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I'm Fed Up With Drunken White Moms!

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Kimberly Seals Allers: It probably comes as no surprise that I'm constantly amazed by the double standards that cut across racial lines in the parenting world. For some time, it's been really bothering me (no, really!) that a large and still-growing group of white women has built a successful blogging and publishing platform and branding niche around parenting while drunk (or at least very tipsy).

woman holding cocktail

A black mom would NEVER be able to get away with making money by extolling the virtues of alcoholism and childrearing. If I receive one more mom book to review with a cutesy title featuring some mom's need for alcohol, I'm going to scream. Or have a very strong cocktail.

Witness "Sippy Cups Are Not for Chardonnay," by Stephanie Wilder-Taylor. This is where it all began. Wilder-Taylor, who also penned the really funny blog "Make Mine a Double: Tales of Twins and Tequila," followed up the huge success of her first book with a second tome, "Naptime Is the New Happy Hour." (Just love the cover with the two wine bottles in the diaper bag!)

Then came similar books from other authors: "The Three Martini Playdate: A Practical Guide to Happy Parenting," by Christie Mellor; "Baby, Mix Me a Drink," by Lisa Brown and (a man gets in on it!) "Daddy Needs a Drink," by Robert Wilder.

There are a few non-mom ones, too, which also speak to my white-girls-get-to-joke-about-being-alcoholics point: "You Can't Drink All Day if You Don't Start in the Morning," by Celia Rivenbark; "Crazy Aunt Purl's Drunk, Divorced and Covered in Cat Hair," by Laurie Perry and Perry's follow-up book, "Home Is Where the Wine Is."

Now, don't get me wrong: I love humor and caustic wit as much as the next mom who doesn't take herself (or parenting) way too seriously. I get it. I also totally love my evening glass of wine as much as the next stressed-out mom. (As my children know, when Mommy has her "special cup," stay away for a few minutes.) But a black woman would never be able to write a book promoting the virtues of PWD (Parenting While Drunk), or even close to it.

Let me rephrase. She could write the book, but no one would ever pay to publish it. And she would likely become the poster child for the next Republican-led black-mom-bashing campaign.

After successfully writing three books of my own (and coauthoring a fourth), I've been dying to write my own humorous tale of a black suburban mom on the edge -- minus the alcohol problem. So far, I've gotten no nibbles. I should change the proposal to my secret working title: "Hennessy in my Starbucks Cup." (That's a little trick I learned from the white moms in my daughter's dance class -- putting alcohol in your Starbucks cup, that is. The Hennessy part was my idea!) Maybe then I will get more of a response.

But we all know that won't happen.

The reason it works for white women is, it's assumed that a white woman is educated, capable of drinking all the time and still parenting, and is really only joking. But Stephanie Wilder-Taylor, once the poster child of PWD, wasn't joking: She later admitted that she had a real problem and had gone into recovery. (When she put up that fateful post nearly a year ago, saying that she needed to put down the cocktail and that she was done drinking, the clamor, outrage and cries of treason could be heard across the country.)

If a black mother joked that she drank all the time while parenting, somebody would call Child Protective Services in a heartbeat. (Remember when my neighbor thought I was spanking?) White women are safe. There is no stigma attached to their drinking -- in fact, there is even a trendiness, and some lifestyle cachet. My drinking would scream "unfit mother" in glaring lights.

Because black women are barely viewed as smart, savvy moms in the first place, the thought of us touting and even celebrating drinking-on-the-job would be preposterous. And we certainly couldn't build a marketable and profitable branding platform on the idea. Nobody, not even I (and you guys think I'm pretty bold), would go there. I'm not foolish enough to assume I have that luxury.

I love the liberty and freedom that white people have in this country. They get to be who they are without any preconceived stereotypes or judgments. I just wish that privilege extended to us all.


next: Confessions of a New Stepmom
186 comments so far | Post a comment now
Ida July 5, 2010, 3:06 AM

Some of these comments are sickening to read, in the best tradition of “how dare uppity black women complain about racism?”

Here’s to all my fellow whiteys who caught a case of the colour blinds from a position of privilege and feel the need to define someone else’s experience: you don’t get to. What you can do is shut up and listen when someone who is in a less advantageous position speaks out.

This post was spot on.

summer July 5, 2010, 4:52 AM

I agree with you. The sad thing is when you point out privlige how many women jump into defense mode rather than stop to examine the culture that we live. That attitude tells me we’ll never change. There will always be racism to some degree as long as pointing it out is seen as “whining” and be raxist toward the privliged white women.

