This Joke We Make About Wine-Drinking Moms Is Actually Really Screwed Up

Ad failed to load

"Mommy Juicebox." "Wine not Whine." "It's Wine o'clock." Jokes about moms and drinking are a huge part of parenting culture. In fact, the idea that moms need a glass of wine after the kids go to bed in order to cope with the stress of parenting is so common and pervasive that most of us don't really think about how screwed up the "mommy needs a drink" joke actually is.

The "mommy loves her wine" message is ubiquitous: it can be found on shirts, wall decor and of course on wine glasses. And some moms can and do have the occasional or even nightly glass of wine without issue. But for others, that one glass can turn into two, which can turn into a whole bottle. And for women who are struggling with alcohol addiction, the culture-wide joke that they should drink as soon as the kids go to bed isn't funny, it's downright cruel.

For the record, there's nothing wrong with enjoying wine responsibly. Parenting is freaking hard, and parents are under a tremendous amount of pressure. Forget about raising a child who is kind and smart and feels supported and loved: these days, that's not nearly enough. People today will question your motives behind all of your parenting choices, from the type of diaper you use to whether or not you're introducing your infant to foreign languages on a regular basis.

Ad failed to load

Unless you're a sanctimonious, #blessed kind of mom, or your name is Mary Poppins, you need something to cope with the stress that comes with raising a tiny human. So it makes sense why someone might want a glass of wine after a day of dealing with that kind of pressure. But rather than examine why this happens, and recognize the unhealthy levels of stress parents are dealing with, we laugh at the fact that mommies (never, it must be noted, daddies) "need" wine to cope with the stress of parenting.

We may view moms needing their wine as one big joke, but for moms who might be struggling with substance abuse, there's nothing funny about the suggestion that they toast bedtime with a glass or two. Alcoholism is the 4th leading preventable cause of death, with around 26,000 women dying from alcohol-related causes each year, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). While drinking a 5-oz. glass of alcohol each day may have positive health benefits, like lowering your risk of heart disease, diabetes, or certain types of stroke, it's no secret that drinking too much over a long period of time can have a serious impact on how your body functions. It can affect your heart, brain, liver, pancreas and even mess with your immune system.

Ad failed to load
Where are the "Mommy Needs To Go For A Run" mugs? Or the "It's Meditation O'clock" shirts?"

Yes, drinking might help take the edge of listening to Peppa Pig all afternoon. Yet we don't encourage moms to pop pills or smoke or even skydive, even though drinking excessive amounts of alcohol has the potential to be equally hazardous to our health. So why do we think it's hilarious when moms declare that they need a drink, stat?

Even if we're going to ignore the fact that parents are expected to shoulder way too much responsibility, drinking isn't the only way to deal with stress. Where are the "Mommy Needs To Go For A Run" mugs? Or the "It's Meditation O'clock" shirts?" Why have we decided that the funniest way to cope with our parenting problems lies in the bottom of a wine glass? No one's ever suggested I try bullet journaling to handle keeping track of all of my boys' appointments and activities, but "you deserve an extra glass tonight!" is something that's been posted by a well-meaning acquaintance more than once on social media .

Ad failed to load

Telling a mom to go have a drink is problematic for someone who has a drinking problem. And for someone like me, who genuinely prefers a cupcake over a glass of cab, it's isolating to feel like you're the only mom who's not ending the day glass in hand.

Even if all of your drinking happens after the kids goes down and you're a unicorn who doesn't get hangovers that leave you dragging your feet in the morning, joking about moms who drink can still have a negative impact on our children. Whether or not you personally have a drinking problem, our babies won't be adorable yet clueless little blobs forever. One day, they'll be old enough to read that "Mommy needs her wine" glass on their own, or come across the endless mom/wine memes online. Jokes about needing wine to deal with parenting could lead a child to draw the conclusion that their mother needs to intoxicate herself in order to deal with them, or that they're something they're doing wrong in their behavior which forces their mother to drink.

Ad failed to load
These "Mommy needs her wine" jokes are tired AF. Aren't we sick of gimmicky wine sippy cups and wine memes?

The "Mommy needs her wine" joke gets even worse when you consider how sexist it is. It's 2017. Many partners co-parent their children, and more and more men are taking on the role of stay-at-home-parent. And yet, jokes about Dads or non-binary parents pining for a glass of wine by the end of the day aren't a thing. "Sounds like Daddy needs a drink" isn't a part of our lexicon. Dads are more present in their children's lives than ever, yet the stereotype that mom is the primary caregiver and therefore must be the one who most needs a glass at the end of the night persists.

Courtesy of Monkey Business/Fotolia
Ad failed to load

Beyond the fact that it's gross to joke about moms needing to drink when you don't know who's battling an addiction, these "Mommy needs her wine" jokes are tired AF. Aren't we sick of gimmicky wine sippy cups and wine memes? Is there anyone left on the planet who doesn't get the "whine" and "wine" connection?

When we propagate the mom/wine stereotype, what we are really saying is that we're fine with the cultural pressure on moms being so great that it prompts women to reach for the pinot grigio. Shouldn't we be trying to figure out how to fix the way we view motherhood so that when moms lift a glass, they're doing it because they're celebrating their role, not trying to escape from it?

We need to do better: for our kids, yes, but also for each other and for ourselves. As moms, we shouldn't allow ourselves to be in a position where our role is so hard that people joke the only way to survive it is by having a drink, even if that glass of rose is nice and chilled.

