Thursday, September 23, 2010

Vice Vice, Baby

"Red, red wine, you make me feel so fine"~ UB40

What exactly is a vice? According to Merriam-Webster, a vice is "a moral depravity or corruption," or in other words, a foible. I thought it appropriate for me to expound on this topic, given the title of this here blog. It seems that most people talk about vices more in terms of guilty pleasures, activities and things that give us enjoyment but are thought of as bad for us in one way or another.

I believe that I have many vices, some of which I'm willing to share and others that I'd like to keep safely hidden in my locked vault of vices. Shopping, chocolate, french fries, whiskey, America's Next Top Model -- these are a few of my favorite vice-y things. But the guilty part of these pleasures can increase tenfold once you become a mother. Are mothers even allowed to have vices? Oh, the judgment we mothers endure for the choices we make. And most of the time the judging surrounds simple mothering styles (breastfeeding vs. bottle, scheduling vs. attachment parenting, etc.). But vices? We can't have no stinkin' vices. That's just selfish.

I was at an event recently where another mom was telling a story about her toddler son pointing to the liquor aisle at the market and exclaiming, "Daddy juice!" We all laughed. But then I thought -- if that same story was told with Mommy in front of the juice, I think there'd be more concerned looks than laughs. I don't like feeling guilty when I have a glass of wine two nights in a row. It's like I'm waiting for the morality fairy to appear and box me in the nose. Bad mommy! It's not like I'm getting sloshed. Believe me -- it's just not worth it to be hung over with a toddler slamming his truck into your already pounding head. I mean, I can only imagine! Plus, I recently read an article about a study done that found that moderate drinkers lived longer. The study was conducted on older adults, but still! Cheers to a longer life!

But a vice becomes a problem, or an addiction, when the truly important things in your life start to suffer for it. Has reality TV distracted you from feeding your child dinner on more than one occasion? Probably more than a little vice. Did you indulge in an expensive handbag but spent all week helping your kid make sense of his math homework? Maybe handbags are a well-deserved vice then.

It boils down to this -- we are human. We are flawed. There are things we enjoy that may not seem perfectly healthy or sane. Q's vices include torturing Elroy and "crack" (cookies/crackers), and sometimes he gets a treat when he deserves it (and sometimes when he doesn't). Elroy gets treats for enduring Q's sadistic treatment. I think moms deserve a treat every once in a while, too. Because if I didn't indulge in my vices from time to time, my sanity would be even more questionable.

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