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Moms that unWINE-d

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Betty Crocker: the iconic homemaker and hostess of the past.

She had it all under control didn't she? She even had time to unwind and bond with her friends over an ice cup of tea.

"Cup of tea, that's good for digestion. A glass of wine is quicker," says Tina Santoro, of Dedham.

Today's mom has come a long way, but the stress of family, work and motherhood has piled up. Tea time has since been replaced with something a little stronger.

"In vino veritas, right?" says Tina. "It's a social lubricant."

Tina regularly meets with a group of moms to unwind with wine. She says that being able to talk and drink is what keeps them sane.

"It's so important to be able to get out and talk to your girlfriends about being a mother and working," says Connie Powell, a regular in Tina's group. 'You're a better wife. You're a better mother."

April Giannelli agrees, "You're working. You're trying to support these children. You're trying to do everything that you can and still keep it together."

Today there are wine parties, books, clubs and even specialty wine labels marketed to the mommy/wine phenomenon.

"There used to be a trend that once people got married and had kids they reduced their alcohol use, they reduced their smoking and they reduced their illicit drug use," says Dr. David Rosenbloom, of the BU School of Public Health. "That trend seems not to be continuing."

With social media being another major outlets moms use for bonding, women all over openly admit, and even brag, blog, post and Tweet, in proud support of their daily swig.

"Certainly there's now community reinforcement for this behavior. Some of what we see in social media exaggerates behaviors because you're looking at something you think is a magic solution to somebody else's problem," says Rosenbloom.

Problem? What problem? The moms Fox 25's Sara Underwood spoke to don't see a thing wrong with rewarding themselves with some wine for getting through another day.

"It's really not about the wine," said Tina. "It's getting all of our brain power together to get everything done that we have to get done in a day – from being mom, wife, boss, cleaning lady, cook – it's a lot to do."

"Wine is one thing. And then there's just lots of prescription medication that is sitting around that is now being abused," says Rosenbloom. "The traditional advice about breaking a drinking habit is you really have to break the patterns associated with this. So it's basically finding a new group of friends and that's not the easiest thing to do."

Good luck bringing up potential health risks and finding new friends to Tina's group. Not only do they not want to hear it, they find it absurd.

"Who is this evil doctor?" asked Tina. "I would step in front of a bus for any of these girls."

She also points to behavior by men.

"Guys have been coming home forever and going to the refrigerator and grabbing a beer," said Tina. "It's ok for us to have a glass of wine."

Rosenbloom says Tina may be on to something.

"Women who went to college and engaged in the same behavior as men among themselves are now continuing this," said Rosenbloom. "So it's really an equalizing factor that women who have observed men drinking for years and years and years are now doing it themselves."

"So you wouldn't give this up under any circumstances?" Underwood asked Tina.

"Why would we? You're not the only one going through this. You think you are until you get here then realize it's not so bad," said Tina.

Click here for more information about the health effects of alcohol use.

 

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