XXXX July 5, 2010, 2:39 PM

what a whiner

Lee July 6, 2010, 5:07 AM

All these alleged “white” moms posting talking about the privileges of being a white mom are so OBVIOUSLY fake posts!! There are no special privileges a white mom has. Every mom just has her own experience -regardless of black or white or whatever

Let’s get real for one moment -is their racism and prejudice in this country - absolutley, and Kimberly is a prime example of a racist/prejudice. I think we just have to remember (which people always deny) that a black person can be prejudice/racist.

For the record, I’m not for any drunk moms, regardless of skin color.

Slywinkle July 6, 2010, 7:44 AM

Hennessy in your Starbucks Cup?

That’s just wrong. You can’t drink a fine liquor like that out of paper.

I recommend Goslings Black Rum or Kahlua. Both go well with milk if you need to disguise it.

Save the Hennessy for home.

HAHA July 6, 2010, 1:18 PM

I find it really sad how some people spend there whole lives looking to blame others for their inability to run their own lives!!! I did not pick to be white… God didn’t give me choice… And I would have for sure asked him to be rich, lets face it I am poor and live on public aid… I can’t blame my self so heres a great idea, maybe I will blame black people, but only the ones who blame white people for all their problems…


Jan July 7, 2010, 3:14 AM

I totally here you, now that is just no right. I appreciate you speaking up, and your passion!

mannequin July 7, 2010, 3:20 AM

Based upon your own prejudices, you have tried unsuccessfully to blame your woes upon white women. Waah, waah, waah.

I take great offense at the “Republican-led black-mom-bashing campaign” statement as I take offense at anyone blaming their plight upon those they themselves are prejudiced against.

Frankly, I don’t care what color you are, and care even less when on the internet reading a blog, or reading your book. I am so sick and tired of those few blacks that insist on clinging onto the poor poor pitiful me because I’m black don’t you dare pity me because I’m black mentality.

I think I’ve pretty much had it with MomLogic. You guys have gone waaay downhill.
Call me “unsubscriber”.

DB July 7, 2010, 3:45 AM

There is and always will be a double standard. Anyone who says there isn’t has never lived it. Not all black folks go to school for free or live on welfare. That’s the stereotypes that society keeps on the forefront. It’s funny because the first thing folks say is I have ethnic friends, and they don’t act/live that way. And that people of color are always complaining. Well, when you have to work twice as hard and be three times smarter, show me the level playing field. LOL. This country still has a long way to go.

WOW!!! July 7, 2010, 3:45 AM

God, this country is racist. Everytime I read a post about our president its the same old racist comments. This country is the best and the worst. And yes your comments about the drunk white author is correct, but of course. Whites that commented are too afraid to just say - Your right!! It is frustrating to get different treatment all the time. Whites really don’t understand or care to get it. That’s the sad part. Look at these comments - Expected from black ghetto women, Went to college for free. RACIST WHITE AMERICA got to love it!!!

You are so right.- Kimberly Seals Allers!!! July 7, 2010, 4:05 AM

(Oh my God)OMG, you are so RIGHT - Kimberly Seals Allers. Did you see your responses. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. How do you miss the point and start telling Kimberly she is just soar and bitter writer. God wake up!! This just tells you this country has a LONG LONG LONG way to go. It like offesive to white people for blacks or any other minority to point out the obvious racism in this country. I guess they feel bad for the past and wish to God it would all stop. Me too!! However, the truth is as long as you ignore the truth and give such flowery answers like most responses in this blog this country will continue to be this way. Congrads for having courage to post this - A new subscriber plus 10 to Momlogic…

Amber  July 7, 2010, 4:49 AM

I think this person sounds whiny and I don’t care what race she is. Like someone said a white person would not get away with writing such an article about another race.
You are not a slave anymore so get over yourself. I am so tired of different races whiny about how they have it so bad. We all live on the same planet with a bad economy and are all trying to make it.
It doesn’t matter what race you are you will be judged by others. It is not like a white woman sits on a pedestal with followers bowing before her and constantly feeding her compliments. I came from a hard childhood with an alcoholic father and my race has nothing to do with it.Instead of wasting time whiny about your life why don’t you make some changes.

Rachele July 7, 2010, 5:01 AM

I started reading the comments but get fed up with all the bashing. I enjoy wine at the end of the day and would surely share one with you. As for liquor in my coffee during the day and out driving…I would never put my kids in a car with anyone, myself included, who had even a drop to drink. The fad may wear off with all the horrific accidents that are occuring from these drinking playdates.

