Mommy-and-Me Happy Hour?

“Do you ever get a break?” asked a fellow Mommy at Alex’s Gymboree class today, looking at me with sympathetic eyes as my son, once again, escaped my grasp and made a mad dash for a red ball across the room (her daughter was sitting peacefully on her lap at the time). “He’s so active! You look like you need a cocktail.”

Uh, yeah. What gave it away? My smeared eyeliner? Sweaty lip? Hanging bra strap? Keeping up with my insanely active toddler is so exhausting it could drive me to drink–but I wouldn’t feel comfortable having a glass of Mommyjuice during Mommy hours–not yet, anyway.

Apparently, Mommy Mixers–playdates that feature cocktails–are all the rage. I haven’t received an invite to Mommy-and-Me Happy Hour just yet, but don’t keep me off the guest list. I am not against the idea–so long as no one gets drunk, drives, or makes dumb decisions. Just because I am not talented enough to balance a wine glass in one hand and my squirmy son in the other doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Some Mommies can likely enjoy one drink, hors d’oeuvres, and adult conversation while their children play…I am just not one of them.

A story on Good Morning America (link below) about Mommy and Me Happy Hours this week ignited a firestorm of controversy. Some believe they’re a great way to keep stressed out Mommies drenched in spit up and sippy cups sane. They argue Mommies are master multitaskers who are responsible for their children every day, and are capable of enjoying some adult time while kids enjoy playtime. Others feel alcohol and kids never mix–that it sets a bad example to drink in front of kids (even though most don’t think twice when they see a Dad enjoying a beer at the ball game or in the front yard while watching the children), and that it could lead to trouble.

How do you feel about Mommy Mixers? Have you been to one?  Would you go to one?

Here’s the link to the GMA story: http://abcnews.go.com/US/moms-enjoy-cocktail-parties-kids-play-dates/story?id=14208921

If I were invited to a Mommy Mixer, I’d bring a Panzanella Salad. It’s a dish everyone can agree on!

Panzanella Salad

Ingredients

Bread mixture:

Rustic day-old Italian bread, cut into bite-sized pieces

1/3 cup good-quality olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

2 cloves garlic, minced

Salad mixture:

3-4 large heirloom tomatoes, cut into pieces (use different colors to add color to the dish)

1/2 red onion, chopped

1/2 seedless cucumber, chopped

1/4 cup basil leaves, shredded

1/2- 2/3 can cannelini beans, drained

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Method

Homemade croutons are the best. Make extra to have on hand for salads. It's so easy!

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place bread in a bowl, and toss with 1/3 cup olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and bake until crisp–about 10 minutes. Set bread mixture aside.

Combine tomatoes, cucumber, cannelini beans, basil, and red onion. Add 1/4 cup olive oil and 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. Let it sit in the fridge for a little while–20 minutes–so the juices have time to blend together. Toss in the bread and mix thoroughly. Let it sit for a few minutes (so the bread can soak up the excess liquid), and serve.

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12 Responses to Mommy-and-Me Happy Hour?

  1. Jen Antebi says:

    Only if it’s Manichewitz!!!

  2. amomtoo says:

    I have not been invited to one yet, but I would go. I don’t think it’s a big deal for a mom with kids older than yours to have a drink during a playdate. Most moms are very responsible. It’s the ones who drink by themselves that scare me.

    • Mommy Dish says:

      Agreed. Moms who drink solo scare me, too. Moms generally look out for each other…I can’t imagine these turn into wild parties!

  3. Cheryl M. says:

    Personally, I’ve never been to a Mommy Mixer. I have been to plenty of cookouts and family get-togethers though, and hubby and I usually take turns with enjoying a cocktail at these functions. For example, one weekend I don’t drink, the next weekend, he doesn’t drink. The key here is moderation – I may have three drinks at a cookout, but it takes me six hours to drink them, and since I’m not drinking on an empty stomach, the chances of me getting “buzzed” are pretty slim. Two things that really get my goat are the double-standard you mentioned above, and all the stories we read in the news of moms getting drunk and doing moronic things with their kids in tow. Do these people live in a closet somewhere?

