The mommy wine culture is everywhere, it’s easy for moms, especially new moms, to think they simply cannot survive without drinking.
I’m here to tell you that’s not true.
Other moms drink daily and think it’s completely justified because they’re a mom and it’s widely accepted to always be drinking.
This doesn’t make it right or necessary.
Plenty of women are moms and they DON’T drink.
Drinking is not required in order to be a mom.
In fact, being a mom and not drinking might be easier than being a mom who drinks every day.
And I’m not the only one who feels that way.
I stopped drinking 10 years ago, which was 4 years before I had children.
Though back then I drank daily, I didn’t think I had a problem because I was able to get through graduate school with nearly a 4.0 GPA and have a successful career.
However, I was wrong. I did have a problem.
I won’t go into the nitty-gritty details of it as that’s not what this post is about,
I just want other moms out there to know that they don’t have to drink to survive motherhood.
Sure, things are difficult but being a stay-at-home mom of 3-year-old twin boys and a 5-year-old boy.
Things can be really difficult.
As I’ve written about before, I’m not a perfect parent and I don’t pretend to be.
I’ve dealt with postpartum depression after having my twins and continue to deal with depression.
I know drinking would only make things in life worse.
I honestly can’t imagine drinking while being a parent.
I don’t judge those who do drink but I just know that for me, I had a hard time stopping after a drink or two.
Obviously, that wouldn’t be good with kids around.
I want to be 100% alert and able to deal with any situation that may come up with my children.
I want to be sober so I can drive them to school, the doctor, or to the ER if they become sick or injured.
Self-Care instead of Drowning Feelings
There are limitless other ideas to deal with being overwhelmed with children, the frustration that comes with raising children, and so forth, that DON’T include alcohol.
Especially as moms, we are overwhelmed on social media with memes and groups about how ‘mommy needs a drink,’ this is ‘mommy juice,’ or ‘send wine’ when we’ve had a rough day.
Alcohol is not the answer to your motherhood struggles.
As a depressant, it slows down your brain functioning and can have devastating effects.
Alcohol as a crutch to deal with parenting will only create harm.
You won’t be aware enough to deal with new issues that may arise and in the morning you’ll be dealing with the same problem you were upset about the night before.
You may awake angry at yourself because you drank instead of trying to figure out how to make the problem better.
Instead, choose to journal to work through your problems,
Talk through your problems with a spouse, friend, or therapist,
Talk to other moms on social media and see what they think of your problem.
Go for a walk,
Go for a (sober) drive,
Listen to music,
Punch a pillow,
All of those things are better than drinking.
I’m not the Only One who Feels this Way
In recent history, there have been multiple articles written regarding how toxic the ‘mommy wine culture’ is.
The rise of alcoholism in women has increased dramatically in the past 20 years.
This article from Good Housekeeping in September 2021 outlines how damaging the ‘mommy wine culture’ is and how sober moms are trying to get the word out as they see so many friends getting caught up in it.
Moms.com also has articles about how the ‘mommy wine culture’ is toxic to moms and dangerous to them and their children.
Another thing of note is a bottle of wine is 3 glasses of wine…not one or two.
Heavy drinking for women is consuming 3 or more drinks a day, or 7 drinks a week.
Based on the wide reach and adoption of the mommy wine culture,
I’d assume most moms are heavy drinkers if they ascribe to that mantra.
I hope that I’m incorrect in that assumption.
The CDC even has a fact sheet regarding Excessive Alcohol Use as being a Risk to Women’s Health.
Drinking can lead to things such as liver disease, breast cancer, a lasting impact on the brain, heart, and an increased prevalence of being sexually assaulted.
No Amount of Alcohol is Safe while Pregnant
Another thing of note, found within the above fact sheet, is there is NO amount of alcohol that is safe during pregnancy.
Many supporters of mommy wine culture will tell you that it’s ok to have a drink or two while pregnant.
Sorry to say but that is NOT true and there have been multiple studies documenting that.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is real, is lifelong, and is completely preventable.
When I was a school psychologist I worked with children diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and let me tell you, a drink or two to ‘unwind’ after a rough day while pregnant is NOT worth what you’ll put your child through for their lifetime.
Just think how many more rough days you’ll have if your child is born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder (FASD).
Children with FASD are great kids overall, they just really, really struggle with so many aspects of daily living, behavior, academics, and beyond.
It breaks my heart that FASD is completely preventable yet still occurs.
All this to Say…
The mommy wine culture is toxic.
You don’t have to drink in order to deal with motherhood.
I know what it’s like to have mental health issues, trauma, have endured abuse of all sorts,
But that doesn’t mean alcohol is the answer.
I’m not judging anyone, just want you to know you don’t have to drink to deal with being a mom.
If you want to learn more about life beyond alcohol, check out this book by Holly Whitaker called Quit Like a Woman: The Radical Choice Not to Drink in a Culture Obsessed with Alcohol. (affiliate link)
There is also a Quit Like a Woman Facebook Group created by some wonderful ladies with biweekly meetings via Zoom and great support 24/7
- Alcohol is a Depressant article by Addiction Center
- Good Housekeeping article regarding Mommy Wine Culture
- MOMS.com Mom-Wine Culture Criticized
- CDC Alcohol Use During Pregnancy
- CDC Basics of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
- CDC Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorders (FASD)
- CDC Excessive Alcohol Use is a Risk to Women’s Health
- Quit Like a Woman Facebook Group for support
As a mom of identical twins and a son two years older, I have gained invaluable experience in the realm, and chaos, of parenting. With a Master's Degree and Education Specialist Degree in School Psychology, I spent years as a school psychologist, helping children navigate through their educational and emotional challenges. Now as a stay at home mom and professional blogger, I combine my areas of expertise to help you in your parenting journey.