THE mum-of-four discusses family life in her weekly column. Today Peta, who is married to Olympic cyclist Mark Cavendish, talks Prosecco O’Clock.
Parents are often judged on how they do things, and one of the most tongue-wagging of issues is whether we should be drinking alcohol around, or while responsible for, our children.
This week 6.58pm on a Saturday was declared “Prosecco O’clock” after a poll by booze brand Mionetto found it was the most popular time for drinkers to pop open a bottle.
After a busy day, ferrying the children to and from dance and football clubs, or dragging them round the shopping centre, a long, cold glass of fizz might be just what is required for many parents.
But can you ever safely drink while looking after children? My little cherubs could drive me to drink from time to time, but I personally am not a huge drinker. Neither are my friends.
We’re more likely to treat ourselves to a glass of full fat coke – or in the case of one of my BFFs, drink a hot cup of tea when it’s 49C outside.
Having a tipple when we are at home in charge of our children is never something that happens.
With my husband Mark away racing so much, I am often the only parent and if I were to drink I’d not be able to get it out of my head, that if something happened and one of the children needed to get to hospital, I’d need to be fit to drive.
That’s not to say I never have a glass of wine or a cider at a barbecue, but booze just doesn’t play a huge role in my life.
Living with a professional athlete probably has something to do with it.
I also grew up in a house where alcohol wasn’t a big deal either. My mum and stepdad drank a glass of wine here and there but that was it, or that was all I saw anyway.
If I’m going to have a drink, I prefer to be out with my friends and dancing into the wee hours, or on a night away with Mark where I don’t have to get up to tend to the children in the morning.
Overall I have probably been in a worse state and less able to parent when I have been unwell or totally sleep deprived than I have been after a couple of glasses of Prosecco.
Common sense should prevail and we should all be able to set our own drinking rules by our own circumstances, but getting blotto and hugging the toilet all night is never going to be conducive to responsible parenting.
And with children being little sponges, our behaviour – good and bad – never goes unnoticed.
So if you live by “Prosecco o’clock”, or “10 Past Tia Maria” don’t be surprised if Little Johnny is looking for that time on his Flik Flak watch when learning to tell the time.