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


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.


Hilarious and real,The cover, which has design references to the classic children's book, Goodnight Moon is very delightful. This is not a memoir about tragic drunken parenting, it's more of a realistic adaptation of the fear of losing your personal identity after motherhood. Being a parent, however, is not essential, for everyone will appreciate how funny, so very funny, Mommies Who Drink is.


A good read, but not quite what I had expected. There were some laugh out loud moments as I read some great insights into parenting and other people's parenting styles. Overall, entertaining.


I never finished this book because it wasn't good. It was trying to be something it wasn't. Perhaps if I lived in LA I could have related to the lifestyle and I suppose if I had read to the end I have would have gotten to the part where she was actually glad to have had a child at all...I hope!!!


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!!


I was so disappointed to read this book. With such a catchy title and some great ideas, it just didn't play out well. Very disjointed and poorly written.


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.


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.

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.


Funny, heart-wrenching and brutally honest, Mommies Who Drink is an unflinching look at motherhood Brett Paesel style. It was scary how much of this I could relate to (although some of it not at all). I wish I could join her Friday Happy Hour.

Marti Mattox

funny little memoir of la mommydom. given to me by a friends ex girlfriend who likes to drink but does not have any intention of being a mommy - last I heard anyway. it has a sandra sing lo kind of humour, self deprecating, jaded city girl with a soft heart. it was a funny afternoon read.


I once told a friend, "I don't get an orgasm from cleaning my house." In fact, much of domestic life bores the !X&$@ out of me. Once a year, I get my Martha on, and do insanely involved Christmas crafts, and that is pretty much good enough to carry me another 12 months. And so it is not unlikely that I would pick up Mommies Who Drink, described as a polemic against modern mothering. The book is at times wry, touching, and spot-on (i.e., the fact that some of us are more apt to go to school meetings where wine is served). There's a little Beth Lisick, a little David Sedaris, and just a touch of Erma Bombeck. It's very LA-centric, which makes it a pleasing romp through auditions, voiceovers, etc. Some of the book reads like a sit-com, and while the writing is good, that can get stale. But just when it seems that it might veer toward the vapid (most of the dialogue takes place at Friday happy hour, and it seems very episodic, with half the chapters titled "Friday"), Paesel gets serious, and intimate, in a way that rescues the work immediately. I wish some of Paesel's tales were my own (one mom gains social capital at her son's preschool when he reports he saw "mommy sitting on daddy's head" that morning, which is a great way to start the day). I know some of her insecurities are. The book might have been funnier 5-10 years ago when I was trying desperately hard to take all this mothering stuff VERY seriously, and finding my own soul withering in the process. Now, somewhat removed, it's less side-splitting, but still relevant. It's a chance to look at what's important; taking myself seriously and holding myself to a near-impossible standard, or eating ice cream in front of the television and not feeling bad about it? Paesel would vote the latter makes, on occasion, for the far better parent.

Jillybeads81 Hall-Parris

Didn't think this book was funny at all. I don't think I laughed out loud once. And I do have to say..I have a great sense of humer. This book was dull!


I thought this book was loads of fun. Brett is an interesting woman with a cool career and she struggles with SO many topics we all do as mothers but with a fun twist.

Cmayorga Mayorga

Okay so the title might scare some mothers away, but not me! I actually purchased this as a book on cd for a Houston to Dallas trip. Brett Paesel had me cracking up on the road at times. Even though the title and even the first two chapters seemed a bit over the top, it really was a pretty good book (for moms who drink...not drunks!!) If you are not a parent it probably will not be as funny. If you are a perfect parent you probably will not like this book. Note: If you do get the book on cd please do not listen to it with kids in the car as she swears quite a bit in this book.

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