If you use Facebook or some other social media, odds are that you’ve seen the “mommy and wine” memes. There might be a picture of a single woman collapsed in an armchair with a glass of wine, or a group of young, attractive women gathered at a bar drinking. Then there’s a witty comment that’s meant to make mothers commiserate. A quick search reveals such alarming statements as “You’re not drinking alone if your kids are home,” and a picture of a mom with a child slung under one arm and a glass of liquor in hand, saying, “It’s five o’clock somewhere!” There’s even a Facebook and Instagram account called Moms Who Need Wine, and the Instagram page has almost 30,000 followers. Why is it that we’re suddenly encouraging moms to drink whenever they feel stressed? It might be meant for a laugh, but is it really a great idea to encourage mothers to drink around their kids?
First of all, to someone who is struggling with or in recovery for alcoholism, the suggestion that wine is necessary to survive as a mother is a terrible message. Really, it’s a terrible message for anyone. Wine isn’t equivalent to kicking your feet up with a romcom to relax – it can get you drunk or at least impaired enough to affect your thinking and reactions, which could be dangerous if you’re alone with your kid and there’s some kind of emergency. According to the National Institute On Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, wine can contain 12 to 17 percent alcohol, which is more than beer. If nothing else, wine can make you feel sleepy, and according to those memes half the reason you’re drinking it in the first place is because you’re so exhausted.
For whatever reason, wine has become not only socially acceptable but encouraged as being classy. Imagine if you said, “It’s been a rough afternoon at the park; I’m putting my kids down for a nap and smoking some pot.” People would probably judge you, even though the effects aren’t all that dissimilar.
Perhaps the most important point is that if you turn to wine every time you want to decompress, you run the risk of becoming. Do you run to the kitchen every time your kids are engrossed in an activity or as soon as they’ve gone to bed? Do you spend all evening waiting for that moment, so you can have a drink? Are you keeping your drinking a secret from your spouse or friends? You might find yourself spending all of your time talking to the other wine moms online because you feel like they’re the only ones who understand you, and spending less and less time around your friends in real life. All of these things are signs that you might be developing a problem.
If you or a loved one need help with quitting drugs or alcohol, consider Asana Recovery. We offer medical detox, along with both residential and outpatient programs, and you’ll be supervised by a highly trained staff of medical professionals, counselors, and therapists. Call us any time at (949) 438-4504 to get started.