Toddlers: 24 Months+

Drinking parent-- right or wrong?

This has been a recent discussion that has been going on with friends and I am curious what your opinions are about parents who drink, specifically regarding the scenarios below.  Do you think any of these situations are okay? or terrible?  or somewhere in between?  and why? 

1) Parent 1 is out for a few hours at night while parent 2 is at home with LO, with LO sleeping the whole time.  Parent 2 drinks at home while LO is sleeping, to the point of getting somewhat drunk.

2) Both parents are home together and are drinking while LO sleeps, to the point that they get somewhat drunk.

3) Family has a get-together/party at their home where alcohol is present.  After LO goes to bed, some other family and friends remain and parents stay up drinking with them to the point of getting drunk.  

4) A single parent has a babysitter for a night and goes out with friends to the bars/clubs and is drunk when he/she gets home (but LO is sleeping) and the babysitter leaves, so it is just that parent and LO in the home after that. 

Are any of the scenarios okay?  Or wrong?  In your opinion?

 

Re: Drinking parent-- right or wrong?

  • I think if you are out driving one parent should always be sober. If we are out somewhere and one wants to have a few drinks the other one always has nothing to drink. I do have to say that there may have been a few nights where we are home and friends have come over and we are both having some drinks. If something was to happen we don't get wasted. My mom and MIL both live within minutes of us so in case of an emergency we could always call one of them.I do have to say that after having number 2 a few months ago, we haven't drank at all at our house. We are just too busy with two little ones. Since having children neither one of us enjoys drinking like we used to, lol. Have to get up too early in the am.
  • As long as no one has to drive any of them are fine. 
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  • I never drink if I'm going to be alone with DS. DH doesn't drink any alcohol so if he's here our we all go out, I'll willingly have a drink or two. I never have or plan to get drunk, but to me, any alchohol that makes you even feel "buzzed" isn't cool when you're alone with LO, even if they're sleeping.

    DS woke up at 1am not too long ago barely able to breathe. He apparently had croup and it was a fast onset type thing, he wasn't even coughing the day before. If I had gotten drunk (or buzzed) that night I wouldn't have been able to safely drive him to the ER.

  • I think it depends on where you live and the resources you have.  I have about 15 neighbors who would help me out if I had to take the kids to the ER or something like that.  Some of them do not drink at all and are usually home in the evenings.  I also live less than 5 minutes from the Children's Hospital.  I never drink to the point where I am not functional to care for the kids, or throwing up, or can't get up the next morning with the kids.  I do however drink when DH is out.  I do drink with him, and I do drink with friends to the point that I would not drive, but I don't drink and drive at all, so if I drank at all, I would not drive. 911 is an option in an emergency BTW. 
  • image Stellar1:
    I think if you are out driving one parent should always be sober. If we are out somewhere and one wants to have a few drinks the other one always has nothing to drink. I do have to say that there may have been a few nights where we are home and friends have come over and we are both having some drinks. If something was to happen we don't get wasted. My mom and MIL both live within minutes of us so in case of an emergency we could always call one of them.I do have to say that after having number 2 a few months ago, we haven't drank at all at our house. We are just too busy with two little ones. Since having children neither one of us enjoys drinking like we used to, lol. Have to get up too early in the am.

    We are also SUPER close to our next door neighbors and the neighbors across the street so they also would be able to help us ICE. 

  • I think all are ok.
    Mommy of two girls: DD1 4/14/9 DD2 4/15/11
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  • image JOEBunny:
    I think it depends on where you live and the resources you have. 
    This.  I live 10 mins from a couple hospitals AND my parents - if we needed immediate help, I have a number of resources - including my neighbors too. 

    I never have so much to drink that I'm falling down drunk, but I'll have a couple beers as to where I know I shouldn't drive.  But if I didn't have resources nearby, it would probably change my take on it.

    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    ~Benjamin Franklin

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    DS dx with celiac disease 5/28/10

  • Like a pp mentioned, you never know when your LO is going to wake up sick in the middle of the night and need you.  I wouldn't ever want to drink too much that I would be unable to drive her to the ER or stay up all night with her if she was sick.  I do enjoy having a couple of beers in the evening, but I never drink to the point that I am affected by the alcohol.
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  • I like beer but 2-3 drinks is my limit for reasons of not liking a hangover!!  In any case as long as your not driving we are all adults.  I guess if there was a true emergency I would call 911 or get a neighbor to drive to the hospital. 
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  • I think having a couple drinks is fine in any of these situations. Getting so smashed you can't hear the little one is not in any of those situations.

     I personally will not have more than 2-3 drinks because I do not like the out of control feeling you get when you've had too many,  so I was this way before DD came along too.

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    Stella:
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    Madison:

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  • How much alcohol are we talking? 12 drinks? Bad idea.

    DH and I will each have a bottle of wine sometimes on the weekends. I can assure you that when I had an entire bottle of wine and woke up a few hours later to a puking child, I had absolutely no problem tending to her. As long as it's a reasonable amount, you're going to sober up fast.

    I have 1-2 drinks regularly during the week when I'm home alone with the kids. Not every night (though I see no problem with it), but a few times/week.

