I know. I know. You think it’s cute, right?!! Hell, I even said it once or twice to my minis when they were younger. “This is mommy’s juice girls! You can’t have any of this! Let’s find your sippy cups of milk, okay?!” And I’d go back to clinking glasses (or solo cups because we fancy ;)) of wine with my girlfriends, have a giggle, and take big sips.

And this song and dance was happening with just about any and all of my friend groups, the people I follow on social media, the chatter I overhear at ‘ladies night out’ dinners, and on every tv show with a mom on it, etc. The narrative barely ever changes and it goes something like this:

‘being a mom is hard work so i drink wine to ____________________ (fill in the blank)’

Here are some of the options…

  • Reward myself
  • Numb the hard
  • Forget the mess (literal and figurative)
  • Want to feel good
  • Celebrate bedtime
  • Escape
  • Be more sexual
  • Insert your own answer

But here’s the part where I was a bit of the odd mom out though. I hate red wine, and only like one type of white, so if anything but pinot grigio was offered, I typically didn’t partake. I also tend to only drink socially…out to dinner with friends, a party, charity function, sporting event, concert, etc. Joshua and I aren’t the types of people who come home after a long day and drink a beer, or pour ourselves a cocktail. We don’t have wine with dinner…hell, I barely cook anything nice enough to consider pairing it with a wine option anyways!

So for 2017, I decided to not drink (I’ll get more to that part towards the end), and I’ve noticed more than ever before (probably BECAUSE of my not drinking) is how much women talk/post about how much they drink. Somewhere along the line, it became “normal” for women (specifically moms) to talk about how much wine they were guzzling every night…like it was their badge of honor for making it through the day? But guess who else noticed?!

EVERY FREAKING COMPANY IN THE WORLD

And guess what those companies are doing? Laughing all the way to the bank on the backs of what many women are now dealing with…addiction. We have become the PUNCHLINE to the jokes, ladies. You’ve seen the shirts, “I drink coffee til it’s acceptable to drink wine.” Maybe at one point it was funny? But many aren’t laughing anymore. They realize they can’t function without it. They’re waking up with the shakes. They’re wondering when they can start drinking again…when is wine o’clock? Can it start sooner because I invited a friend for a play date? “It’s 5 o’clock somewhere,” #amirightladies?! {internally rolling my eyes}

When Amazon decided to start their one hour delivery service, what did they broadcast right away? What was their marketing campaign? “YOU CAN GET WINE ON YOUR DOORSTEP IN AS LITTLE AS ONE HOUR LADIES!!!!” Seriously, google “amazon one hour” and the top two out of three things that pop up are “alcohol delivery” and “delivery wine.” Yall shared the heck out of that with everyone in your feeds, and drove up that SEO. Putty in their hands.

But THIS. This is the straw that broke the camel’s back for me. When I realized that companies were no longer going after womens’ apparel/home goods/decor for their “funny” wine saying, but after our kids’ too…

What in the ACTUAL EFF is going on here?! I’m gonna need someone to explain to me why this is at all cute? And I’m NOT talking about the leg warmers (which we can agree are on point, obvi).

Then there’s this one that my friend Shauna sent me…

“I just love when my mommy dresses me in a onesie that calls me wino AND a snob,” says no baby ever.

And let’s not forget about this one, shall we…?!

Oh yay! You even get get a discount code “HAPPY10″…ironic wording, but who doesn’t love a onesie that says ‘moms are only fun when they’re drunk’…can i get an amen?!

YALL. We have reached a point where companies are putting alcohol on BABY CLOTHING, and people are lapping it up! Would you put cigarettes on a onesie? Then why are we letting THIS happen? And notice they’re targeting our baby girls primarily with this clothing. Women control most of the buying power?!!! Full stop ladies. Full mother effing stop. I’m sad, and I’m mad, and I think you should be too. We need to stop normalizing alcoholism, and set a good example for our children.

Call me a buzzkill, pun intended, but I’m not laughing anymore. Wine should be savored and enjoyed, not depended upon to make life manageable. Spoiler alert: let me tell ya what makes parenting harder…A HANGOVER, BEING TIRED, and FEELING LIKE ISH ALL DAMN DAY. And/or being obsessed with something so much that you’re thinking more about IT than anything else. And I’m #sorrynotsorry but you’re never going to convince me that you actually LOVE the taste of two buck chuck.

To make sure I’m being clear here. I don’t think all people who drink have a problem. I don’t want to ban wine. I think girls nights out are awesome! I love a good cocktail with dinner, a beer at a tailgate, and a mimosa at brunch. I’m not even saying getting drunk is a problem! I’m talking about a culture that glorifies alcohol abuse, and is specifically targeting exhausted moms. We’re being used as pawns in a game, and we’re the ones buying all of the onesies, AND the damn wine. I simply want us to look around and notice the LINK that’s been made between “surviving motherhood and drinking too much wine nightly,” and we’ve let it happen.

