The only time my Blackberry vibrates continuously is in the midst of a major news event. So I was more than a little concerned when it was doing a high-caffeine version of the jitterbug last week. I was getting ready for work, and by the time I caught the movement and flashing red light, fifty emails awaited.
Thankfully, there was no plane crash or other catastrophic event. Instead, my inbox was filled with viewer emails reacting to our story on "cocktail playdates." I'm now into the hundreds — an unprecedented response.
Let me say, there's no consensus. I've received notes both condemning and condoning the practice of a glass of wine during an afternoon get-together of moms and children, almost in equal measure. There were plenty of notes questioning whether this would rise to the level of a story if it had been the dads watching the kids while knocking back a couple of cold beers. To the mother of five, there was also, "you obviously don't have children." Fortunately, the personal attacks were few, and I was pleased to hear from both women and men. All this to say, the topic touched a nerve, so we're revisiting it on the Today Show Friday morning. If you miss it, you can find the link to the story after the show. We're including some of your emails in the second report — don't worry, no names!
While I haven't been able to respond to every note, please know I read them all. I was moved by the heartfelt stories you shared about your own moms, about recovery from alcoholism and about the struggles many of you face as parents. There were also strong and eloquently stated viewpoints for all sides of this topic. I work on many parenting and family stories for the Today Show, so I'm hoping to create some type of database with your emails — a group I could contact for input and suggestions as we prepare future reports. I will get in touch with those more technically savvy than myself to determine whether this is possible.
Until then, I hope you will tune in to Today as we revisit the "cocktail playdate," and if you have an idea for a story that would make good Today Show or iVillage fare, please email me. My Blackberry is due for another rattling.
For more on this new parenting trend and to talk to other moms about this "momtini" mentality, visit the Parenting Issues debate message board!