This Is Why A Mom Needs A Drink

by Harmony Hobbs

Moms making jokes about drinking wine is a huge cliché, right up there with yoga pants, coffee, and minivans, right? But see, the thing is, I actually require alcohol to deal with motherhood. I could live without spandex/lycra blends and possibly even coffee (shudder), but there is absolutely no way I could do this thing without wine.

Believe me, I’ve tried. And it was awful.

I drink because one time my toddler rolled across the grocery store parking lot in a shopping cart while I was loading the baby into the van. People were leaping out of their cars to catch him as he picked up speed, heading toward a busy road. We caught him in time, but unfortunately for me, I didn’t have a chance to recover from the trauma before the baby had a massive blowout — yes, in the car seat.

That’s motherhood, and it can be a real bitch.

I drink because my mom has cancer and sometimes she’s too tired to speak loudly enough to be heard over my children (because what they lack in number, they make up for in volume). My mother called and I really needed to hear what she was saying, so I went into another room to have a conversation with her. That is when my youngest child wandered out of the house, leaving the backdoor wide open. After searching for a few panic-stricken minutes, I found her on the next street over, barefoot, wearing nothing but a diaper. That night, I calmly put my children to bed and then I sank my shell-shocked ass into a tub full of hot water and gripped a cup of wine like it was the only thing tethering me to sanity.

My husband took one look at me and carefully asked, “Would you like a refill?”

Yes. Yes, I would.

I drink because boys are destructive and do things like beat the outdoor water spigot with a shovel just to see what will happen. I’m not quite strong enough to turn broken water spigots with a pair of pliers, which meant that I had to call my husband in the middle of the day to ask him to come home and do it for me so our entire yard wouldn’t flood. I don’t know about you, but having to ask my husband to leave work in the middle of the day to come home because I can’t deal with something makes me feel a lot like I need to ingest simple carbohydrates.

I drink because when my oldest child gets into trouble and I send him outside to play, he does things like write “I LOVE YOU” on the driveway with spray paint. That shit is permanent. Sweet, but permanent.

I drink because someone is always swallowing a battery or sticking something in a light socket. I drink because we made the mistake of buying the kids a trampoline last year. What the fuck were we thinking?

I drink because one of my kids got so constipated, even though I closely monitor their fiber intake, that I ended up in the emergency room with him. The nurse had to perform a manual extraction. It was disgusting. I bet she drank that evening as well.

I recently cleaned out our van and discovered bubblegum crammed into the hole in the top of the backseat where the headrest is supposed to go. It was also smeared all over the window and the seats. There were sandwich crusts petrifying between the car seats and Barbie dolls smeared with peanut butter buried under boxes and papers in the back.

I’ll be honest: Just looking at my van makes me want to drink. It’s disgusting, like disgusting to the point where I am too embarrassed to take it to a car detailing place, so I just keep driving it because I’m a mom, motherfuckers. I don’t let crushed goldfish stop me. I soldier on.

Today I went to the grocery store and my kids were relatively well-behaved, but I was trying to follow my shopping list, and my toddler kept grabbing at it, and my middle child was meowing like a cat and my oldest was asking me questions, and I just needed to think. I quickly filled my cart with staples like Cheerios and fish sticks, and grabbed a box of wine on the way to the register.

When I got to the checkout line and the cashier scanned my alcohol purchase, I could tell that she understood my plight because she gave me that look. You know the one. She was a mom, seeing another mom, recognizing her need for this box of wine. She looked at my children, who were shrieking the words to “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae),” and looked back at me, frazzled, digging in my purse.

She placed the wine carefully in my hands and said, “Girl…you need this.”

Girl, I DO.