Let me start off by saying, this post is in no way a judgment on anyone! The purpose of this post is to share with you what my eyes have been opened too in the past week.
Last week, I witnessed something that opened my eyes to how slippery the slope can be. How easily we can slide from “Mommy needs wine” to Mommy is an alcoholic. And I was naive enough to think it couldn’t/wouldn’t happen to me. And I think anyone is naive for thinking it couldn’t happen to them. It can. To anyone of us.
It’s something that has been on my radar for a while. I’ve been thinking about my own drinking habits and how they have changed over the years. And then this post from We Are The Humans popped up in my feed last month:
And I didn’t like it! Not one bit. It made me uncomfortable. Mostly I think because the truth of it hit close to home. The more I thought about it and I even went so far as to research into it, the more I realized this sentiment rang true for me.
I have always enjoyed the occasional glass of wine. But somewhere during the course of the past few years, it stopped being occasional and started being a daily glass. Then a daily glass increased to two daily glasses and now I find myself in the position of feeling like I NEED a glass of wine to unwind. That there spells trouble to me. Especially when sitting opposite someone who had started out the same way as me. It’s a slippery slope and none of us are immune.
The culture of wine drinking mothers….
My husband has often commented on my need/desire to drink a glass or two of wine every night. I mostly shrugged it off, my feeling that all moms do it, so it’s normal and it’s ok right?
I mean, we get assaulted by the normalcy of it everywhere. Log into Facebook or any social media platform and you’ll see adverts for bangles with hidden wine storage, or handbags that have a hidden wine tap.
This is the current popular one I see being shared relentlessly across my timelines:
If I’d seen this a week ago, I probably would have laughed and shared it on too. Heck, for my That Girls T-shirt design, I was going to go with “My broomstick runs on wine”. I thought it was hilarious. I don’t anymore.
Let’s Talk About It
So Nikki and I decided to do a two-way live chat on Instastories on Thursday evening. We really just wanted to start the conversation and to raise awareness around this issue. The responses blew me away. So many women, so many moms struggling with exactly the same issues as we were. We decided to make it a no holds barred conversation and the response was incredible.
I’ve been thinking a lot about why this has become such a prevalent issue for mothers in the last decade. I’m not really sure what the answer is, all that I can tell you is that from reading up and doing a little of my own research, alcoholism among women in their 30’s and upwards is on the increase and it’s reaching epidemic proportions. And I do think that all the funny wine memes add to the problem by normalizing the use of alcohol as a coping mechanism.
I also wholeheartedly feel that as moms, we are under a huge amount of pressure. Perhaps more so than mothers in previous generations. I mean I’m not sure about you, but I constantly feel overwhelmed by the pressure of daily life and trying to juggle all the balls. Raising children has also changed SO much in the past few decades and our kids are under more pressure than they’ve ever been to perform.
As an example, on Thursday evening before we went live, I almost called the whole thing off. I get home from work, I need to pack lunches for the following day, prep dinner and then of course there are all the extra things. Ava had a project that was due and Hannah had Easter Hat parade and Bakers Day the following day. so I have to cram SO much of my mothering into a few precious hours every evening.
Finding Other Coping Mechanisms.
I’ve made a conscious decision since last weekend to examine the reasons why I drink. And, of course, to drink less. I am proud to say that in the past week, I’ve had a total of only 2 glasses of wine. I’ve also lost a kg. Go figure!
It hasn’t been easy and I’ve had to work on changing my mindset. But sliding down that slippery slope is just not a risk I’m willing to take.
I found a couple of great resources online to help too:
Thank you to everyone who tuned into the live chat on Thursday and participated in the conversation and of course for all the messages of support and commiserations. Nikki and I will be doing a follow up live in a few weeks time because we both feel so passionately about keeping this conversation going.