Mothers who unwind in the evening with a drink or two are definitely not alone.
Shoot, I was one of them. 62 days ago.
My personal reasons for completely abstaining from alcohol stem from my own childhood experiences with a parent who drank, my own addictive tendencies throughout life and a very intense passion inside me to be a better person.
My history with drinking was already sketchy to begin with; resulting in several run-ins with the law and one DUI at the ripe age of 21. Once I got pregnant, obviously, my drinking habits changed (as well as many other questionable habits like smoking and eating horribly).
After having two children fairly close together in time, I found myself free again to join my husband for a few drinks after work while cooking dinner and unwinding from the day.
Seems pretty ordinary, I guess… drinking is basically encouraged for parents (more on that a little later).
But I always found myself the next morning feeling a tinge of guilt. I would think to myself, “I could be a better mother if I just didn’t drink at all…”. What was holding me back? The routine…the effects of relief (both physically and mentally)…the encouragement from other women parading wine as completely acceptable?
I’m not saying that some moms aren’t absolutely fine with drinking 2 or 3 drinks a night. I just knew in my bones that I wasn’t one of them.
Then one day, I had it in me to choose something else other then drink a few glasses of wine. Just a random Thursday. Nothing special. That weekend, I started running and exercising to deal with any stress I had (I now run 5 nights a week).
My husband still drinks and thinks nothing of me choosing not to. I guess I can rack that up to me not having as big of a problem as I thought I might have had. I do imagine if I just went with the flow and waited a few more years, I probably wouldn’t have been able to stop the way I did. You see, the thing about addiction is it’s progressive.
I do find myself now more aware of the marketing toward moms (especially of young kids) and women in general…
Is being a mom so hard that a glass of wine (or two or three) is needed at the end of the day just to feel sane again?
I imagine alcohol producers are betting on it.
Have you heard these slogans yet???
"We All know that being a Mommy is a difficult job. A Mommy's Time Out is a well deserved break."
“Balanced, fruit-forward wines that bring just a bit of peace after the chaos of everyday life as a parent."
What about facebook pages like:
I So Need A Glass Of Wine Or I'm Gonna Sell Kids (over 133,000 likes)
Moms Who Need Wine (over 93,000 likes)
I’m definitely not condemning mothers who drink alcohol in a safe and appropriate manner, but in my experience, when someone says they’re drinking because they need stress relief that should be a red flag.
Drinking to cope with anything (the stresses of motherhood included), in my opinion, is not a skillful way of living a life. Yeah, it’s comical – to a point, and then it just becomes sad.
For some of us, we were simply given the example of damaging ways to cope with life by our parents – and so commences the beautiful masterpiece of life repeating itself.
I think the most powerful catalyst to stop the cycle of any destructive coping mechanism is the motivation to give your children a better parental model than you had growing up– at least that is what has provoked me to make, not just this change, but many changes in just the last 4 years.
How empowering and rewarding is it when you recognize that you are giving something of yourself that you never knew was in there?
I hope these words meet you in a place that sparks that desire in you -
“Don’t worry that children never listen to you;
worry that they are always watching you.”
- Robert Fulghum