People often talk about the joys of motherhood. Raising children. Creating a family. Cherished memories. What’s not often talked about are the struggles of being a mother. Sleepless nights. Managing a thousand things at once. The stress and anxiety of caring for another human being and providing for your family. Navigating the complex world of parenthood can be difficult and many moms turn to alcohol to relax, escape, and socialize. While the occasional drink may be harmless, “mommy wine culture” can unwittingly promote alcohol abuse while disguising potential problems on the horizon.
The Truth About Moms Who Drink
Being a mom is exhausting. Constantly juggling numerous responsibilities with a constant level of fatigue and anxiety. The stress of caring for your kids, managing a household, pursuing a career, and fostering relationships can be immense. One popular coping mechanism for this stress is drinking. Cultural norms around “mommy juice” and “wine-o-clock” glamorizes alcohol as a way to relax and socialize after a long day of parenting. There are entire social media communities built around celebrating alcohol use among mothers as self-care. They normalize drinking as a way for mothers to connect. “...the normalization of alcohol use among mothers through social media can influence their own drinking patterns.”
When it comes to self-care, many mothers find themselves deprived of “me-time.” Drinking, whether socially or alone, can provide a respite from the demands of motherhood and the rigorous daily routine. What used to be, “Calgon, take me away” is now “surviving motherhood one sip at a time.” Unfortunately for many, the celebration of drinking culture amongst mothers can be a slippery slope. Too many wonderful moms who drink to relax end up drinking because they have to. Alcoholism and rates of alcohol abuse are rising amongst moms. During the pandemic, mothers with young children consumed 300% more alcohol than they did pre-pandemic.
Awareness & Support: Raising awareness about the dangers of alcohol abuse amongst mothers is the first step in addressing the problem. Support systems of friends and family can encourage the mothers in their lives to open and honestly talk about their struggles with parenting and provide support when necessary. Asking for help shouldn’t feel like a lesson in judgment.
Alternate Coping Mechanisms: Exploring healthier alternatives to managing stress rather then a reliance on alcohol. Create groups of moms that get together for yoga, mindfulness practices, exercise, or game nights. Support groups that foster community and connection around the joys and challenges of motherhood instead of the consumption of alcohol.
Redefining “Mommy Juice”: Rather than glamorizing the consumption of alcohol, healthy alternatives should be celebrated and encouraged. Changing the narrative around moms and alcohol should be championed. There are many non-alcoholic beverages like herbal teas and mocktails which can provide the same sense of relaxation and camaraderie without the negative side-effects. Redefining “mommy juice” as an alcohol-free, healthy option will help to promote a culture of well-being.
Promoting Responsible Drinking: For moms who choose to continue consuming alcohol, emphasizing responsible drinking is important. Ensuring that drinking isn’t interfering with parenting or posing any risks to the family is priority number one. Encouraging moderation and setting limits while educating on the dangers or alcohol abuse. Alcoholism is a slippery slope and can look different for everyone. Promoting responsible drinking and alcohol treatment education can provide resources for those who may be struggling.
Mommy drinking culture probably isn’t going away anytime soon. Spreading education and awareness can help to mitigate the potential negative consequences of drinking. Mothers face a lot of challenges throughout their day. It’s normal to want to relax at the end of the day. If your preferred relaxation technique is alcohol and it becomes a problem, Owl’s Nest Recovery is here for you. Worried about your drinking? Call Owl’s Nest today. Our experienced staff can answer all your questions and concerns while protecting your anonymity. You deserve to be happy and healthy without the crutch of alcohol.