I’ve been innocently knocking back, on average, half a bottle of wine (some more nights) every night for around 12 years!!
When my 3rd child was born and I started to loose my mind from being a mum of 3, I discovered the perfect way of de-stressing after a full on, straight up fucking exhausting day of mumming, I’d just pour myself a glass of wine.
Before I knew it, most days I would find myself at buying wine in preparation for what had fast become my nightly routine. It is a big fat high five to myself for getting through another day of parenting, it is my liquid solitude, it is m my non-judgemental, ever available, no questions asked, sitting in silence, trusted side kick.
As the years went by I saw more and more mothers popping corks and enlisting their knackered, snot smeared, sleep deprived, and emotionally battered selves to the nightly ritual of kicking back with a glass in hand and a vacant look on their face. Every night when I pop the cork (or unscrewed the cap on a 2 for £11) I know that there was another mother somewhere in the world doing the exact same thing, I am part of a collective of women who reward their mothering efforts with booze.
It’s just what us mums do isn’t it? No-one batting an eyelid, everyone just self-medicating in a bid to drown out the noise of the day. To do something just for us, something adult, something that feels grown up after a day of Paw Patrol and battles to even get them to perform one of their most basic needs, to simply, just, bloody eat. (Why do they resist such a basic need? ‘I’m just trying to keep you ALIVE FFS!!’)
And so, 12 years on, I fear that my alcoholic ‘escape’ has become an alcoholic addiction.
This in itself is pretty shitty as anyone who has given up smoking (7 years free) or any other addiction knows, it’s really bloody hard to quit, especially when it tastes soooooo good!
But, strangely enough, it’s not my dependency on alcohol (don’t get me wrong, I don’t put voddy on my cornflakes BUT I do need to – and I do- drink pretty much EVERYDAY) that’s made me re-think my behaviour! My dependency is something that I’m just rolling with until I’m ready to deal it. Of course it would be easier to deal with it if everywhere I looked drinking wasn’t seen as a perfectly acceptable thing to do when you’re a mum. All over social media mums are sharing pics of their chosen tipple at the end of a long and challenging parenting day with the lines ‘wine time’. Or you’ll be talking to a friend about how shitty a day you’ve had and 9 times out of 10 their reaction is ‘open the wine, you’ve earned it’.
So, for now I’ll just keep doing it. Although, I am trying to cut back.
I’ll have a day where I’ll think ‘no wine tonight’, where I’ll remind myself of all the harm it does to my body, how many calories/Slimming World Syns are in just one glass, I’ll get myself into a strong wine free state of mind, and then I’ll scroll through Instagram and be lured back into what has fast become a totally acceptable situation. Before I know it, I’ve convinced myself that it’s OK, and that all mums drink every night.
We’ve earned it…….
And I pop another cork.
What bothers me more than the fight I have ahead when I finally face my addiction and decide to do something about it, is that that my adult sons now smoke weed (rite of passage, right? We’ve all done it, right?), whilst I’m banging on about the dangers of drug use, and whilst I’m dying inside picturing my little boys as hardened drug addicts (bit dramatic) the whole while they make a really valid point.
“But you drink wine every day? Just because it’s legal, and socially acceptable, it doesn’t mean it’s not doing you harm? Or that there’s not a risk you’ll become addicted or that it’ll lead on to a bigger problem (voddy on conflakes)”
The boys have a point. And whilst I don’t condone their behaviour at all, I do see where they’re coming from and I didn’t actually have a leg to stand on up there on my moral high ground, looking down on them, judging them.
I’d set the standard of what’s acceptable and apparently taking a narcotic to ease your day is a perfectly acceptable thing to do, it’s just that my drug of choice is a lot more accepted by society than theirs.
I’m not blaming myself for them smoking weed but I think as mothers we often track back to ‘what did I do to cause that’ and I did drink every day for the most part of their lives, maybe that did have an impact?
A bottle always half drunk on the worktop, pouring a glass to have with dinner, pouring another glass when I go to get their pyjamas, pour another glass when we sit down to watch another bastard episode of Adventure Time. Constantly and subliminally giving them messages that it’s OK to do use a substance to take the edge off.
If alcohol wasn’t so readily available, so acceptable, so expected, then would I have been so carefree and brazen about it?
If it didn’t come with massive marketing budgets and carefully designed bottles and labels to lure us in, would I still have been drawn to it?
Would it have become a trend?
I stopped smoking when the manufactures started putting the nasty photos on the boxes. Real life photos of the damage smoking can cause. That stopped me in my tracks.
Do you think it’s time to make drinking less accepted in a bid to break the current ‘wine time’ cycle? Or will you be pouring a glass with me tonight?