Andriana S., who has four children under the age of six, has always preferred hanging out with her kids over going out with friends.
Andriana S., who has four children under the age of six, has always preferred hanging out with her kids over going out with friends. But recently, the day-to-day tedium of her domestic life has her wanting to get out and party. "Does it make me a bad mother?" she asks.
As it turns out, Adriana's reticence is well-justified, at least in the court of mom opinion, where the subject of partying for moms strikes a nerve.
Should You Completely Give Up Partying?
On the extreme side of this debate are moms like Amy D., Jade B., and Joy C., Circle of Moms members who feel that it's simply wrong for moms of young children to go out and party, period.
"Of course it’s normal to want to go out," allows Amy, speaking specifically to moms in their young twenties. "But [when] you made the decision to have children, you gave up ‘the right’ to be a crazy partying young adult. Your children come first."
Jade agrees, adding, "I know a [mom who] goes out every single Saturday and says it's okay because she leaves when her son goes to bed and is back before he wakes up. I don’t think so. [I get mad] when people are immature when they have a baby. When you have a child you don’t have the right to act like a child anymore."
Joy C., a mom of four, also takes a strong stance. "To be a real good mother you shouldn't look forward to weekend so [that] you can leave your child and go get drunk and party,” she says. "In my opinion, it really does say that you’re not ready for kids if you're still partying."
This kind of blanket disapproval, which is widespread, begs the question: is there any kind of partying that's socially acceptable for a mom? Alecia D. believes there is. She finds the occasional girls' night out an acceptable and necessary "gulp of air" for exhausted moms. Below, she and other members explain where to draw the line on partying once you become a parent, and why.
1. Don't Get Hammered
"I think it's fine to want to go out and have fun as long as you put your kids' needs first," says Mardi S., adding that this means making sure they're being properly cared for by someone you trust. But she draws the line at excessive drinking: "Don't show up to pick up your kids drunk because it's just not responsible. You need to be able to have a clear head. Plus, it's terrible having to take care of little ones with a hangover," she says.
Tawnya T., a mom of three, also feels, emphatically, that drinking to excess crosses the line. "Wanting your time doesn’t make you a bad mom, but drinking when you have to go home and take care of your kids is wrong," she says. "Partying should never come before your child. Going out and partying like you are a careless teenager or someone [who] doesn’t have responsibilities is stupid."
Drinking too much will impact you and your kids the next day, warns a mom named Toni. "It's no fun trying to look after a kid with a hangover,” she says. "[My sister-in- law once] got in such a state that she actually couldn’t get out of bed to look after my nephew and he had to spend the day with me and my husband."
2. Don't Party in Front of Your Kids
Debby L. takes issue with moms who drink a lot at home or at family social occasions. "I feel that it's inappropriate to drink around your children at any point,” she says.
She's referring, in particular, to children's birthday parties and other social occasions where alcohol is offered to parents alongside juice boxes for the kids. "I do not [drink around my kids] because as their parent I feel that if I am somewhere with them then I need to be focused and clear-headed . . . , not buzzed and loopy."
3. Don't Make it a Habit
Going out without going wild is acceptable to many Circle of Moms members as long as it doesn't become a bank account-draining activity, or even one that happens every weekend. Stephanie P. says she knows moms who "spend all their money on smokes and alcohol or clothing to wear when they're partying and then complain they have no money and can’t afford healthy food and decent clothing for their children.” And as Rachel N. puts it, "I’m all for having fun, but every weekend?"
She feels moms should put their children first. “The alcohol and partying will always be there, but your son is only a little boy once."
Where do you draw your own line on partying?
Image Source: MsSpider66 via Flickr/Creative Commons
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