Does Mommy Need Wine to Cope?Nov 01, 2023
“It’s mommy’s turn to wine! It’s cheaper than therapy!”
Why is alcohol the only drug we need to explain not using? It's the cheapest, most popular, and widely available drug for adults in North America, and moreover using it is normalized over declining it, and is often wrapped up in a culture of necessity and as a healthy coping m echanism for moms. But what if we have more to gain than to lose by numbing out the hard parts of parenting?
Celeste Yvonne, Recovery Coach, author, mom, and advocate asked herself this exact question, which set her on a journey of sober curiosity, sobriety, and ultimately advocacy of the lifestyle. We are so grateful to have her share her story and experience on today’s podcast, as well as advice on how to begin the journey yourself, even if it is just asking questions around our individual and societal relationships with alcohol.
What’s so bad about alcohol!?
We all have our own individual relationships with alcohol - how we consume it, how much, how often, what kind, and why. For Celeste, she felt she managed her consumption in a way that worked for her, by setting certain boundaries and rules, like never drinking before 5:00 pm, never drinking alone, or never letting it interfere with her social or parenting responsibilities. But before long, especially after becoming a mom, she realized that “social, fun, and functional” mommy wine culture to which she very much subscribed to, was turning into a form of coping and survival. Unwilling to follow in the footsteps of her father who had a stroke at a young age triggered by his alcoholism and after a health scare herself, she decided to place her relationship with alcohol under the microscope.
That isn’t easy to do in our society that normalizes and often even encourages its consumption, especially as a means of handling the many expectations and responsibilities placed specifically on mothers. But the truth is, science is revealing that alcohol consumption has many far reaching and detrimental impacts to our physical health, not unlike cigarettes. It can also be a way to brush certain mental health issues under the rug, providing short term relief while the problem remains unaddressed in the long term.
The first step is to break through myths we have created around what alcohol is and what it does. For example, for a long time it was considered to help reduce anxiety but we now know this to be scientifically untrue (in fact, it makes it worse). Likewise with feelings of depression. Gaining this education can help us start to view alcohol from a different perspective, igniting curiosity around the question, “where else may it be sabotaging when we thought it was helping”?
Okay, maybe alcohol is not really helping me. But how can I avoid it when it's literally everywhere in our society?
We can start with having open and honest conversations around the topic, like we are now! Bringing the problematic nature of alcohol into the light can lead toward more inclusivity toward sober people or those practicing sobriety, making it both easier to understand and practice, like having non-alcoholic options available at parties and respecting that a person’s decision not to drink isn’t necessarily from a place of addiction or judgment of others.
If you are curious to try sobriety, Celeste recommends starting with 30 days alcohol free. Scientifically proven, after 30 days you can really see and identify genuine benefits that come from abstaining from alcohol, and it is also a good amount of time to start creating new habits, helping you envision how your life might look incorporating this change. After 30 days, do a little data research and ask yourself what feels different? Has your sleep improved? Energy? Have mood swings shifted? What feels different? What feels the same?
This feels like too much change - I’m not an alcoholic.
Change is always difficult. But you are not alone. By beginning to shift your own mindset and have open conversations about it, you may be surprised to discover there are many others, especially moms, just like you! As the breadth of scientific evidence is widening, so is the societal awareness around alcohol and alcohol culture. Consider joining a community, like the Sober Mom Squad, to find other like minded people and join the conversation! It’s free and anonymous to try.
If you are sober curious and you’d like to dive a little deeper, consider buying Celeste’s newly released book It's Not about the Wine: The Loaded Truth behind Mommy Wine Culture, contacting her for coaching, or joining the Sober Mom Squad! You are not alone.
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