I love red wines with notes of chocolate and spice. 

I love prosecco where bubbles hit dry against the throat. 

I love blends from California wine country best of all. 

I maybe love them all a little too much. 

It is a fast and fearful digression how easily I slip from enjoying a glass of wine at a gathering, to craving one nightly, to daydreaming about that chalice of reward after tuck-in time, to creeping that timeline ever earlier in the day. 

That single-focused desire scared me. The deeper need remained unmet. Last year, I stopped. 

The emotional physicality of parenthood left my body and mind in a constant fog. While the wine felt like a temporary oasis, the last thing I needed was a depressant disallowing the fog to lift. 

I do not have a clinical drinking problem. That glass of wine? They told me I earned it for being a mommy. They told me this is what we do. 

I am not a teetotaler. As a young missionary I got in a huff or four about outdated alcohol rules being inhospitable to building relationships and turning religion into a list of Don’ts. The wine stocker at my local Trader Joe’s know my name and I know his. (Hi, David!)

And yet . . . it is time to face our entanglement in the United States between wine and young motherhood. 

I bring it up now because I got lost. 

I bring it up now because I bought into the normalizing. 

I bring it up because the intensity of advertisement targeting women is rapidly increasing.

I bring it up because we are a generation of highly educated moms hustling hard for magic, anxiously spinning with ambition, and desperately weary for soul rest. 

I bring it up because I can’t participate in the mom culture of self-deprecating jokes anymore of “send wine” without my Furious Feminist coming to the forefront. 

Wine consumption is targeted solely to young moms as the escape we deserve for finish-lining the slog of another day barely tolerating motherhood; barely tolerating our children. We have memes and mugs and tank tops and text threads laughing about it. 

All the while, we remain unsatisfied or groggy or angry or numb while media and marketing profit billions from our avoided pain. 

All the while, our spouses and children watch on the sidelines starting their own self-talk stories from the implications of our actions. 

All the while, we trade soul nourishment and being fully awake for false, fleeting relief. 

Instead, what if . . . 

What if we allowed ourselves to be raw at the end of the day in all our tired and all our disappointments? 

What if we showed this side of ourselves to our family and friends and asked for their understanding? 

What if we sought sustenance from the deepest Well of Grace? 

What if we stood with our littles for backyard sunsets and bought the Costco pack of coconut water whispering a blessing of help or hope each time we twisted the cap open in the school pick up line? 

What if we danced it out in the kitchen to Kidzbop or Laurie Berkner or show tunes and turned our desire for more into creativity and connection and the most ancient ministry of all: sleep?

Believe me. I get it. I get how collectively exhausted we are. I get how we just need to collapse or zone at the day’s end. I know. 

I also know we want more.

I know we want real.

I know we deserve it and by God, by God, we’ve earned it.

Jenny Leboffe

Jenny lives in San Diego with her husband and five kids. She writes about everyday family life, foster care, adoption, and the spiritual expansion of motherhood at jennyleboffe.com. Join her story on Facebook or Instagram