Everyone likes to have fun; it’s a normal, human thing to expect to enjoy yourself.
But there’s a time and a place for everything, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor AvailableArk was a part of a mom group that she really enjoyed spending time with and organizing playdates with.
But when a new mom joined the group and brought wine to every playdate, the Original Poster (OP) became concerned about the environment they were providing for their kids.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for asking a mom in my group if she needed someone to talk to about her drinking?”
The OP liked the new mom participating in their group of mom friends.
“A new woman joined my mom group about two months ago, and her name is Sherry.”
“At first, she seemed great. Nice, funny, smart, and has three young kids who are awesome. We like having her around.”
But the OP became concerned about Sherry’s behavior.
“Except me and Lauren noticed something… every single time we’d get together, Sherry would try to make it into a ‘wine’ night.”
“Hang out to let the kids play at the playground in the evening? She’ll bring the wine! Hanging out after school sign-up day? Wine time! Kid’s birthday party come around? Well, she’s got the beverages, including the wine!”
“Every single time we hang out, she HAS to have a glass in her hand. The glass turns into a bottle. The issue is that she does NOT seem like she’s had an entire bottle of wine.”
The issue became apparent when the group was going to a water park.
“So about two weeks ago, we had all planned on getting the kids together and going to a great water park.”
“Obviously, water and alcohol is a dangerous combo, especially with kids, so when Sherry pulled out a pint of Tito’s and waved it around, telling everyone she had a ‘little treat’ for the moms, I felt like I had to say something.”
“I said, ‘Oh, I don’t think it’s good for us to mix alcohol at a water park like that, especially with the kids around.'”
“She said it would be fine, she does it all the time.”
“At this, I was kind of more alarmed.”
The OP tried to talk to Sherry about her concerns.
“So when it was just the two of us, I said, ‘Sherry, are you okay? Do you maybe need to talk to someone about your drinking?'”
“She looked shocked and said no, and then acted like I was absolutely crazy.”
“She said she had no idea where I got that idea, that her drinking was absolutely normal, and that ‘where she’s from’ (Atlanta?), it’s perfectly normal for people to drink at social gatherings.”
“I said okay and that I was just concerned because I’ve never hung out with her when she hasn’t been drinking.”
“She got defensive and told me that she didn’t like people up her a** monitoring her. After that point, her mood was soured for the day.”
It caused a rift in the rest of the group.
“Lauren told me that it was a good thing that I said something, but two of the other moms said that it was going to cause a HUGE issue and that now Sherry’s talking s**t about me being a busybody.”
“I was not trying to shame her. But I know how being a SAHM can turn people into addicts real fast and I didn’t want to see her end up that way.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some agreed with Sherry and said the OP was wrong and was a busybody.
“YTA. MANY people are able to drink and it’s not a pathological issue.”
“H**l, there are parts of the country (my city included) where alcohol is a welcome and expected factor at pretty much all events.”
“Does she have a drinking problem? It’s certainly possible but the way to approach that is not to call her out in front of everyone.”
“What in the actual h**l is wrong with you?” – CherryBomb214
“Tell me you’re American without telling me you’re American.”
“She got angry because OP implied she’s an alcoholic and a bad parent, and did so publicly. I’d be angry as h**l, too.”
“Who do you think you are? You parent your way, I’ll parent my way; do I ask if you need to talk about your numerous prejudices and judgments of others? F**k off.”
“OP, if you were honestly concerned, you’d have mentioned it privately, but no, you just wanted to humiliate and embarrass her, and smugly prove she’s a bad parent by making such a judgemental comment in such a public way.”
“You deserve to be b***hed about, because you’re smug, arrogant, judgemental, and nosey. YTA.” – EveryFairyDies
“Total YTA. It’s fine to drink in social situations and you have no business policing her. Mind your business.”
“Mind. Your. Business.” – NessaC2020
“I mean, I think most people would be offended if a casual acquaintance accused them of substance abuse at a public outing.”
“There’s such a thing as ‘time and place’ and how well you know someone.” – Rough_Elk_3952
But others were grateful the OP tried to talk to her about it.
“If she had a glass of wine, it’s not a reason to create drama. Of course… if she came with a few bottles, that’s another story.”
“Updated to Add: You just pointed out that she is drinking a bottle herself. Yep, I can agree that that’s way over the limit with little kids. Not just because obviously dangerous, but not a good example for kids.” – Weird_Divide_8799
“NTA. OP says sometimes they meet up to three times a week. Drinking a bottle of wine by yourself three times a week is not healthy. Even if someone else takes a glass so you can say it wasn’t all you.”
“Drinking and planning to get in the water is a disaster waiting to happen. Especially if she was going to kill the bottle herself.”
“Odd information request. It is very common for people to drink alcohol at gatherings. I’m guessing it’s not a common thing for you. You said you met two months ago, so how often have you seen her? Once a week, once every two weeks?”
