Moms Like Beer Too

This past week featured the first home stand of the year for the Connecticut Tigers, the Short-Season A affiliate of Major League Baseball’s Detroit Tigers. I’m not a fan of the Tigers, my allegiance being to the Boston Red Sox, but I am a fan of baseball. The Tigers provide a fun, cheap way to introduce my daughters to the game.

My wife was working late, so it was just the girls and I. I bought the cheap seats, experience telling me that we’d spend very little time in them, and headed down the concourse for some batting practice before the game started.

 

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That ended up being our spot for the first few innings. The teen and I claimed a picnic table overlooking the third base line, not far from where a group of fathers had gathered to nurse watered-down Bud Lights while our kids went berserk in one of those glorious children’s energy expenders, the bouncy house.

 

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After a hot dog and bathroom break, we headed to the other end of the stadium, again bypassing our actual seats, to find ourselves loitering with another group of guys sipping on beer, one eye focused on the game, the other on the group of children playing tag and rolling down a large hill behind the home team’s bullpen.

 

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A gorgeous night and a win by the home team. Hot dogs, foam fingers,  mascots in silly costumes, and overpriced draft beer. The true beginning of summer. What else could you possibly need on a warm night in June?

 

A penis, according to my wife.  Her contention being that if she was to bring the girls to a game she’d probably settle for a Gatorade. That she wouldn’t have been comfortable paying attention to the game with a five year old running around. That they would have left earlier to maintain a more reasonable bed time. That she would have been judged and that many of the same things that make a man a fun father would be used as evidence of a poor mother.

It’s ridiculous, and unfortunately, also probably accurate.

I spend a lot of time and energy railing against trite stereotypes of fathers as bumbling idiots duct taping diapers and mixing up formula and coffee creamer. I wear my “Dads Don’t Babysit” T-shirt with pride and will continue to do my part to advance the narrative that fathers can be just as competent caregivers.

I also think that the flip side to these lowered expectations for fathers is just as damaging. An unfair standard of responsibility and perfection that too many women are struggling to achieve.

It’s time to stop the “mom shaming” and let them know it’s OK sometimes to forget an appointment or practice. That they don’t need to look around and make sure nobody is watching if their kid wants to be pushed higher on the swing set. That once in a while cotton candy is a perfectly acceptable dinner and that two cold beers on a hot night over the course of a three and a half hour ball game is fine for anybody over fifty pounds. That moms are allowed to enjoy themselves too.

 

 

The Thirsty Daddy Legal Department would like me to add that I am in no way advocating or promoting the practice of drinking alcohol and driving a vehicle with your children. Common sense is the responsibility of all parents, regardless of gender.

 

 

40 thoughts on “Moms Like Beer Too”

  1. Yes, cotton candy could be acceptable as dinner. I use to give my kids frozen waffles for breakfast. We never seemed to have time to toast them, so I just handed them the waffle as we walked out the door. They are now 26 and 23 and still remember the frozen waffles. They loved them and they survived. And so did I!

    1. She loves frozen waffles also, but if I can get away without even toasting them, you may have just saved me an extra few minutes every morning

  2. Mommy shaming is something that shocks me. At a time when women should be supporting each other and lifting each other up, we’re finding manufactured flaws to tear apart.

  3. Regarding the baseball part – sounds fun. Minor league games are easy . They’re so reasonable you don’t have to feel annoyed when you don’t actually see much of the game.

    Regarding the mom part – good observation. I didn’t think of it that way.

  4. You are right, we need to stop Mommy and Daddy shaming…parents have no training in this thing called child raising and it is trial and error..what works for some doesn’t work for others…we all do what we can to best raise our children…stop all the shaming!

  5. Mommy Shaming or Daddy Shaming is just as bad as each other. I’m a firm believer that gender doesn’t equal good/bad parent. What’s gender got to do with it? My grandmother keeps saying “Mother’s instincts” but what a load of bull!

    Anyway! Sounds like a fab time at the game!!

  6. Hi Jeremy, it is a shame that Mums and Dads are made to feel a certain way, but unfortunately it is so. I would have most definitely had the same reaction as your wife when my two were small.

    Sadly people do feel the need to judge Mums more than Dads on their parenting skills and more sadly is that we actually take notice, when all we may want or need is some good family time.

