DEAR MOMS: WINE IS NOT A REQUIREMENT FOR MOTHERHOOD

I'm SO tired of everything "mom" having to do with alcohol. Wine is not a food group. It is not a requirement for motherhood, and normalizing abnormal drinking is dangerous; not just for moms, but also for our children.

I'm sick of seeing martini glass emojis in my inbox at 7am. I've grown weary of ignoring and avoiding certain "benign" and "lighthearted" jokes about day-drinking and your "borderline alcoholism." I'm sick of remaining silent, and I'm not sorry if that rubs people the wrong way.

If your first response is to scold me for my ignorance, because you don't even drink as much as you say you do online, I'll beg you to say that out loud first and let it sink in. Go ahead... I'll wait.

It's clearly trendy, hip, and popular to cosign and promote the mom drinking culture, but I've been pretty unpopular my whole life, so I guess I'll live.

The idea that there are two groups of drinkers, "alcoholics and non-alcoholics" is a bit archaic. Just because you're not an alcoholic doesn't mean drinking too much can't harm you. Your non-alcoholism is not a Get Out Of Jail Free card or a shield against the problems that can and will result from consuming even one too many.

You don't have to be an alcoholic to get a DUI. "Alcoholism" is not a requirement for any of the consequences of drinking or dependency. Alcohol doesn't much care how you personally identify yourself before you start drinking. Buzzed is buzzed and drunk is drunk. Some might even argue that social drinkers who foster a healthy relationship with alcohol don't often experience or enjoy either. 

To be honest, I'm not even sure after all these years if I actually qualified under that "alcoholic" diagnosis or not. What I can tell you is that my life got better after I stopped hiding behind the relief I thought I was getting from a drink. I believed in the all or nothing approach then, and thankfully it worked for me.

Had I been subjected to this current culture back then at age 22, I wonder how much more suffering I would have endured to fit in with the cool moms. I wonder if the message that getting lit was the normal thing to do as a mom would have kept me from seeking treatment.

I wonder how long it would have taken me to end my life, leaving my daughter motherless, or for me to end up in the news as one of those horrible monster mothers.

juliemaida wine is not a food group

Maybe you think I'm exaggerating, and that's okay. I'm not, and I have spoken to countless other women who have felt the societal pressures to drink, even after making the decision to stop.

**Drinking is NOT a required tool for surviving motherhood.**

The message that it is is about as f*cked as some of the woman buying into it might be if we don't stop spreading these horrible rumors trying to make "Drunk Mom" adorable.

I promise you, she's not always adorable.

Ask me, I'll tell you.

 

** If you or someone you know is struggling with problem drinking, please know that abstinence is not the only option for recovery. There are programs and treatments in place to help people find healthier relationships with alcohol, and support for risk management. Visit the Sober Mommies resource page for an inclusive list of other options!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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6 thoughts on “DEAR MOMS: WINE IS NOT A REQUIREMENT FOR MOTHERHOOD”

  1. Claire Ladner says:

    Thank you so much for this excellent article. I spent years of my life in the “hip mom’s crowd” with “fun” socialising at children’s birthday parties where the quaffing back of shampers or white wine was a given, indeed a requirement.
    Five years of sobriety ( out if choice ) later I am still considered the “odd one”.
    Funny how no one has to explain their choice to be vegan, kosher or halaal??!!

  2. Love this post, I can SO relate. I have been a non drinker for 2 years now and really battle with the mommies who drink…

  3. Yes! I am a mum of two and a couple if years ago I was given for my birthday 3 different mugs by 3 separate friends, all with different “funny” slogans about alcohol. E.g. “I love to cook with wine, sometimes I even put it in the food”, and “one prosecco, two prosecco, three prosecco, floor”.
    I laughed at them but secretly hated them. The fact that my friends thought that these were appropriate and fitting presents for me made me feel terrible about myself. Is this who I am? Is alcohol the first thing people think of when they ask themselves “what would Amy like for her birthday?”
    I have deleted alcohol from my life. Now I hope that when people consider what to get me for my birthday that they see more of who I am and what I enjoy in life. The real stuff. I’m a creative person who’s been socialised into deadening my senses and creativity for the last 20 years, including the early years of my children’s lives. It is so wrong that wine o clock culture is being cooked up into a storm to normalize drinking for mums. I’ve come to realise that it has no real ‘helping’ qualities at all. It’s an illusion. All it does is make everything a lot more tricky to negotiate and make patience thin when it was already nearly depleted anyway!
    Anyway I’m ranting. Sorry. Got carried away. Great post!

  4. Loving this article just truly reflects modern culture and normalising a level of heavy drinking making it sound glamorous and necessary to fit in. Dangerous!! I did realise in time that my drinking was becoming habitual and chose to stop! Coincidentally I also decided to become vegetarian at around the same time so now I’m truely weird it seems but I feel loads better physically and mentally for making the change and taking control before it took control of me 😃

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