    Why do you care what others are doing?

    The only problem I have is if someone is driving drunk or is literally SO intoxicated that they can't function. As a parent, I find that I can do whatever I need to do if I need to do it.  

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  • I think they are all fine as long a they aren't drinking and driving.  It really depends on the point of drunkenness.  As long as you aren't falling down drunk and can take care of the child if they wake up or get sick, I don't think it's a big deal.
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  • To me, none are.  You never know what is going to happen and someone always needs to be ready to drive to the ER and handle a crisis if the need arises.  DH and I always discuss before imbibing to make sure who is going to be the sober one.  Seriously, what happens in those times if the LO wakes up with a fever of 105?  Or starts vomiting continuously?  Who is there to be the caretaker?

    ETA:  Your examples talk about drinking to the point of being drunk.  I have no issues with having a drink or two if you are still functional and able to drive.  Like being alone, having a glass of wine and then having to drive a few hours later.  Fine.


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    DD -- 5YO
    DS -- 3YO

  • I am a pretty liberal parent when it comes to many things regarding my babies.  And, I do tend to have a glass of wine (or three!) a night.  However, I do not think any of these scenarios are OK.  To knowingly get drunk while your children are sleeping in the same house is just irresponsible. I don't care if you are close to your neighbors, or have family nearby, you shouldn't have to rely on someone else because you had to get wasted.

    IMO, get a sitter and go out for the night. Weird that I seem to be in the minority on this.

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  • I don't think drinking to the poitn of being drunk is ever alright regardless of circumstances. If your an adult you should be responsible enough to control your intake and drink an acceptable amount without getting stupid. That said we do drink when LO goes to bed- I usually have a glass of wine or two and my husband may have a mixed drink or a couple of beers. Non of which has ever impaired our ability to care for our girl even in emergency situations (like a 1 a.m. hospital run when she got very sick very quickly). I think on an average night neither of us even approach "buzzed" except for maybe special events in which case we make other arrangements for SD's care. It really just comes down to common sense- Don't drink and drive, if you think you might drink too much then make other arrangements for LO's care. It's that simple.

    Of course I'm limited to one glass of wine a week now so alot of this may change with the addition of our little guy.

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  • I think the real question is, after having a kid and never getting quite enough sleep, who in this forum wants to risk a hangover? :)

    Seriously, though. I think all 3 are fine. I mean, don't both of you get totally incapacitated. If there's an emergency and you can't drive, call 911. 

    Other than that, make a judgment call on what's best for your family.

    Neither of my girls tend to wake up in the middle of the night. So once they're in bed, I'm comfortable drinking (my husband is VERY comfortable).

    But just be smart.

    Example of non-smarts: I was out of town this spring for 4 days. My hubby had friends over one night, got hammered with his buddy and slept on the couch in a hungover lump of snores. Neither girl was tended to when they woke up at around 7am. I mean, they were just awake for 30 minutes or so in their cribs. Happily talking to themselves until after a while they started to whine about not being let out. Not exactly neglect. But NOT my idea of good parenting. Luckily, this mommy had thought ahead and asked my mom to pop in. She was there by 7:30 and remedied the situation.

  • I think they are all absolutely not okay, only because in each scenerio the person in charge of the baby are drunk or tipsy.  What if the house caught on fire or there were some other emergency.  There needs to be someone in the house with a baby who is sober at all times.  I don't think it's okay to get drunk while taking care of a kid, even if there is a sleep, only because you need to be able to quickly react to an emergency. Plus, if your kid were to wake up and see you in that state, it could be very scary for them.
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  • Thanks for your opinions!  Very interesting!  Such a varied group of points of view!
  • image ldoo:

    I think the real question is, after having a kid and never getting quite enough sleep, who in this forum wants to risk a hangover? :)

    Haha, that's very true too!

    (BTW- you're the closest person in KS I've seen!) 

  • image 2bulldogmom:
    Like a pp mentioned, you never know when your LO is going to wake up sick in the middle of the night and need you.  I wouldn't ever want to drink too much that I would be unable to drive her to the ER or stay up all night with her if she was sick.  I do enjoy having a couple of beers in the evening, but I never drink to the point that I am affected by the alcohol.

    This (except I hate beer ;)). I drink socially but it's against my personal beliefs to drink to the point that my judgment is affected. I definitely wouldn't do it if I were home alone with the boys. For one thing I get super sleepy even just from a drink or two so even if I did have people I could call ICE, if I'm sound asleep I might not realize a LO is in trouble to be able to call anyone! I am probably extra cautious now because we have had to call 911 once for each of our boys so the possibility is very real to me, and something that I keep in the back of my mind since with one boy there's a chance that scenario may recur.

    fraternal twin boys born january 2009
  • No

    No

    Yes, as long as someone remains sober

    No

  • I guess when you write "somewhat drunk" I'm imagining 3-4 drinks.  Not okay to drive, but certainly not stumbling around the house or vomiting.  As long as no one is driving drunk or getting completely wasted stumbling/vomiting, I don't see a problem.

    DH and I have a few drinks most nights at home.  I've never gotten to the point where I couldn't handle the kids in an emergency.

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