Mothers who need a drink

Sometimes you just need a glass of wine to take the edge off.

by: Cathy Marston | 27 Nov 2012
drinking mother

“Where’s your mummy today?” An innocent question aimed at my son at a school outing to Imhoff Snake Park. “Mummy couldn’t come because she’s drunk” comes the reply from my dearly-beloved offspring, blithely unaware of the parental apoplexy he caused by his answer, whilst my husband who WAS there, laughed himself sick and refused to explain anything at all. No wonder I didn’t get voted onto the PTA. Of course, I wasn’t drunk – even for me, 9.30am on a Tuesday is pushing it – but I was attending a wine-related event and I guess these things are confusing for a 6 year old.

To be honest, this wasn’t an unexpected response – he said something similar last year to his previous teacher as well. I guess when wine arrives at your door at all hours, the sink is perpetually full of tasting glasses and very often the only food we have in the house at the end of the month are plain cream crackers, it’s probably easy to make a mistake.

I’ve heard similar things from a winewriting colleague who was very proudly boasting of his 2 year-old skipping around the house singing that well-known nursery rhyme “Here we go round the Mulderbosch” and I bet I could find a whole lot more if I asked around a bit.

They say that wine is to women what duct tape is to men – it fixes everything and I’m not the only parent who needs a little wine in her life to get through it. There is a brilliant website in America called which started as a blog, but has now become a business. The site encourages you to share parenting stories, seek reassurance, ask questions and not feel bad about solacing yourself after a hard day with a glass of something wonderful.

In fact, the more you look online, the more of these sites you can find. How about the Facebook page “Oh my God, I so need a glass of wine or I’m gonna sell my kids!” ( Or another site – - suggests that parenting is all about taking it one day and one glass at a time, which sounds suspiciously like it was borrowed from a rather better-known organisation who probably wouldn’t appreciate the amendment. And my new favourite – – simply because of their strap-line “It starts with a glass. It ends with a baby.” I think they may have missed out a few steps along the way.

So maybe my child isn’t the only one who thinks his mother’s job is getting drunk. To be completely truthful, I am quite proud of the fact that whereas other mothers carry wet-wipes in their handbags, I have a corkscrew, that my son has been fetching refills from the fridge from the moment he could walk (his first sticker chart for good behaviour was definitely a case for Social Services) and that he understands such terms as ‘sabrage’ and ‘MCC’.

I’m hoping that familiarity with the subject will lead to contempt for excessive alcohol, alcohol abuse and associated evils. They say that ‘hope springs eternal in the human breast’ - well, better hope than hops and hanepoot say I!


Do you like to have a nice glass of wine at the end of a long day? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Follow @CathyMarston and @food24 on twitter.


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