PG July 7, 2010, 5:19 AM

I have never read (or would pay to read) any of those books. I have seen some blogs that tongue in cheeek create a caricature of the way parenting can make you feel at the end of your rope. It is called SATIRE. Do you really think there is not a single African American woman out there that hasn’t joked about needing a glass of wine after a tough day at home with her kids? Really? This is the first time I have read anything by you and now I have a vision of you, certainly not sitting around drinking during playdates, but rather whining about how robbed you get because you are black. There is a litany of things designated as “all black” that would NEVER fly the other way around - but you don’t see folks complaining lest they be called racist - “black” Miss America, dating services exclusively for black members, BET, and the list goes on. You have a platform to write and perhaps some talent. Don’t waste it with this “poor me” crap. Lose the chip on your shoulder. Shame on you for continuing to perpetuate the very same issue this country has that you claim to be against.





Lynn July 7, 2010, 5:29 AM

I myself and NOT offended at all by this article. Every word is true! How many ‘Black’ moms have you seen on Oprah touting their ‘Cocktail Hour’ playdates? Not one! And the author is right. Had a Black Woman written a book about how to organize an ‘Afternnon Martini Playdate Party’, every white Mother in America would have all had their panties in a bunch, judging them and crying their inappropriate parenting skills. The Department of Family Services would have been on their doorstep quicker than you and I could say, “Make mine dry”. For some idiotic reason, it is more acceptable for the conservative, innocent looking, white mother to throw these types of parties. It makes no sense to me. WHY on God’s green earth do we accept ANY mom hosting this type of party or bragging about how many glasses of wine she can get down while her precious child naps? When did this become the norm? Black or White, Red or Yellow…it should NOT be accepted and each one of these women need to be hung by their pretty little manicured toenails and forced to drink baby formula until they realize that parenting while under the influence IS NOT classy, cute, ‘IN’ or accepted. We are put on this earth to raise these gifts we call our children, with love and the knowledge that anything we do, no matter what the age of the child, is affecting them. Get over yourselves ladies and recognize the fact that, in a culture bragging about how diverse we are, still, there are those that can do the most ridiculous things and come out smelling like a stepford wife.

Lynn

PS My skin is as white as they come.

PG July 7, 2010, 5:35 AM

I have never read (or would pay to read) any of those books. I have seen some blogs that tongue in cheeek create a caricature of the way parenting can make you feel at the end of your rope. It is called SATIRE. Do you really think there is not a single African American woman out there that hasn’t joked about needing a glass of wine after a tough day at home with her kids? Really? This is the first time I have read anything by you and now I have a vision of you, certainly not sitting around drinking during playdates, but rather whining about how robbed you get because you are black. There is a litany of things designated as “all black” that would NEVER fly the other way around - but you don’t see folks complaining lest they be called racist - “black” Miss America, dating services exclusively for black members, BET, and the list goes on. You have a platform to write and perhaps some talent. Don’t waste it with this “poor me” crap. Lose the chip on your shoulder. Shame on you for continuing to perpetuate the very same issue this country has that you claim to be against.





PG July 7, 2010, 5:43 AM

oooops - sorry ‘bout my double post. Thought it was hung up posting the first time so I hit send again… must be drunk or something :)

Jenn July 7, 2010, 5:51 AM

I’m fed up with black moms pulling the race card whenever it’s convenient. That’s what I’m fed up with. Ever heard of affirmative action? That puts you in a HIGHER place than white moms because of horrible things our ancestors did. Personally, I’m tired of paying the price for slave owners. I have never disrespected people, black or white. I’m tired of paying a price for something I never did and something that happened 150 years ago. Move on! Is affirmative action not enough for you?

Anonymous July 7, 2010, 5:58 AM

WOW! HORRIBLE! If I was considering removing myself from your email subscription before & haven’t yet done so - consider it DONE as of NOW! Drunk is DRUNK no matter WHAT COLOR YOU ARE! I’m NOT WHITE & absolutely DISGUSTED by this article! Goodbye “Momlogic”, I will be sharing this article with many & passing the word along, as well. Think very hard next time before hitting “post”. This is a disgrace!

really July 7, 2010, 6:12 AM

I sure don’t think white people get to be whoever they want without any preconceived notions. If they did, they wouldn’t think these types of books were amusing! I know a few alcoholic moms, white and black. It all upsets me because kids need to grow up with parents who are not continually under the influence. Squash your desire to be in print, at least re this issue, because you are way off the mark.


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