When you think of motherhood, ingesting substances is not the first thing that comes to mind. But a lot of us mothers would tell you that they have become an integral part of the process. Take coffee. Coffee is what gives me the energy every single morning to rise up and mother the little people I’m responsible for. I look forward to it, and deep down I believe that it makes me a better person. Maybe even a better mother (gasp). The smell, the taste, the jolt of electricity that seems to course through my body after I’ve had my first cup — it is life giving, awakening the half-asleep zombie who was forced to emerge before the sun in the wee hours of the morning to pack lunches, make breakfast and prepare her irritable offspring for the day that lies ahead.
Now wine, on the other hand, is the very antithesis of coffee. But to a certain set of mothers, myself included, it is no less important to the daily grind of rearing our children. In fact, the promise of wine at the end of a particularly challenging day of motherhood is like a beacon in the darkest of nights. It is the reward for a job well done. It is the spoils of war, if you will. I genuinely look forward to it and how consuming a single glass slows me down and transports me to a state of calm, after a day that is chock full of crazy. I don’t look at my nightly glass of cheer as a form of stress management or self medication and I certainly don’t need it (well, “need” is probably debatable). I, like a lot of mothers I know, consume that glass of wine at the end of the day because we truly enjoy relishing the time it takes to enjoy it, time that isn’t being interrupted to get someone a juice box or explain why painting the family dog isn’t a good idea.
At the end of every day I lovingly and efficiently tuck my charming and incessant little humans into bed, and then greedily reap the benefits of a quiet house. Armed with a glass of relaxation in one hand and a good book or remote in the other, I settle in on the couch that I’ve been neglecting all day, finally ready to enjoy a rare moment of peace. As I linger over my glass, I’m focused on enjoying the warmth that washes over me, versus acknowledging the pile of unfolded laundry that’s eyeing me from the dining room table, silently judging my indulgence.
After seven years of being in the parenting trenches, this is what I know for sure: Parenting is hard and mothering is exhausting. At the end of each full and moderately productive day, a glass of perfectly chilled Riesling can restore your sanity and leave you prepared to suit up and do battle the next day.