Mommies Who Drink: Sex, Drugs, and Other Distant Memories of an Ordinary Mom

ISBN: 0446578738
ISBN 13: 9780446578738
By: Brett Paesel

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About this book

For young single women, every night is Ladies' Night. For Brett Paesel and her friends, Friday happy hour is all they get--if they can wrangle a babysitter. Like most mommies, they support each other through pregnancies, sleep deprivation, and the need to talk about it all. Instead of meeting at the playground, they convene at the local watering hole while sipping Black and Tans and flirting with the cute bartender. With a poignant voice and a fresh style that makes this memoir read like the best women's fiction, Paesel navigates mommyhood in all its forms--the ecstatic, the terrifying, the tedious, the hilarious, the transcendental, and the sticky. Paesel's laugh-out-loud perspective will appeal to all women who are braving the new world of motherhood, where the secret question on their minds at playgroup is "When is it too early in the day to start drinking?"

Reader's Thoughts


I found this memoir truly entertaining. Paesel’s raw honesty in regard to a very sensitive subject is refreshing. Not all mothers will “get” Paesel. Those mothers who are boxed in by social and familial constraints will find it difficult to allow themselves to admit that sometimes their children make them feel something other than bliss. The author cares little about what is socially acceptable to admit. Though you may not be able to identify with the specifics of Paesel’s situations or parental plight you would certainly be able to identify with the emotions and thoughts behind them.

Gina Boyd

Brett Paesel has written for Hip Mama and Brain, Child. She's smart, funny, and a wonderful writer to spend time with. I wish this book had been around when I was a new mom, because I felt a lot of the same sense of loss and bewilderment that Paesel describes, along with that same feeling of guilt at not being over the moon about my new baby and motherhood status.The best thing about the book is that there's little back pedaling in effort to reassure readers that she loves her kids. It's always clear that she loves them, but she's pretty unapologetic about wanting to get away from them, and wondering what her life would be like if she hadn't had them.I would recommend this to anyone who's already got kids, and anyone who's thinking about having them--male or female. I don't know that I would have wanted to read this while I was pregnant, though, because I was worried about enough as it was. Paesel's honesty about her unhappiness might have been too scary at a time when I didn't need any extra scaring.


Author is a bit self indulgent, and I found myself more annoyed with her angst than feeling empathy for her. NOT the laugh out loud book it was advertized to be, but entertaining if you are on an 8 hour flight to Germany.


Listened to audio version. Very funny. I could relate. Just from the title I was hooked. Some slow parts but a good listen. Lots of laughing loudly and spewing if eating or drinking simultaneously.


One of those that makes you wonder who she slept with to get this book published. The only reason I gave it two stars were for the couple of times I laughed out loud. Other than that she is an over privileged actress who is trying to sell books by her name.

Joy Barnes

What a fun read! Although it is “laugh out loud” funny, it also deals with some of the serious issues of motherhood… mostly around feeling a loss of identity after you’ve become a “mommy”. This book is perfect for women, like myself, who left a career to raise her young kids, but struggles with the day to day life of being a mom. It is the author’s memoirs and her antics are hilarious. It kind of reminds me of the book, “Hypocrite in a Puffy White Dress” … as if that author continued on to the “Mommy Years.” There is not really a plot; it is just kind of her collection of funny situations in chronological order, but, it was definitely entertaining and really fun to read. I would recommend this to women who have been moms for a few years. I think it would be a bit overwhelming for a new mom to read about the struggles yet to come!


Liked most of the book, but I didn't love Brett as a person. Her friends seem to be characters, not real, and all a little too perfectly pigeonholed. Brett made most of her own issues. . .and made too much of them at times.The best part of the book was the chapter where one character's mom dies. .. well written, very poignant, and hit home.

Cassandra McCall

I know, surprise, surprise - I would read a book entitled Mommies Who Drink. I got this from my soon-to-be sister-in-law, and I liked it very much. Even though I am still breastfeeding and can't actually drink (to drunkenness), it was good. At times a bit boring - but it did have the following line in it which I find worth the entire book "An overeater herself, she encourages complicity." And for some reason, the chapter about mothers dying just totally got me, and I started crying. Hello hormones.


Loved this book!! So much fun! I wish I could have a happy hour with Brett!! All you mommies out there should get - and even if you're not a mommy - you'd enjoy it too!!


Anyone who can take the horror and fear and confusion about parenthood and make it funny and real gets an automatic five stars. Paesel improved upon even that by including the crazy near-imaginary world of LA and Hollywood. Her book makes me long for girlfriends to meet up with regularly, to drink and talk and forget for a little while that I am an increasingly older woman with a child, no longer cutesy or adorable. Funny and heartful, I wish I had found this sooner. The biggest question for me after my child was born was "Who am I?" and Paesel relates to the question in ways that don't make me feel foolish or uninspired.


Recommended by my firend Wendy, I was in tears (from laughter) by page 2. It is a great book start to finish. The author's life and mine are very diferent but I could imagine that to which I could not relate.


I picked this up off my friend Michele's bookshelf - hmmmm, what are you trying to tell me, Michele? Compelling concept and perfect reading for the weekend my husband and little one travel to the grandparents...


I'm a 28 year-old who thinks about shriveled eggs, my biological clock, my innate need to mother and the fact that I am SO nowhere near marriage it's pathetic. I don't know how to cook, I would rather stick a number two pencil in my eye than clean someone else's mess, and frankly, I like to be waited on. This probably makes no sense. What I'm trying to say is I am not a mother...but I loved this book. I found it funny, brutally honest, and thought provoking on all aspects of motherhood. And I'm not even a Mommy. Yet.


Uhh...not what i expected. Had some laugh out loud funny stuff, some poignant moments, and a bunch of raunchy stuff. some of her stories I could relate to and some I just couldn't - she didn't seem so ordinary to me. My impression of Brett as I read the book was that she is a shallow, self absorbed, Hollywood type in a marriage that probably won't last too much longer. But the last chapter left me feeling hopeful for her. And i think I liked the interview with her at the end the best of all. She seemed like a very nice, ordinary woman who said she rarely uses swear words. Go figure.


Paesel is an actor who lives in LA. She's about my age, and the book is billed as a memoir. I have to read books like this, it's a compulsion. On the surface the author and I have only age and having bred in common. I kept feeling that way through the first half of the book, and admit to rolling my eyes more than once. Somehow though, Paesel's vulnerability started to win me over, and by the last chapter, in which I shared her feelings exactly, I was right in her corner. I applaud any mother who strikes out against the cookie-cutter mold we are pressed into by default and by assumption, and if Paesel's rebellion is not my own, we are still somehow akin.

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