my wine tremendously, but alas I am 33 weeks and counting into my 1st pregnancy, but I plan on enjoying it again soon 🙂

  3. Nightly wine? That's ridiculous.
    Wait. I'll be right back. I have to go get my glass of fermented grape juice…

  4. Moscato Monday & Tuesday. Wine Wednesday. Perfect Pino Thursday. Friends who drink wine on Friday.
    Nothing wrong with any of it. I'm at work all day and my boys are driving me nuts. If I don't have a call by 9, they are either sleeping in (ha!) or the sitter hid her phone well. I'm done being a referee of piddly shizz. In 12 days.

  5. hmmm can I go a whole month without starbucks? Probably not…. Just like I don’t think you could REALLY go a whole month w/o your glass of wine. Admit it, you all are a *tiny* bit if not more dependent on it…

  6. I hardly drank before I had kids, certainly never at home more than once or twice a week. Now I also have a glass of wine most nights, as soon as the children are both in bed (some nights that's 9pm. They're 2 and 4). I used to worry about it. Now I see it as my gold star sticker for surviving another day…

  7. Sounds like you’re making the right distinction. Your glass of wine helps you relax, it’s not to numb uncomfortable or negative feelings.

    I have a lot of friends who drink wine at least a few nights a week if not nightly. I don’t, mostly because I don’t trust myself that I wouldn’t be able to limit or stop my drinking. I’m a cheap drunk, and I can’t not go to Starbucks for a mocha at least a few times (most days) per week.

    I think it’s good to check in once in awhile to assess, “Am I choosing this glass of wine/mocha? Or do I need it?”

  8. I’ll be honest: I’ve worried about this too. And, yes, most days I do enjoy a glass of wine at the end of a long day with a toddler. But, really, I do think it’s okay. Really. Like others said, if it becomes something you NEED, as opposed to “want” to help you relax, then trust your instincts.

  9. I would never call a mom who has a glass of wine to unwind an alcoholic but some of us are. I stopped drinking two years ago when the anxiety over wanting wine in the evenings got to be too much. Truth be told, my drinking was always about numbing even before I had kids. Motherhood just changed what worked for me and wine no longer did. My kids are 3 and 4 and our nightly routine can feel like torture, even sober! But for me, taking alcohol away as an option to unwind forced me to find healthier coping mechanisms throughout the day. It wasn’t until I stopped drinking that I could see that drinking actually caused my anxiety, not relieved it. I’m not preaching or judging anyone else but I thought a mommy alcoholic’s point of view would be good to share.

  10. A glass of wine to unwind at night is so not a problem. It’s part of what makes life more pleasant. It’s kind of like a Lifetime movie or Facebook … okay it’s really not like those things at all, but you know what I mean.

  11. JD, you said it. This is MY life too, just substitute boys for girls and make them 4 and 5.5. I would go have a glass of wine RIGHT NOW (it’s 1:03 pm) but I have to run up to the store later. D’oh.

    I’m SO DONE with summer vacation…in fact, the post I’m working on right now will expand more on that topic (my hatred of summer vacation posts might turn into a series). NEWS FLASH, WHOEVER SCHEDULES SCHOOL YEARS: Most Americans are not farmers anymore!! Why the eff are we still acting like they are?!?

  12. Wine, beer, alcohol, whatever it is that calms you is totally necessary for the end of the day. And totally okay.

    And just think, at least you don’t have two girls on their periods at the same time.

  13. I don’t think a glass of wine is a problem unless the person drinking it thinks it’s a problem. I don’t drink, but I do have my coffee for a wind down. Being a mom is tough, the days are long and I think we all need something to help bring us back. If you get that from a lovely glass of wine that’s great!

  14. I am with you on the fighting and the hanging all over me even though mine are older. My two oldest fight constantly – they cannot even be int he same room it seems without bickering over something. An they are all vying for my attention. I am not ready for the crazy schedules that school will bring, but I am ready for a little peace & quiet!

  15. I noticed a considerable uptick in alcohol consumption among my friends with school aged kids (especially during the summer months). While I have often asked the same questions as you, I am also convinced that I am not an alcoholic, and if I am, I am high functioning (I rarely drink more than 2 glasses a night if I am drinking)… 😉 That’s what I tell myself anyway. I think it you are checking yourself every once in a while, you are probably fine… as soon as you stop wondering… then you might have a problem.

  16. No, it’s not dependence, and if it is, then I’m an alcoholic too! Because on some nights, nothing is nicer than putting up dinner with a nice glass of Merlot in my hands. Nothing.

  17. It’s not every night, but it’s often enough. And I’ve seriously thought about it- b/c I do have an addict for a father. But I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t actually need it and that I can in fact have one.

  18. I swear I could have written this!…except mine would say 2 glasses. You see, the first one isn’t totally enjoyable when they’re together, in the living room, fighting. I want that second one to savor in silence while sitting in bed and watching tv.

    And guess what? It’s a oaky Cab or buttery Chardonnay for me too! I do a Cheapo Wini review Wednesday on my blog (all under $15), and since we seem to have the same palate you might want to check it out.

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