Being a mom doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to cut loose and relax. Lots of mothers get together for “wine-o-clock.” Social drinking can be a good way to create community and foster support for one another. But when social drinking turns into necessary drinking, it may be time to take a look at your relationship with alcohol.
Understanding the Prevalence of Excessive Drinking
While the “boozy mom” trope might seem isolated, alcohol abuse among mothers is more common than you might think. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, roughly 13 million women had an alcohol use disorder last year. This number includes women of various ages and backgrounds, including mothers.
Research conducted by Columbia University highlights the rising rates of problematic drinking amongst reproductive-aged women. Additionally their study showed that, “excessive drinking is increasing for middle-aged women with and without children.” This upward trend highlights the growing concern of alcohol consumption among women, including mothers.
The Impact on Motherhood
The stress of parenting, when combined with the societal and personal expectations that mothers put on themselves can exacerbate alcohol use. Using “mommy’s little helper” to cope with stress, anxiety, or depression can quickly spiral out of control.
Alcohol use disorder can have a huge impact on a mom’s ability to parent. Studies have shown that children growing up in households where alcohol abuse is prevalent are at a greater risk for child neglect and abuse. It can create a dysfunctional household and have negative long-term effects on the children. All of these factors can contribute to the phenomena known as “mom guilt” which many mothers use alcohol to self-medicate against.
When seeking treatment for alcoholism, mom’s must overcome the fear of judgment, being perceived as unfit parents, and the concerns of losing custody of their children. While they may acknowledge that they need help, it can be difficult to go out and receive it.
In reality, getting help for alcohol use disorder is a massive sign of strength and courage. The mom who gets treatment despite her fears is a role model to her family and children in doing what’s right even when you’re scared.
There are gender-specific treatment facilities where women, oftentimes other moms, come together to support each other in their recovery. Owl’s Nest Recovery has a parent support group that meets weekly.
The struggle with alcohol addiction is a challenging road for mothers, but it's not one that has to be navigated alone. Seeking help, finding support, and embracing the journey toward sobriety is a courageous step toward a healthier and happier life—for both the mother and her loved ones.
If you or a mother you know is struggling with alcohol addiction call Owl’s Nest Recovery today.