Last night I had the opportunity to go see 2 VERY funny women do a comedy show. Even better, it was with 2 of my friends- one who I met through Gymboree.
Mommy humor- is there truly anything funnier than being a mother?
You grow a human in your uterus. Your body morphs. You feed them out of your boobs. They spit on you. They pee and poop on you. They hate you. They love you. They roll their eyes at you. They hug you.
It's all over the place.
If you can't find the humor in it, you really shouldn't do it.
And husbands... I'm not going to lie... being a dad is nothing like being a mom. When we leave the house, he grabs the keys and gets in the car. I, on the other hand, make sure everything is locked, do a quick scan for all the items everyone has forgotten (water bottles, backpacks, wallets, sunglasses), put the dogs in the kennels, turn off the lights, set the alarm and then get in the car to a round of "We're going to be late and it's your fault..."
In general, I have a really good husband who is not flawless. After 18 years together, I would like to add that I have learned that I, in fact, am not flawless.
But like motherhood, marriage without humor would be a disaster.
I get the jokes.
I think I've blogged about my frustration with the "dumb husband" jokes getting old. Or I've started a blog on it, then my husband would do something dumb and I would delete it. I stopped watching "Everyone Loves Raymond" after the second season because honestly, it got old. How dumb was the wife for staying with him? I get that it's a sitcom, but "The Middle" is just as funny and the dad isn't an idiot. Not that I was a fan of the dingbat housewife roles-- but it seemed to go too far for awhile. Now it seems to have come back to the middle (see what I did with that?)
ANYHOW, the comedians last night, were hilarious. They self-mocked. They joked about mom bods. Married sex. Being perpetually tired.
I laughed a lot.
But there were parts that bothered me that I would have laughed at a few years ago-- which is about how much older I am than the comedians.
It's the mommy drinking jokes.
I'm not a big drinker. I have been drunk- it's been fun. I have a few friends from college with whom every story starts "So we were drinking..."
I'm also very good at fake drinking. You may have been out with me and THOUGHT I was drunk, but I wasn't. I can nurse a drink for hours. I can't drink more than 2 glasses of wine and I don't think I've ever finished a beer. I don't like carbonated beverages. Really. Except ginger ale-- which works great, because it looks like a cocktail.
But honestly, after about 25, I don't drink much. I'm usually the designated driver. I'm completely fine with that.
I don't care if other people around me drink. I think it loosens them up. I love a good glass of wine with a meal or to share with friends.
I think a lot of people are nicer with a cocktail or two in them.
When I first had my son, I was surprised at the number of play dates that involved cocktails for the adults. At first, it was kinda fun- I based the quality of the play dates on the quality of the margaritas.
I never had more than one because of driving.
I assumed the people that would have more than one had a higher tolerance.
But as I've gotten older, I noticed that some of my friends developed serious drinking problems. I guess with the opioid crisis, alcoholism isn't a concern.
I had a close friend where it was part of ending the friendship. I was worried and reached out to her husband. Her husband was relieved because he had thought the same thing. He did everything he could to make her life easier, thinking it would stop- less stress, etc. Her drinking continued to escalate and eventually, I pulled the plug on the friendship. It was subtle. She was clearly day drinking. Her behavior had made the friendship challenging and with 2 kids, a business and a recession, I didn't need anyone else's worries. It wasn't healthy for my family.
She's not the only friend I've watched spiral.
I was surprised when another friend recently told me about how
bad her drinking had gotten. She stopped completely. I had had no
idea. She was almost embarrassed. I thought it was awesome that she realized it.
I think alcoholism among women is more serious than people realize. The pressure to be perfect- to be an internet mom. To look perfect. To have instagram perfect lives. Grabbing a glass of wine to relax becomes a habit. Then a need. Then it increases.
It makes me sad.
My husband and I started doing "Wine O'Clock" and we both realized that it didn't matter what we drank, we enjoyed the time together at the end of the day. Sometimes it's wine, sometimes we have a cocktail (very Mad Men of us) and sometimes we have ice water. We also started having morning coffee together while he's on summer break. Coming from families with histories of alcoholism, we wanted to be careful that it was about the time we spent together, not the alcohol.
I get that the comedians were joking as they sloshed their wine during their skit- they weren't drinking much (if anything)- but the image of the mommy wino is a real thing.
It's becoming ingrained in our culture, too. It's funny. It's cool. The GIANT wine glasses that go on sale for Mothers' Day.
So I guess my point isn't to lecture on drinking, it's to keep an eye out for your friends.
If they joke about "needing" a glass of wine, make sure they are joking.
Motherhood can be exhausting. Women tend to compare themselves to each other. No one sees the moments people don't post.
Real life isn't social media. It's not a competition.
But just be aware. Your friend may be struggling more than you know.