    It does sound as if you had a good evening with the girls and to be honest that is far more important than ‘rules’ and routine, which will always be there tomorrow. And I know my best childhood memories are of those times when ‘rules’ and routine went out the window.

    xx

  7. This is such an interesting take. My husband and I have discussions/arguments about similar situations. I don’t know why we Moms put so much pressure on ourselves, but it’s almost like we can’t allow ourselves to have those two beers on a hot summer night so to speak. I think you are right though, there would be nothing wrong with it if we decided to. good post! #brillblogposts

  8. hear hear! I will clink a beer with you for that! 🙂 I don’t know why it is seen to be like this either, in all fairness, its a pressure we put on ourselves too, so we could do with chilling out a bit 😉 Sounds like a fun night though #momsterslink

  9. Love this. So often it’s a good cop / bad cop thing where the mum (UK reader!) is the disciplinarian with all the rules and the dad is the fun timer. Let’s mix it up a bit! #momsterslink

  10. Interesting Jeremy. Earlier this year I took part in a guest speaker session at an event called Women of the World. I was the only dad on the panel – the only man in fact – and we were discussing kin keeping etc. I’ve long held the opinion that women get scrutinized more than guys and I expressed the opinion this is, in its own way, a form of sexism (albeit one I am happy to tolerate!). The levels of guilt coming from the (almost exclusively female audience) and the things that made them guilty were ridiculous and I basically said as much. Very interesting post. Although my wife sadly doesn’t like beer.

  11. Well the old me would have definitely agreed with your wife, however the 5 kids later me sings a different tune. I no longer give a crap who #momshames me, who judges me, or who is looking at me wrestle my kids. Just because I’m a mom doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy myself too, I let the kids run around as long as I have them in my sights, I’ll gladly drink a beer (or pitcher), and unless the kids are bleeding I send them away when they run over to tattle. This does not make me any less of a mother than the mother who is hovering over her children like a mother bird on her nest. No, this makes me a practical woman and mother who likes to enjoy going out just as much as the next. At least I take my kids with me to join in on the fun and don’t keep the cooped in the house with a babysitter or nanny. Great post! #momsterlink

  12. With you on stopping the mum shaming. But it’s similar views for grey hair – in men it’s distinguished, but not so for women. Dads are dads not babysitters and it’s ok for mum’s to not be perfect. Fab post – and glad the Tigers won. Thanks for linking to #pocolo and sorry it’s taken me a while to get here

  13. I totally agree with you – people cover up their own insecurities by finding fault in others. I am also a firm believer that gender has nothing to do with good parenting. Great post, BTW!

    #KCACOLS

  14. You’re right & I do agree with your wife – there are definite double standards and different expectations.

    Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday

  15. I couldn’t agree more! I refuse to let society think that I need to be the “perfect mother” THERE IS NO SUCH THING. Yes my hubby and I will take the kids out to eat occasionally to our “date night” watering hole and yes we will have a beer or two with dinner. And yes I am sure there will be people there who think that’s just bad judgement but they can kiss my ass. Now granted, there was a night while we were camping that we had to have our 18 year old drive us back to our camp site which was located in the same campground but I still call that being responsible. Thanks for linking up with #momsterslink and sorry for the delay…as usual *rolls eyes*

  16. Great point! Definitely accurate in my experience. I have to admit, I’d probably be guilty myself of judging a mum more harshly than a Dad…not that I’d look at a mum at a game and judge her, but if ever I saw a mum out looking a bit drunk in charge of her kids I’d probably judge her more harshly than if I saw a Dad do the same thing…which logically is RIDICULOUS, yet for some reason its ingrained in me to think that way?! Social conditioning maybe?! So wrong, whatever the reason! #stayclassymama

    1. Social conditioning. There is an idea that a dad is just stupid and irresponsible, where as a mom would be a lush that should totally know better

  17. This is a really interesting observation. As I’m a single mum I don’t have the mum and dad being expected to have different roles thing, but the other day I was rolling around on the floor “wrestling” with my son (which we do quite often and mostly involves him jumping on me repeatedly and squealing with joy) and my mother said I was acting like a daddy. Um, aren’t mums allowed to do that too? #StayClassyMama

    1. They are, and the old fashioned idea that they aren’t needs to change, just as perceptions of dads and their roles should be evolving faster than they are

  18. Loved it! Came over from the Throwback Thursday link. It’s true, my husband receives much praise for doing normal things parents should do because well, we’re both parents. It’s cool though that you notice.

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