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Enough With The Drunken White Mom Thing!! I’m Fed Up With the Double Standards


This one has REALLY been bothering me for some time. And I was so upset, I decided to give my put-on-blast commentary to Momlogic.com (you know how that audience tears into me) where I am currently having my black behind handed to me. But I just needed to say it and I wanted to say it to the right people.  Damn, the consequences. 

So here goes:

For some time it’s been really bothering me (no, really!) that a large and still growing group of white women have built a successful blogging and publishing platform and branding niche around parenting while drunk. Or at least very tipsy.

A Black mom would NEVER be able to get away with making money by extolling the virtues of alcoholism and child rearing. If I receive one more mom book to review with a cute-sie title featuring some mom’s need for alcohol, I'm going to scream. Or have a very strong cocktail.



Witness:
Sippy Cups Are Not for Chardonnay by Stephanie Wilder-Taylor. This is where it all began. She also penned the really funny blog “Make Mine a Double: Tales of Twins and Tequila. Wilder-Taylor followed up the huge success of her first book, with her second tome, Naptime is the New Happy Hour (just love the cover with two wine bottles in the diaper bag!)

Then came:

The Three Martini Playdate: A Practical Guide to Parenting by Christie Mellor 

Baby, Make Me A Drink by Lisa Brown. 

And then a man gets in on it.  Daddy Needs a Drink by Robert Wilder.

And two of my non-mom favorites, but they speak to my white-girls-get-to-joke-about-being-alcoholics point:

You Can't Drink All Day if You Don't Start in the Morning by Celia Rivenbark

Crazy Aunt Purl’s Drunk, Divorced and Covered in Cat Hair and her follow-up book, Home is Where the Wine Is by Laurie Perry.  

Now don't get me wrong, I love humor and some caustic wit as much as the next mom who doesn’t take herself or parenting way too seriously.  I get it.  I also totally love my evening glass of wine as much as the next stressed out mom. And as my children know, when mommy has her "special cup" stay away for a few minutes, but a black woman would never be able to write a book promoting the virtues of PWD, parenting while drunk or even close to it.

Let me rephrase. She could write the book, but no one would ever pay to publish it. And she would likely become the poster child for the next Republican-led black mom bashing campaign.



And by the way, when Wilder, the poster child of PWD put up a post on her blog nearly a year ago that she needed to put down the cocktail and that she was done drinking, the clamor, outrage and cries of treason could be heard across the country. And there was a story about her quitting drinking…in the NEW YORK TIMES!!  In that story, Wilder talked about her “triggers.”  And I quote:

“Ms. Wilder-Taylor coped with postpartum depression, premature twins and, even now, an underweight toddler who needs an array of therapies — plus her writing deadlines.” OMG! Could any of these be  because of her drinking or is it just me???

And by the way,  I've been dying to write my own humorous tale of a black suburban mom on the edge, minus the alcohol problem. So far, I’ve got no nibbles. But I was thinking I should change the proposal to my secret working title, Hennessey in my Starbucks Cup (a little trick, I learned from the white moms in my daughter’s dance class. That is, putting alcohol in your Starbucks cup. The Hennessey was my idea) and maybe I will get more of a response.

But we all know that wouldn’t happen. 

The reason it works for white women is that with white women it is assumed she is educated and otherwise extremely capable to drink all the time and still parent, and really, only joking. Wilder-Taylor was not. She had a real problem. If a black mother joked that she drank all the time while parenting, somebody would call child protective services in a heartbeat. (Remember when my neighbor thought I was spanking?) White women are safe. There is no stigma attached to their drinking, in fact, there is even a trendiness and some lifestyle cache. My drinking would scream “unfit mother” in blaring lights.

Because black women are barely viewed as smart, savvy moms in the first place, the thought of us touting and even celebrating drinking on the job would be preposterous. And we certainly couldn’t build a marketable and profitable branding platform on the idea. Nobody, not even I (and you guys think I’m pretty bold), would go there.  I’m not that foolish to assume I have that luxury.

I love the liberty and freedom that white people have in this country. They get to be who they are without any preconceived stereotypes or judgments. I just wish that privilege extended to us all.

Comments
6 Responses to “Enough With The Drunken White Mom Thing!! I’m Fed Up With the Double Standards”
  1. Ms. Smart says:

    She has spoken the truth. I think at the core of white women being able to get away with this is the accepted understanding that they are fragile and incapable of dealing with stress. This creates an environment where it’s acceptable for them to use alcohol, antidepressants, etc. as a crutch. Black women, on the other hand, are seen as ‘strong big Bertha’s–savvy enough to suckle white children but not refined enough to raise our own.

  2. Tara says:

    Yup, right on target. White moms are perceived differently than black moms. Point blank. End of story. I haven’t read of these books – although I did read Stefanie’s blog for a while. I guess I never thought of it in the way you describe, but man, it’s true. Let me head over to Momlogic and see what the ruckus is about….

  3. RenTec says:

    I was also unaware that parenting while drunk was a popular motif for white moms. If one is tipsy while parenting how are they truly there for their kids? And isn’t this something that the disco generation railed about in the 70s, how the suburuban lifestyle wasn’t perfect with workaholic dads and alcoholic moms?

    I’ve seen aprons in Anthropologie, I guess mothering while intoxicated is also retro enough to make a comeback.

  4. Shelley says:

    THANK YOU!!!! Finally…I have been secretly fuming about this myself. Daily I have to deal with watching the caucasian women in my neighborhood outside watching their kids play while downing Solocups full of wine beer or hard liquor…not to mention them showing up at school functions bright red, speech slurred & smelling like a still (this was the gym teacher)…I had to call on Jesus when I called to check on my babies at a slumber party when the Mom said she was “out of it” (clearly drunk) & gave the phone to the 15 yr old she’d recruited to “help out” needless to say I was there in a heartbeat to take my daughter home…ENOUGH ALREADY!!! If I have a sleepover the mom &DAD have to come by & look over my house as if I have pooky’n em in the back drinkin 40’s..c’mon!!!!

  5. Kimi says:

    OMG!!! You totally nailed it. THANK YOU!!! Your blog on this and the ladies’ comments” are truly a God-send. I thought it was just the alcoholic moms in my backyard!!! (Think Backyardigans, seriously…only the kids might be in the house with the WII, Nick Jr., or whatever, and the moms are outside drunk flopping around in the kiddie pools…For real…in “revealing” swimsuits to boot.)Hadn’t thought about it, but I agree, this is a Double Standard, indeed. Although I was comforted to hear it “wasn’t just my neighbors,” I’m a bit distrubed to find out it is a “trend” that we just might find in our soon-to-be-new neighborhood too. Thought I was leaving this kinda triflingness behind. (PWD, huh? Who knew?)
    Thanks again!

  6. Kimi says:

    P.S.
    BUT Honey don’t even go to a Mocha Moms “girls night out” or “movie night” without your “thirst”…You know what I’m saying?

    Maybe, it’s more an issue of “PWD” than anything else. The one thing is that the kids aren’t at the “MNOs,” so the drinking is separate from parenting.

    As for the “Double Standard,” after giving it more thought, I will say this: most likely a “suburban” sister wouldn’t be drinking a 40 anyway…and in the neighborhood where a mom would be doing that, well, “they” get away with that daily. I think the irritation is more the stereotype that white moms are superior when they are just as trifling as anyone else. But among them are excelleng moms, just like anyone else.

    Peace to you!

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