Idle Parent Manifesto: We Drink Without Guilt

Posted by Lisa


This is the fifth part in a series of discussions regarding The Idle Parent Manifesto, which can be found in Tom Hodgkinson’s book The Idle Parent: Why Laid-Back Parents Raise Happier and Healthier Kids . Need to get caught up? You can do so here.

We drink alcohol without guilt

My husband turned 41 this year. He’s not a big party person, so when he asked for a Mardi Gras party to celebrate his birthday I was more than happy to honor his request. He asked for Cajun food, King Cake and hurricanes. Since I’ve been inspired to cook more from scratch lately (thank you Six family!), I bought all the ingredients for hurricanes and invited my neighbor, Michelle, over to experiment with recipes. We mixed, we tasted, we nailed it.

In the middle of our Very Important recipe testing, two neighborhood moms dropped by to ask if our kids wanted to play. There was no hiding all the booze in the kitchen so I explained what we were doing and asked them if they’d like to try a hurricane and maybe give an opinion. There was silence. Eyebrows went up and one of the moms said, “It’s 4:00 on a Tuesday.” Without even thinking, Michelle and I both replied, “So?”

Which brings me to Idle Parent Manifesto Point #5: We drink alcohol without guilt.

The Risky Parents Fridge

Everything a mom needs to get through the day: coffee creamer, Diet Coke, and alcohol.

I gave up alcohol for nine months while I was pregnant and for eighteen months while I was nursing. BOTH KIDS. I’m allowed to have a cocktail. I have paid my dues and I’m an adult.

It’s not like college anymore. We start drinking a little earlier these days. I go to bed at 9 PM and get up at about 6:30 every morning so 4 in the afternoon is the new 9PM.

I drink at home. It’s cheaper and I don’t have to worry about driving.

No one gets snockered anymore. I drink because I like the taste. I drink craft beer and Tito’s Vodka.

And honestly, it just makes some days flow a little smoother. Five games of Candyland in a row? Really? Five games of Candyland and craft beer? OK! Twirling the jump rope for 5 neighborhood kids in 95 degree heat? Not so much. Doing it while listening to the tinkle of ice cubes in a Car Crash (recipe to follow)? Sure!

Lisa's boozin' it up again.

It’s 5 o’clock somewhere!

Try it for a month. Yes, the neighborhood moms might raise their eyebrows and maybe even talk about you for a while. But they’ll still drop off their kids at your house for playdates and I guarantee that if you can mix a mean Hurricane, they’ll start to show up at around 4:00 on Tuesday.

Car Crash

5 count Tito’s Vodka
5 count Pomegranate Liqueur
Juice from 1/2 a fresh lime
Splash of Sprite or GingerAle
Shake and serve over crushed ice

Excluding those who abstain for religious or personal health reasons, do you find a little alcohol now and then makes parenting a little easier? Do you feel guilty about it, or are you the first one to raise your glass?



  1. To this, I say cheers! When I was in high school, all of my friends would comment on the fact that my parents drank openly in front of me (responsibly, of course). And of that group of high school friends, who do you think was the most responsible when it came to alcohol consumption when we all went away to college? Me, of course. Because for me, it was not some hidden, never-talked about thing for me. And I had already learned lessons like drink slowly, eat, etc. Now that I’m a parent, it’s one little way I can treat myself at the end of a long week (or day!) of parenting two little kids.

    • Cheers to you, Nicole! Thank you for your comment. Angie and I will be over for drinks tomorrow at 4:00. We will bring the Tito’s.