Posted: Sep 21, 2012 9:00 AM
You and your girlfriend have kids the same age. They both love to play Candy Land and dress up together, which gives you and your gal pal ample time to catch up over a few cocktails. But if you’re not careful, happy hour could turn hazardous.

Day drinking is more popular than ever

Okay, so in college day drinking was no big deal. But a report on my local news station just a few nights ago stated that day drinking (and day drinking and driving!) is on the rise. Could it be that mommies are joining college kids in this trend?

Safety is #1

When you plan your mommy happy hour meets kiddie playdate, make sure your number one priority is always the safety of your children. The time you spend is less about drinking and more about a fun play time for you, your bestie and your kids.

Keep it separate

Designate Dad to babysit the kids while you and your mommy friends hit up the local happy hour hot spot. Every mom needs her own time to cultivate and maintain her friendships -- and she shouldn't feel pressured to multi-task playdates and happy hour.

Set a limit

Believe me, we know how much you hard-working mamas need (and deserve!) a glass of your favorite vino, after a particularly stressful day. But imbibe when the time is right. Invite your GF with her kids over and let the kids play while you sip a glass or two and chat... Then switch to iced tea, lemonade or sparkling water during the rest of the combined kid-adult playdate. Allow plenty of time between your last sip and the time your friend and her daughter hit the road.

Have a family-style slumber party!

Plan to have more than a glass or two? Invite your bestie and her child to stay for a slumber party! Order pizza, pop some popcorn and uncork a bottle! Your kids will be thrilled, and you and your momma pal can relax, sans worry about anyone having to get behind the wheel (especially with a child in tow).

When it goes beyond social drinking

Social drinking is one thing, but it can turn dangerous if new mommies are repeatedly reaching for the bottle to help ease the stress, pressure and anxiety of motherhood. If you feel that your innocent playdate/happy hours have gotten a bit out of hand, seek help right away.

Tell Us^ Do you think it's okay to combine happy hour and playdates?

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