So you’re a mum of young children. You’re also one of many millions of drinking mums having a wind down drink at night. Often drinking alone. Often to excess. Often hearing a nagging internal voice saying…’I shouldn't drink like this?’ Yet being a mum to young children is a tough job. Yes it fills you with love and pride. Yes it’s meaningful and so often wonderful. But some days are so bloody hard and lonely that a big ‘f%*k off’ drink seems the only way to relax, escape and get some sanity and me-time. Fast forward and before you know it you’re hitting the booze-beast big time all the time, and guilt and shame are your morning wake up partners.
Before kids, no one judged the way you boozed. You drank, you partied, you hung the next day and nobody cared about it. Rightly or wrongly, for many becoming a mum changes what you think, and what others think.
But having children doesn’t stop the desire to drink – for many it increases it.
Raising tiny human beings is stressful and means we can’t just walk out of the house and hit the gym/yoga class, go to the movies or meet a friend to unwind. And so the ‘wine O’clock wind-down’ becomes ever more vital.
Facebook is full of drinking mum groups such as ‘Moms Who Need Wine’ and fast circulating memes along the lines of ‘You’re not drinking alone if your kids are home!’
There seems to be four main tribes that drinking mums fall into:
1. Solidarity Drinking Mums
Their drinking isn't viewed as a problem. It’s something to unite over – defending the right to laugh and bond over soiled nappies, crying toddlers and unlimited Chardonnay and vodka.
2. Mums Having The Odd Drink
They can take it or leave it. No story to tell here.
3. Shamed Lonely Drinking Mums
The loneliest camp. They believe they are on their own with something they consider a problem. They aren’t celebrating their drinking. They want to change their drinking but alone they can’t, and they daren’t reach out and share their guilty secret.
4. Solidarity Mums Alcohol Free
These mums share a different solidarity to drinking mums. They are bonded by new found freedoms. They have a life and a ‘headspace’ they don’t need to escape from. They’ve found a new and happy way to live alcohol free and are loving life – and are connecting with each other face-to-face at meet ups and online through various website forums and Facebook groups. They’re a happy bunch!
No.3 is a painful place to be, and we would urge any drinking mum identifying with this to reach out and find a group to love and support you – there is no shortage of face-to-face or online places that can give you a sense of belonging, offer friendship and laughter, help clarify some things for you – supporting you as you journey to alcohol-free ‘freedom’. So reach out – nothing but good waiting for you.
Take part in our alcohol free challenge and make new friends on the journey in our very active closed Facebook group.
CLICK HERE to take a self assessment of your drinking habits
An entrepreneur and former senior oil broker, Ruari gave up drinking after excessive consumption almost cost him his marriage, and worse, his life. Going alcohol-free improved his relationships, career and energy levels, leading to him founding OYNB to provide a support network for others.