cocktail play groups

Charlie - posted on 05/09/2011 ( 16 moms have responded )

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This is really old and has been debated before but since there is a lot of new fresh faces in DM since 2009 I thought it might be a good time to bring it up again .

COME 4 o’clock on most Fridays, a group of eight mothers in Chestnut Hill, an affluent neighborhood in Philadelphia, gathers for drinks.

They have been following the rules all week, dutifully potty-training, wiping noses and transporting their progeny to schools, classes and doctors. As their young children play nearby, the women said, they sit around in one of their yards or living rooms, drink glasses of Cavit pinot grigio or cups of Yuengling lager, and unload. They talk of problems at the pediatrician’s or at school. They dole out pizza or cook hot dogs. Sometimes, they dance with the children.

“You just automatically relax,” said Kelley Ann Mansfield, a mother of two who founded the Friday group five years ago. “It’s before you take the first sip, as soon as your hand touches the bottle. It’s like, ‘Man, I’ve gone through the day, I need to treat myself.’ ”

Happy-hour play dates are here. Between runs to soccer and ballet classes, fund-raisers and homework projects, some stay-at-home mothers are sipping cocktails at afternoon spa parties, drinking bloody marys at play groups and toting wine and wine coolers to parks and friends’ decks while their children frolic nearby.

These women are not out to get drunk, they say. And they insist they are not drinking out of need. Rather, they are looking for a small break from the conventions of mommy-hood — a way to hold on to a part of their lives that existed before they had children and to bond over a shared disdain for the almost sadistically stressful world of modern parenting.

They know they will be criticized. They live, after all, in an age when many parents are so protective, they hire consultants to childproof their homes. Most acknowledge there can be a fine line between social and problem drinking and that the mix of children and alcohol is a dangerous one. And women who are pregnant keep away from the bar.

But some women are almost defiant in their defense of the afternoon group “momtini,” as one blogger calls it, and they speak out on the Web, in books and in interviews. The mothers do not know how many like-minded women are out there — there is no real way to quantify it — but they sense a change.

Some say the mother get-togethers are a throwback to the 1950s, when adults had more time to themselves and children were not always the center of attention. Martinis were in vogue; today’s obsessive, hard-driving, Harvard-or-bust parenting scene was not.

Teresa Klauber of Greenwood, S.C., wrote that she much prefers the cocktail play groups she has attended to other play groups, “where it seems like everyone is trying to compare their child to everyone else’s.”

“Too competitive,” she added, in an e-mail message. “This is much more social and well, friendly.”

Christie Mellor, in her book “The Three-Martini Playdate: A Practical Guide to Happy Parenting” — one of a spate of books over the last few years that urge parents to ease up — advised mothers to mix a few martinis during an afternoon play date. If the parents of your child’s new preschool friend are shocked, she says, they probably are no fun, anyway.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/09/fashio...
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Pure genius or irresponsible ?

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[deleted account]

I WISH I had a group of women friends like that! I wouldn't drink (because I don't really like alcohol), but I don't mind others drinking as long as it doesn't get out of hand. One glass of wine with friends at the end of the week really isn't a big deal IMO... And the whole wine at backyard parties thing - seriously? I remember backyward BBQ's from when I was little where all the parents would be drinking wine or beer and it was never a big deal.

Mabel - posted on 05/09/2011

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Men drink their beers to relax and unwind even when they don't have screaming kids all day.I like the idea of being able to enjoy having a drink and still having your kid in a safe play mode.

Amber - posted on 05/09/2011

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If they aren't getting drunk, are watching their children, and are completely sober before leaving, then I don't see a huge issue with it. I would prefer they wouldn't drive afterward, but if they're sober I wouldn't be upset about it.

I like to have a couple ladies over for dinner and we'll have a glass or two of wine or a daiquiri. I don't get drunk and I never drink if I'm going to be getting in a car with my child, no matter how long it is until I have to drive.

I'm also 5'8 and a size 12...so alcohol doesn't affect me as much as it does some of my friends who are 5'0-5'2 and size 2s (yes, we do look funny with me towering over them in public haha). They only have one glass...or even a half glass when we all get together.

Responsibility is the key. As long as you are responsible, it shouldn't be an issue.

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Charlie - posted on 05/11/2011

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Well I think it is great , My friends all live in walking distance and we occasionally get together share a bottle of wine , cheese , crackers ect and the kids all play .