We shouldn’t demean motherhood, especially when so many women want to be, and can’t or aren’t. Is motherhood hard? Sure! Do you sometimes feel like you need to do something to remind yourself you’re an adult? Of course! But I can promise you the answer to any problem isn’t found at the bottom of the bottle of wine. Quite the reverse actually. And I’m not going to apologize for being a bit sensitive about it.

I grew up with copious amounts of alcohol at every family function. Life was a big party. My parents were the consummate hosts, and we even had a saying, “if you leave hungry or thirsty, it’s your own damn fault!” And by “thirsty,” we didn’t mean water. And all was well…until it wasn’t anymore. My dad’s party had become an addiction, and he went to detox, largely because of Joshua and subsequently me…with my mom having to make the call.

I cannot shout it loudly enough from the rooftops that my dad is now 13 1/2 years sober, and that he hasn’t relapsed since that day he was driven to detox. It’s a real mind f%$k to see your dad in a hospital gown, shaking from withdrawls. But it’s music to your ears to hear him say “thank you for telling on me.” I was 22 when he got sober, and a few months later, he walked me down the aisle. I’m so damn proud of him.

But know this ladies, your children see you. They’re watching and absorbing everything you do. They hear your words and see your actions, and internalize them more than you may think. I have 8 and 11 year old girls. I need to set the right example. It starts with us, as most things do.

And when we know better, we do better.

I don’t know what the answer is. I am not an addiction specialist, and am not pretending to be one. I certainly can take a joke. But I feel it in my bones that this has simply gone too far. Maybe I’m wrong? But when I get a private message telling me that a person pretends to drink around their family because they’re questioned to death if they don’t have a cocktail in hand, we have created a culture that doesn’t make sense to me. When I decline a drink at a party, and the first comment is “but you have KIDS…how do you NOT drink?!,” I am confused. How do we fix this? I’m all ears.

I briefly mentioned above that I quit drinking this year, and people were shocked to hear I was giving up alcohol for 2017. “But you don’t have a problem?!!!” I heard that one a lot. Some of my closest friends have never even seen me with a buzz, let alone drunk. So yeah, I know I don’t need to stop. But I had the time of my life New Year’s Eve 2016, and felt like my hangover was going to last a lifetime, so I grandly declared on the most official of all places, facebook (#duh), that I was going to be SOBER for ’17! It even had its own hashtag 😉

I did it for a couple of reasons…I love a good challenge (I’m competitive even with my own self), I needed a resolution (for once), I thought I’d lose weight (didn’t work), and more. But mostly, because I had seen the shift in society I talked about above, and it was driving me insane. I thought that if I went sober for 2017, maybe other people reading my post would be inspired to do so too? They would see that I’m a mom, with multiple jobs, a crazy life, lots of stress, and yet STILL didn’t NEED to drink to “deal” with it all! That maybe they had been internally contemplating it, but didn’t want to do it alone? I mentioned in the post that if anyone wanted to do it with me, to PM me and I’d support them on the DL. No one took me up on it. Damnit.

But I wasn’t deterred.

And although it was hard at first to say “no thanks!” I got into a rhythm and was drink-free for 7+ months! Now, I’ve promised to always be honest on this blog, so I did have a few drinks on my birthday in August, but I didn’t get drunk! In fact, I fell asleep sans buzz, and woke up feeling awesome! Well, that’s not true. I was allergic to something in the room, and woke up congested and a hot mess of snot, but there was no hangover!!!

I realize that this means I don’t get to say #sober17 anymore (I stopped using the hashtag even). I also realize that if I was in an actual recovery program, that I wouldn’t get to decide to just have a few drinks on my birthday…that’s not how it works. But unlike every diet I’ve started, at least I didn’t say, “well I’ve broken my streak, so screw it!” I went right back to saying “no thanks” and haven’t had a drink since that day, and WILL finish out my mission!

My point in telling yall about Sober ’17 is because I wanted you to know that I’m not just talking about the problem I’m seeing, but trying to walk the walk. But also, an important note: those drinks on my birthday had NOTHING to do with my kids, or being a mom. In fact, I was at a local resort with four of my girlfriends, swimming in a pool and getting a facial. Nothing HARD about that day at all, except the already mentioned allergy attack 🙂 The glass of wine I had wasn’t used to cope with life.

I want us to find other things to help cope with the hard, instead of the “Just have a glass of wine! It fixes everything!”

If you need resources to help with alcohol, check out this list. A sober friend of mine also suggests the podcast, Home. If you know of any other great resources, please comment below. Also, I’m curious to hear your thoughts…is anyone else with me on this?! And please share if you’re so inclined. We can’t change the things we aren’t willing to talk about.

Feel free to PIN IT!