Drinking during playdates: Why Mommy Happy Hour Works

My mom called me on Tuesday and said, “Did you see Good Morning America” this morning?  (Of course I didn’t: a. I watch the Today Show and she knows it because I grew up watching it.  In her house.   b. I never get to watch the Today Show because I don’t want my kids to see segments on shark attacks, wildfires and missing children.  c. Even if I was trying to protect my children, Curious George is on anyway.)

Mom:  There was a segment on moms who have Happy Hour playdates.  Like you and your neighbor. 

Me:  Oh.  (ahh, there’s the reason for the obscure GMA reference).  That’s Old News.  (New York Times article in 2006, Today Show segment in 2007, oh, and my best friend invented them in 2004 in Baltimore).

Mom:  (voice rising):  There was a woman who wrote “Sippy Cups are Not For Chardonnay” and…

Me:  I know. And she’s an alcoholic.  Old News.  (Motherlode article in NY Times in 2009).

Mom:  Well, yes- but some moms were bringing their babies into bars!  Well, I guess back in the 1950s everyone had cocktail hour…(trying to act casual but still worried).

Me:  I’ll check it out.

I checked out the GMA segment.  Of course, Elizabeth Hasselbeck, who annoys me anyway, has a very concerned, serious expression on her face as she polls the group of moms she’s assembled who seem pretty cool, especially the mom with the black sheath dress.  Here’s what I got from that segment:

1. Moms bringing their children into bars were not bringing them into seedy taverns, they were bringing them into Irish pub-like places that serve meals, probably chicken fingers.  So, as my 13 year old niece would say:  Chillax.

2.  The double standard argument doesn’t quite work here.  Comparing a dad having a beer at a baseball game with his son is not the same as a bunch of moms drinking wine during Happy Hour while the kids play.  The playdate Happy Hour is much more frequent.  A better double standard argument would be:  if dads did the same thing would they be judged as harshly?

3.  Moms should take a look at their drinking if they are doing it to cope.  Hello:  Is there any other reason?  A few glugs of wine while making dinner makes the witching hour easier to bear.

The story hasn’t gone away, now it is trickling down to local news.

I checked out the New England Cable News segment this morning.  The editor of Bay State Parents magazine polled her readers and what she thought riled everyone up is the glamorizing of drinking during playdates- calling it a trend.  I see what she is saying.   “Playdate Happy Hour” also makes it sound like moms are boozing it up while their 15 month old is sticking a key in the electrical outlet while the 3 year olds are dueling with steak knives.  (What if there is a pool nearby!  Or someone drives while drinking?)

In reality, it’s a glass or two of wine in the yard while the kids play on the swingset.  It’s a glass or two of wine while a few four year old kids are watching a Disney movie or playing Barbies and Batman.

Being a mom can be isolating.  It’s fun to feel like an adult hanging out with some friends and enjoying your time together while your kids enjoy playing with their friends.

So, chillax.  And enjoy some of these seasonal pairings for the Moms and Kids during Happy Hour.


For the Moms:

Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc with John Wm. Macy Cheese Crisps

For the Kids:

Apple & Eve Apple Juice with Cheddar Goldfish crackers


For the Moms:

Miller Lite and Ruffles potato chips

For the Kids:

Mini Bottles of Water and apple slices

For the Moms:

Corona and tortilla chips and salsa

For the Kids:

Paul Newman’s Lemonade with mini brown rice cakes and guacamole Fall

For the Moms:

90+ Pinot Noir with Tillamook cheddar cheese

For the Kids:

Welch’s Grape Juice (purple) with Pollyo string cheese


For the Moms:

Baileys and coffee with Tate’s chocolate chip cookies

For the Kids:

Horizon Chocolate Milk and graham crackers

1 Comment

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One response to “Drinking during playdates: Why Mommy Happy Hour Works

  1. Love this. Love your pairings (though frankly I’m a Kim Crawford SB year-round kind of girl) and also your use of “chillax,” which is my son’s favorite word. xoxo

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