Desiree - posted on 05/11/2011

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There is nothing wrong with relaxing no matter how you choose to do it. As long as no one over does it. And yes I someitme feel that the world we live in is overprotective and have no idea in which direction it is going to take us.

[deleted account]

I don't drink and wish alcohol were illegal (yes, I know... unpopular opinion and it didn't work. I can still dream), so I have a big problem w/ this concept.



I should add that I can see why most people wouldn't though.

Johnny - posted on 05/10/2011

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Yes, emphasis on the mature! I've seen a good number of 85 year old grandparents "do some pretty insane drinking". *cough*grandma*cough*

LOL! After you've had to help rescue Grandma & Auntie from the lounge a couple of times, at least once towing a lifesize cutout of Tiger Woods, you learn that age & maturity are not always related.

Lady Heather - posted on 05/10/2011

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Emphasis on the mature? I've seen some middle-aged professionals do some pretty insane drinking. *cough*BIL*cough*

Johnny - posted on 05/10/2011

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Great idea. To me it just seems more like a change in the atmosphere and less expectations of constant perfection than the introduction of alcohol that makes a difference in the pleasure of the event. Instead of trying to show who is the "best mommy" these women have a goal of relaxed fun instead.

I often have a beer in the evening or with dinner, and maybe 2 or 3 on a Saturday night. I'm not driving anywhere, and I am not at all concerned that I am not able to care for my child. If it rendered me incompetent, I wouldn't do it.

We usually have alcohol available at get-togethers with our parent friends. Both when the kids are there and when they are not. No one is getting drunk, driving, or behaving irresponsibly. Perhaps because most of our friends are mature, middle-aged professionals who had lots of opportunity to get out their party when they were younger and know how to behave properly. I've never seen anyone have more than a glass or two of wine, except at our annual kid-free Halloween party.

Lady Heather - posted on 05/10/2011

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If I have one martini then I AM drunk so I will not be partaking. I'd prefer if they kept it to one drink. I find most people don't actually know what point it is that they start to become tipsy. Having spent years being the only sober one at events, I can tell you it can happen pretty fast and all those people swore they were fine.

I don't know if that would happen much here. We have new drunk driving laws and people are way more careful. I had a party for my book club at Christmas. It was evening, no kids, and only one glass of wine was consumed. There's just a paranoia about it now.

[deleted account]

This kind of play date is pretty popular around here. We live in walking distance, so no one is driving, the kids are in a safe environment to play, and we have a little wine--we do not get drunk. By "safe" we don't mean that nothing bad can happen, just that they are within a fence in a private yard, so we are not constantly chasing after them.


Last week, we replaced the wine with "dailies" I may not be spelling that right. Has anyone tried them? It is like a daiquiri in a juice box--you just freeze it, then squeeze it into a glass--each juice box is one serving, and they come in several flavors (alcohol already mixed in). They were REALLY good, but they hit us a little harder than wine, so we stuck to one or two each.

Jenni - posted on 05/10/2011

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Not quite the same... but I have 2-3 coolers bi-weekly at my inlaws while my MIL and FIL help out with the kids. It's not to the point I'm drunk (I sip at them throughout the afternoon and evening). I agree it does relax you more and you can just sit back and enjoy the kids and a hot summer day.

I use to have a cooler or two at our friends who have a son inbetween my SD and son's age. They were our neighbours and now we only live a few blocks away from our old house. I haven't since I was pregnant with and had my daughter. She's still a wee bit young and I want to be on the ball when I'm solely taking care of her.

But with older kids... hey, no biggie! As long as they're not drunk and not drinking and driving.

Sal - posted on 05/10/2011

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please please where can i find one!!!!!! i have a book group which is once a month we meet have wine and dinner and have a mummy debreif (and sometimes discuss a book) but there are no kids, i miss my old freinds who thought that champagne with lunch (even while the kids had vegimite sandwiches and run amoke out doors) wasn't irrisponsible it was essential for sanity...god i miss them!!!

Stifler's - posted on 05/10/2011

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Genius. I go out for lunch with friends all the time and have a glass of wine, how's this different?

Jocelyn - posted on 05/09/2011

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They aren't drunk, they are still watching and interacting with their kids...
What's not to like?!?
Pure genius in my opinion.

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