I Do Not Need Alcohol to Survive Motherhood
“Wine is the epidural of motherhood.”
“Motherhood: Powered by love, fueled by coffee, and sustained by wine.”
“A mother’s sacrifice isn’t giving birth…it’s nine months without wine.”
“Motherhood: If you do not have a moderate to severe dependence on coffee, wine, or dry shampoo then you’re not doing it right.”
“The most expensive part of having kids is all the wine you have to drink.”
I remember a time when I used to look at these quotes and laugh, “That is a good one!” and carry on about my day. I would make it through 12-14 hours with twin boys running around my house and, once they were sound asleep in bed, I would have one glass of red wine. I’m not really sure when this habit started, but it was a guaranteed 2-3 times a week drink that felt as normal as having a cup of tea in the morning.
It wasn’t until I came across a very brave woman on Instagram that held a sign stating “I do not need alcohol to survive motherhood” that I was, essentially, slapped in the face.
Wine had become the “Must-Have” accessory for motherhood.
I went on to read her (very non-judgmental) post about how mothers and women are being targeted by alcohol companies. These companies are promoting heavy drinking for women, excessive wine drinking for mothers, and promising sexual appeal to those with a drink in their hand.
I have flashbacks thinking of all the times I was at a restaurant and ordered a glass of wine to seem “normal” around my girlfriends. How many hours did I spend watching shows like Sex and the City where the women always had a fabulous drink in one hand and a fabulous purse in the other?
Once motherhood arrived, I noticed that the advertisements became much more edgy. Crazy haired mothers chugging a bottle of wine to cope with motherhood stress. Women hugging bottles of alcohol with a t-shirt that says “mom life”.
The alcohol companies are so smart that they even use “women’s liberation” to promote heavy drinking. Men drink, why can’t we? Men have been infamous for their scotch, whiskey, and endless shots…so why not women? In today’s world, women are drinking far more frequently than their previous generations and this rise in alcohol consumption is KILLING our women in record numbers.
There came a point 30 days ago where the memes and advertisements stopped being funny.
The idea of a drink in my hand made me very uncomfortable and my “habit” needed to stop. My rationalization of “moderation” over the past three years is out the window…there is no moderation with a drug like alcohol, it is absolutely not healthy, and I do not want to support any company that is killing my family and friends around the world.
The wine bars. Wine holder purses. Wine yoga. Wine straws. Wine teacups. Wine is the most accepted drink amongst women and men. Articles explaining how a glass of wine a day is healthy or how wine must be paired with your dinner entree for best taste. The truth is, wine is no safer than any other alcohol; it is the same drug in a different form.
Thirty days ago I made a huge decision to forgo alcohol. Thirty days ago I stopped my habit of 2-3 drinks a week and began chugging water and fresh juices instead.
Thirty days ago I wasn’t so sure if I could do it; motherhood is stressful and wine is our coping method, hm? Thirty days ago I made one of the best decisions of this year, and possibly my life.
Thirty days sober and counting.
Let’s make sober the new normal.
This post originally appeared on Facebook. It has been reprinted with permission.
Danielle is the creator of the motherhood blog WonderMamas.com where she shares her passions: healthy eating, raising her children in the wild, and staying fit throughout all seasons of life. She is a proud veteran of the United States Navy and currently lives in the mountains of North Italy with her family.
A Sober Mommies Contributor is most often a non-professional – in and out of recovery – with reality-based experience to share about motherhood & active addiction, the multiple pathways to recovery, or a family member’s perspective.