“Is she driving after drinking? Is she showing any actual signs of a problem?”
“Do waterparks sell alcohol where you live? Are you allowed to bring alcohol in? Some allow this and some don’t. If it’s not allowed, I’d say that’s a problem. I do think drinking at the waterpark is a fine line.”
“If she intends to get in the water, either with her kids or alone, she should be sober. If she’s planning to on staying out of the water and watching the kids, a drink seems fine.” – pnutbuttercups56
“I also don’t know who the h**l brings wine to a playground, that is… not normal and I live in a country where alcohol is rampant in social situations.”
“Any situation like that with kids and you need 100% sobriety. In saying that, man, have I cracked the wine real fast once the last child has left the party.”
“I think you were NTA to seek to speak to the friend. You did it privately, now the ball is in her court unless any of the kids are put in danger.” – happyscatteredreader
“This is mommy wine culture in a nutshell. It’s ‘fun’ and ‘cute’ to bring the party to every. Single. Event.”
“Except it isn’t. Your ‘mommy’s sippy cup’ wine glass is a part of a very enabling energy that allows for blatant alcoholism. It’s dangerous and a crutch for problems you aren’t willing to address.”
“Drinking your way through your baby’s childhood is pathetic behavior for any parent.” – ActivelyLostInTarget
“No. Not normal. Especially when you have to drive afterward. I drink 1 glass of wine in the evening when the kids are asleep. Occasionally.”
“I‘m totally with you. This is not normal. DUI is a huge risk.”
“You did well in my opinion. NTA.” – IntroductionDecent23
“I’m a mom of young kids and also an alcoholic but sober now. When I was drinking a bottle a day with no noticeable effect on me, I was hiding that s**t and doing it after my kids went to bed.”
“I also wouldn’t have one drink anywhere and drive after.”
“I don’t know why she thinks it’s okay to drink that much, especially in those settings. I know several people who would stop her from driving her kids after drinking that much as well.” – Repulsive-Worth5715
“Well I’m an alcoholic and I’m from Atlanta. I’m also sober for 8 years, so I can tell your friend is an alcoholic. Unfortunately, she is absolutely in denial.”
“While well-meaning, your mistake was to challenge her in front of others. I did it many many times. If you mention it again, do it in private or with one other person who is on the exact same page as you. Come from a place of concern and don’t press the issue after you state your piece. That’s very important!”
“Your friend won’t do anything unless it’s her decision, so don’t pressure her too much. Let her know you care and she can come to you in total confidence if she wants to talk. Alcoholics have a huge ego and it’s very important that you remember that.”
“Your local AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) is always available should you need to talk. AA is for the families and friends of alcoholics. They know hers and yours struggle and they’re a fantastic resource. God Bless you and thanks for caring about a struggling soul.” – Flat_Worldliness3430
“Mommy Wine Culture is insidious, and it normalizes this ‘drink with kids’ thing. So is this lady ‘normal’? Maybe. Is this lady abusing alcohol? Probably. Is it safe to drive drink or be tipsy? NO.”
“Kudos to you for trying to bring up a difficult topic. You might have an open conversation with your mom friend group together to talk about mommy drinking, how moms can/should (?) help other moms, and what is too nosy in regards to commenting on each other’s lives.” – mostlynotbroken
After initially receiving many YTA judgments, the OP shared an update.
“Okay, you guys have all shown me that drinking a whole bottle of wine multiple times a week at normal everyday things like the playground or someone’s backyard is completely normal social drinking behavior. I’ll apologize to her and back off.”
“That’s not really behavior I’ve been exposed to, so maybe that’s why I’m surprised. Before she joined, it would be common to have some wine around for things like birthday parties or BBQs, but not just for watching the kids play on a normal weeknight many times a week. I’ll apologize.”
After more varied responses came in, the OP updated one more time.
“Some of you were right that my last edit was about 45 minutes after I posted, when most of the YTA comments happened and I was really shocked by the defense of her drinking.”
“I sent this post to Lauren who is going to chat with the woman who is kind of the ‘head’ of the circle, and we’re going to work out a plan to stop Sherry’s drunk driving at the very least.”
“I recognize that addressing the issue with her at the water park (we were in fact alone together, it was not in front of anyone else) wasn’t my best choice. I guess I have never confronted a problem drinker before and didn’t really know what to say.”
“I’m glad to know that drinking an entire bottle of wine in one sitting multiple times a week is in fact not normal.”
The subReddit was divided over whether the other mother’s drinking behavior was normal or problematic, and if the OP did the right thing or not by approaching her.
The majority felt that she was right to talk to the other mom, especially since it was just the two of them present, and they also agreed that the behavior was problematic. The greater issue, however, was that the other mother would not be ready to receive help until she saw the issue for herself.