Ad failed to load

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

15 Baby Names With Unique Nicknames, So Your Family Has Options

I love a good diminutive name, also known as a nickname. I believe I’m partial to them because of my own name, Abigale, but I go by Abi. And since they’re both uniquely spelled, everyone thinks my name is pronounced Ah-bee for some reason — but even …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

The Entire Family Can Enjoy These Movies & Shows Coming To Netflix In June

It's just one of those sad facts of life: every month, shows and movies vanish from Netflix, their varied excitements no longer at your fingertips. But luckily the streaming service is always prepared to fill that content void with lots of new things…
By Megan Walsh

The Reason Why Babies Smile At You Will Seriously Make You Smile

Whether you're currently the recipient of your own baby's sweet smiles or you just seem to be a magnet for baby grins in general, you might find yourself wondering why babies are always smiling at you. Sure, you could be a 'smile whisperer' but scien…
By Kate Miller

8 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say That, Yes, You Are Their Favorite

For a baby to show a preference for a specific person is not only normal, but an essential part of their development. Babies need to form strong attachments to their caregivers for their emotional, social, and physical wellbeing. Usually, but not alw…
By Kimmie Fink

10 Reasons Why I Won't Apologize For Giving My Toddler A Pacifier

My first child had no interest in a pacifier. I tried a couple times to get him to take one, but he always spat them out and gave me an incredulous, judgmental look. But my second? It was love at first suckle. And after a while, the incredulous, judg…
By Jamie Kenney

Being A Dog Parent Prepared Me For Having A Baby, Really

I’ve always wanted kids; I was never as sure about raising a puppy. Then I spent six months living with someone who brought home an eight-week-old golden retriever puppy, and I see no way to make it out of that experience claiming not to love dogs. I…
By Heather Caplan

20 Of The Most Popular Unisex Names Of All Time, That You'll Be Hearing More Of For Sure

You might think of unisex names as a fairly recent trend, but the truth is these versatile monikers have been commonly used throughout history (well, some more commonly than others). That's why the team over at recently compiled a list of t…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

How To Have A Date Night With No Babysitter, Because It's Easier Than You Think

After having children, many couples feel that their love lives immediately go out the window, but it's so important to make your romantic life a priority so both you and your partner can be the best versions of yourselves you can be. As we all know, …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

9 Ways Baby No. 3 Made My Family Feel Complete

My husband and I decided to have another baby right after we got married and, well, we had no idea what we were getting into. I got pregnant right away, endured a high-risk pregnancy, and, before I knew it, my third baby had arrived. Together, we emb…
By Steph Montgomery

8 Stereotypes About New Dads That Are *Totally* True

Much like new mothers, new fathers have a lot on their plate. Parenting can be scary and complex, especially at first and regardless of your gender. People want to do right by their kids, after all. And since all new parents are a hot mess, dads are …
By Priscilla Blossom

8 Differences Between Being Pregnant In Your 20s Vs 30s, According To Science

Whether you're planning a pregnancy, or just thinking about your future family, it's typical to think about things like child-spacing, how many kids you want, and when to start trying to conceive. When making your pro/con list, you might also conside…
By Steph Montgomery

16 Moms Share Remedies For Their Most Intense Chocolate Cravings During Pregnancy

For better or worse, pregnancy is usually synonymous with odd cravings. Sure, there are the stereotypical combos like pickles and ice cream that plague gestating women the world over, but there are other mind-boggling combinations, too, including but…
By Candace Ganger

Putting Sunscreen On Your Kid Doesn't Have To Be A Fight — Here's How To Do It

I am almost translucent, so me and sunscreen are basically besties at this point. Even though my children are beautifully deep brown thanks to my husband's genetics, I still slather them like biscuits being buttered because I refuse to take risks wit…
By Cat Bowen

19 Moms Share The Way They Cured Their Pregnancy Comfort Food Cravings

I was obnoxiously sick during the first trimester with, "lucky" for me, both of my pregnancies. For the first three months I lived on saltines, lemonade, and fresh bread. Once I was able to eat, however, all I wanted was savory and sweet comfort food…
By Dina Leygerman

I Used To Judge Formula-Feeding Moms — Until I Became One

The other patrons in the hip Brooklyn restaurant probably couldn’t care less what I was feeding my baby, but I’ll always remember the shame I felt as I quickly mixed up his bottle of formula in front of them. I admitted to my childless friend that I …
By Katherine Martinelli

7 White Lies It’s Necessary To Tell To Keep Your Relationship Healthy

Telling lots of lies typically isn't associated with a healthy, strong, lasting relationship, and that's still certainly true, but not all lies are exactly the same. Though you've probably heard from someone at least once or twice that the lie they t…
By Lauren Schumacker

The Skinny Jeans That Saved Me Postpartum

Accepting my post-pregnancy body is hands-down one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It’s something that I still work on every single day. During my first pregnancy, I was 20 years old, so I managed to bounce back quickly. In fact, I dropp…
By Allison Cooper

7 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say They Feel Safe

In those first weeks of new motherhood, it can feel like you need an interpreter for your newborn. With their limited means of communication, figuring out what message your baby is trying to get across to you can be a challenge. With time, however, y…
By Kimmie Fink

Here's Why Dogs Are Obsessed With Babies' Poop, According To Science

Most family dogs seem to understand babies, and they're more than happy to make friends with the newest member of the pack. It's adorable... for the most part and until you go to change your little one's diaper. Suddenly, you're wondering why dogs ar…
By Lindsay E. Mack

6 Signs You're Meant To Have A Big Age Gap Between Kids

There's a five year age difference between my two children, to the day. Their age gap wasn't planned but, for a variety of reasons, works well for our family. And since I was so focused on having a second baby, I totally overlooked the signs that wou…
By Candace Ganger

My Dog Knew I Was Pregnant Before My Family Did

Growing up, I was 100 percent sure I'd be a mom one day. To a dog, that is. My baby plans came later. And once my husband and I were sure we wanted both a dog and a baby, we'd add to our joint dog-and-baby name list over Sunday brunch or on date nigh…
By Melissa Mills