An examination of mothers’ sensemaking of ‘mommy drinking culture’

Lynsey K. Romo, Jenna S. Abetz, Charee M. Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The rise of ‘mommy drinking’ or ‘wine mom’ culture, popularized by social media and capitalized upon by mommy drinking merchandise and female-branded alcohol, coincides with the intensive demands and pressures of modern mothering. Using a sensemaking framework, this study examined how mothers made sense of mommy drinking culture. Through 21 in-depth interviews, findings illustrate that mothers made sense of drinking culture in five main ways: de-alignment with suburban mommy drinkers; as a product of cultural lack of support for mothers; a response to the stress of motherhood and expectations of perfectionism; normalized yet polarized; and a cover for problem drinking. Participants were very aware that mommy drinking can divide and disparage mothers and draw attention from the very real systematic and structural problems disadvantaging mothers, often prompting them to drink to cope.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Family Studies
StateAccepted/In press - 2024


  • interviews
  • Mommy drinking culture
  • sensemaking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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