Today I’ve got a guest post by another Austin mom blogger. In her spare time, she writes about wine, instead of whining about having no spare time. Enjoy!
|Andrea and her daughter, Amelia.|
Andrea Middleton is the marketing director for a Central Texas general contractor, wine blogger at Wine Scamp, and mother to an exceptionally determined 2.5 year old daughter. She lives in Austin, Texas with her husband, Tom, a native Texan. She’ll talk your ear off about wine if you give her half a chance.
They say that before you have kids, your pets are your kids, and after you have kids, your pets are your pets. This is quite true, much to their chagrin, of my household’s two cats Spike and Max. What truly surprised me was how a similar shift came about in my relationship with wine. In my B. C. life (Before Conception), wine was my passion and, for a time, my professional focus. Wine was the perfect combination of sensual pleasure and intellectual stimulation, a pursuit that enriched my life on multiple levels. I worked for a wine distributor for 5 years, selling wine to bars, restaurants and stores. I taught a wine class, and, once I left the beverage industry, started writing a wine blog in 2008. When I got pregnant in the spring of 2009, my blog was doing really well in its niche, and had reached the time commitment of a part-time job. Which was fine, because I loved the community of wine bloggers and wine enthusiasts that I had joined.
Then, a sperm found an egg, and… let me explain. No, it is too much; let me sum up: pregnancy kicked me right in the nads, emotionally and physically. Morning sickness was crippling, and lasted way longer than I had ever heard it did. The only thing more powerful than fatigue was the complete brain-fuck that hormones were successfully performing on my psyche. Wine blogging ground to a halt. I lurched over to a small temporary blog, Careening and Gestating, just so my voice wouldn’t completely be silenced by the relentless change affecting my life. My successful wine blog, Wine Scamp, stood abandoned.
Amelia was born after a harrowing 54 hours of labor, and then the hard stuff began. Only someone who has survived the death march that is caring for a high-needs infant in his/her first year of life can understand how your existence is pared down to the bones of a life that would make the strictest hermit aghast. Everything that had made my life enjoyable before becoming a mother was stripped away from me: food, sleep, books, sex, solitude. But I kept the wee tyrant alive for the first year, and then the next, and slowly pleasure started returning to my life in little, furtive sips.
Don’t get me wrong – I love my daughter madly, and reading “Duck! Rabbit!” to her eclipses the experience of drinking (most) good wines. At least, it does the first 8 times we read the book. After about the 9th time, I admit to thinking longingly of a vintage California sparkler. After the 20th time, a white wine spritzer would do.
Now that my indulgences are back, I find that my relationship with wine has changed somewhat. I can’t afford to drop $20 on a bottle very much any more, which means I drink a lot more duds. Let me tell you, wine isn’t nearly as interesting when it tastes like crap. To all you who don’t like wine much, I honestly think that (a) you may simply not have found the kind of wine you like, or (b) you can’t afford to drink the kind of wine you’d enjoy. I know the latter is frequently the case for me.
And then there’s the fact that the fight for Andrea’s Champion Comfort Ingestion Item has been won by chocolate, once and for all. So when I have a bad day, I don’t think longingly of the great bottle of wine I’m going to open, but rather the great ounce of chocolate I’m going to enjoy. This mindset does not a prolific wine blogger make, let me tell you.
Ironically, I was brought back to blogging through a fundraiser for my daughter’s day care teachers. I volunteered to conduct a wine tasting as part of the event, and some mama friends read the Scamp and praised me for it… which did the trick. (My poor husband, of course, had been telling me for years how great I was at writing about wine, which didn’t even dent my conviction that wine blogging was firmly set in my past. “Thank you, honey, that’s sweet,” I’d say. Like I have time for that anymore, I’d think to myself.) I started writing again, and it’s been about 2 months now of about 2 posts a week. Not bad for a work-full-time-outside-the-home mommy of a toddler, if I do say so myself. Oddly, I find that what brings me back to wine blogging isn’t so much the wine itself as it is making wine more accessible and interesting to people. I guess I’m more of a wine educator than a wine drinker – who knew?
OK, probably everyone knew that already but me. Don’t you hate that?