    I grew up in the 70s, and it was quite common for our whole family to come over for a party, and the kids to hang out and play while the parents got to socialize and have a some drinks. In hindsight, I realize that our parents drank too much, because we often saw them behaving pretty foolishly. Maybe that’s why I’m so conscious of using moderation.

    • Mommy Dish says:

      Mommy Mixer is my term. : ) You and your hubby have a good system–taking turns. Very responsible.

      I agree with you…the double standard is ridiculous. My husband actually pointed it out to me when I told him what I was writing about. He said no one would look twice at a Dad having a beer while watching the kids, but they’d do a double-take seeing a Mom do the same thing. It’s wrong, wrong, wrong. All of my friends are crazy responsible about their kids–I can’t imagine any of them enjoying more than one glass of wine at a party. The Moms who lose control must live in closets; I don’t know any of them!

      Moderation is key! One glass…okay. Anything more is questionable if you’re the only parent watching the kids.

  4. Michele Goldman says:

    Not in favor of this kind of get together.. Kids and drinking … never a good idea unless they are in bed and you are home and not going anywhere. One drink probably won’t do anything but it can set up a problem if one mother or two mothers or more decide to have two or three drinks and don’t realize they are not in the shape they should be to drive their child home. What do you do then? Do you take their keys.. (ever try doing that to someone who has had too much to drink..not fun..and they never agree they have had too much!!).. Drive them home yourself and make arrangements for the car later.. It’s a slippery slope that I’d rather avoid.. Not everyone has good judgement and I don’t want to have to police those that don’t.. Stick to soft drinks and coffee/tea..whatever..The kids are only small for a short time. Soon enough that time in your live will be a fond memory and you’ll have all the time in the world to have that drink.. For now.. drink in the lovely smell of your baby and get high on that.. Save the drink/drinks for after hours when the kids are safely off to dreamland and you can relax in the comfort of your own home.

    • Mommy Dish says:

      I think one drink is okay–if you don’t have a child like Alex! : ) I could never enjoy a glass of wine during waking hours because he is into everything! But if he was 7 or 8, and playing with kids his age at a neighbor’s house, I probably could do it responsibly. I am not against this idea if it’s in moderation, and if the kids are at an age that they’re more self sufficient, and if there’s no driving involved. The Moms featured in the story all live in the same neighborhood.

      Drinking in that baby smell is enough to get you a little buzzed. You’re right, Mom!!

  5. Kelly says:

    As much as I would like to attend one and even host one (trust me it’s much needed after a long day of constant “why” questions, working on speech, demands for more milk or his next meal, “play with me mom” requests) it’s not a good idea to mix mommy business with pleasure. I wouldn’t want to worry about everyone getting home safely and the future of extra little peeps in my hands! However, I have no problem pouring a half a glass of my favorite vino while I prepare dinner and my little buddy is playing cars or watching his favorite movie for the 100th time! Cheers!

  6. Mommy Dish says:

    Agreed! The concept is getting together at a home where NO ONE has to drive…like neighbors getting together. Your example is a good one. You have a glass while preparing dinner and have no issue with it. I can’t have ANY at this point because Alex is just everywhere at every moment. I don’t even have time to pee by myself LOL. But I can see Moms whose kids are friends in the neighborhood at the right age having a glass responsibly.

  7. I’ve never been invited to one but I guess it would depend on who’s attending. I feel like if it’s hosted/among some of my close friends that I know won’t have more than 1 drink to keep things safe, I’d be ecstatic to attend. But if it was a group of women I wasn’t too familiar with, I’d stay away for fear of being put into an uncomfortable situation. What would you do if another mom got loaded and wanted to go home with her kid? I’m already freakin’ out and so far it’s a hypothetical situation in my head. AH!

    • Mommy Dish says:

      It’s a touchy issue. I’d only do it among close friends (when my baby is much older)…friends that I could yank their keys out of their hands if need be (which I know would never happen). By the time I get around to attending one the fad will be over! ; )

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