I’m Not A ‘Wine O’ Clock’ Cliche

Two glasses of wine

The dawn of the internet era and the rise of ‘honest’ parenting being available for all to see, has seen (in my opinion,) the evolution of The Wine O’ Clock Mum come full circle. I’m certain it’s always been there-my nan enjoyed a large brandy once her brood (of NINE! WTF nan, how did you even…?!) were in bed (the little ones,) or off down ‘Spin A Disc’ (the hangout of choice for the older ones.) My mum enjoyed a sherry (the only thing I judge there mum, is that sherry is VILE, but I’ll let you off, Prosecco wasn’t a thing then.) and I’m sure they sometimes (gasp,) had more than one, and I know from the stories they’ve told me, that they both had friends who knocked it back during ‘working hours’ too.

They didn’t have large whatsapp groups to post pictures of themselves at 7.01pm, holding a large glass, with thumb well and truly up. They didn’t have blogs to read, that told them that all the other mums were doing it too, so it was ok. They just did it, and probably poured another while dutifully getting dinner on the table, and sighing about what was in store for them the next day.

What the internet has done is:

1. Make it known that other mums found being a parent a bit hard.

2. Make it ok to want to reach for the wine at the end of the day.

3. Make it divisive-it’s ok apparently to openly call these parents out for being ‘slummy,’ and to put those who don’t choose the same end of day treat, into a different category.

4. Turn it into a cliché-the ‘war cry’ of the pissed off/tired/stressed/delete as appropriate mum. Enjoying wine as a parent, is apparently different to enjoying it when you aren’t.

I recently saw an advert looking for a parent to write a (click bait, troll inciting) article on why the end of day roll call of the parent shouldn’t be to reach for the wine-it wanted the writer to explore how life has come to this, and why it’s wrong. Why has it become such a cliché.

Well, I for one, love wine. I did before I had children-in a wine tasting holiday to the south of France kind of way. In a going to the pub after work kind of way. In the taking the edge off a stressful and shitty day at work kind of way. Nobody however, ever turned that into a cliché-it was just normal, and nobody ever gave it a second thought.

I have a grievance with these ordinary things, that you do all the time before you have children, being turned into something entirely different once they’re here. What’s the difference in a pre children instagram snap of me and my friends drinking after work, to one of me as a non working parent, drinking with my non working parent friends? It’s not always a ‘look what they’ve driven us too Lol!’ or ‘look, wine time before bedtime #badmum!’ It can be quite simply, ‘oooh, I’m going to sit down, now it’s quiet, and have a lovely glass of cold wine,’ like I used to after work. Like my parents still do now.

For me, I savour my husband flitting in from work and taking over bedtime, having the quickest shower, so that I can get into my pyjamas, and enjoy that lovely Gin and tonic-that is nothing to do with my children’s behaviour, or trying to be part of some post bedtime alcohol club-just simply because I like Gin.

I don’t do it to be cool, I don’t do it to try and put myself into some sort of parenting category. I don’t even do it every day-sometimes I have a herbal tea and go for a run instead. My appreciation of alcohol, and the fact that I’m a parent, are completely separate things. I am not the Wine’ O Clock cliché that the internet would have everyone believe, I’m just someone who appreciates good wine, who happens to be a parent.

8 Comments

  1. Tracey Abrahams
    August 7, 2017 / 8:09 am

    I think the internet or more specifically social media would happily make clichès of all of us for one reason or another. It loves being able to label people. #bigpinklink

    • This Mum's Life
      August 7, 2017 / 8:25 am

      Too true-and I really don’t like the whole ‘let’s label/put everyone into cliched boxes’ attitude that social media can bring!!

  2. August 7, 2017 / 8:19 am

    Yes! I was actually thinking about this the other day and you’ve summed my thoughts up perfectly. I loved wine before I had my daughter and I don’t drink it now BECAUSE I have a daughter, but because I still enjoy it! Sometimes on a stressful day, I have a glass to unwind, but like you, I did that before her anyway. I find all the ‘pass me some alcohol’ parent-related memes humorous, but what I don’t like is when they’re then used negatively against parents – there’s always something for someone to have a moan about isn’t there!? #bigpinklink

    • This Mum's Life
      August 7, 2017 / 8:28 am

      Yep-the haters will always hate! But it definitely seems like parents are always negatively treated, and the backlash is bigger. I’m glad you’ve felt the same way-I did wonder whether I was getting into a tiz over nothing…!

  3. August 7, 2017 / 10:36 am

    So glad to have read this! The judgement of mums who reach for a glass at the end of a very long day is really getting out of control. Sometimes I enjoy a glass of wine or two at home, is it a crime? I think we have to keep doing at least some of things we enjoy and still have the odd treat, because it helps us unwind and be better parents. #bigpinklink

    • This Mum's Life
      August 7, 2017 / 11:00 am

      Yes definitely!! I used to be a nurse-is there any difference in having a couple of glasses after work, then looking after poorly people the next day, to looking after my children the next day?!

  4. August 7, 2017 / 7:38 pm

    Hi, great post social media can deliberately a decisive and judgemental place. If you used appreciate a nice glass of wine in moderation why should this now change #bigpinklink

    • This Mum's Life
      August 8, 2017 / 12:37 am

      It sounds sensible doesn’t it?!