I love what I do. I count myself lucky to have found my calling in an industry I adore. I began my experience in booze PR as a singleton, going out, friending mixologists and sommeliers, living it up. Even when I got married, I hit the nightlife, got major media hits for clients, traveled the world and threw some amazing events. Then I had a baby.
Whatever industry you’re in, women who choose to have a career and children are forced to live a double life – they can’t have it all. We know this; we’ve read this; some, I’m sure, are sick of hearing this. I, for one, am not. Women who split their lives 50/50 soon find themselves dedicating more time to one world over the other, and something has to suffer. I’ve experienced it first-hand.
Honestly, I can go off about maternity leave in the U.S., equal pay (thank you Patricia Arquette) or just overall how the country treats mothers (and single parents of any gender). But this is specifically about the booze world.
In booze PR, keeping up with the constant nights out is difficult but essential to remain relevant. Going out enables me to meet with media for dinner or drinks, garner relationships, seek new business opportunities, and maintain a knowledge of my industry with bars and restaurants and who’s working what. Did I mention I also have to do evening events for clients and travel for work?
That being said, the deal with my husband is no more than two nights a week “on the town” so I have three nights with my family. My son and husband see me for a short time in the morning, a couple of hours at night three days a week, and most of the weekend. This is reality. It’s not perfect, but then again, neither am I.
Public relations is a hard gig – we’re compared to lawyers, used-car salesmen and real estate agents. But add parent to the roster when you’re in booze and I’ve come across comments like, “Why don’t you work on X client, you’re a mom.” Or “since you’re a mom, it’s best if you reach out to the mom bloggers.” The best is: “You’re a mom, so you probably drink a lot of what you sell.” Maybe, yes, but that’s not the point. Even women writers who specifically write about booze have it hard – can you imagine pregnant women conducting interviews or tasting wine at an event? Actually, yes, because I’ve seen it and done it (when I was pregnant, I had the best palate and sense of smell).
I have no aspirations to be Superwoman, let alone Sheryl Sandberg (though I admire her greatly). And this isn’t a rant or complaint; it’s just the facts. All I can do is be the best mother I can be, which means being a happy person for my son, which, in turn, means being a good PR person who happens to specialize in booze. I hope for all the women out there, whether in PR, booze, or any other line of work, they have the support to be the best they can be, in a non-perfect way. Because, honestly, none of us are perfect, and the pedestal we are put on is great, but you fall if you’re too high. So let’s remember, one day at a time, to be happy. Our kids and booze will thank us.