IT’S BECOME A standing joke among modern mothers that a glass of wine (or two, or three) is a necessary and well-deserved reward after a hard day of “mommying”. Many mothers will laugh about needing several strong cups of coffee until it’s an acceptable time to crack the first bottle of Chenin (after all, it’s wine o’clock somewhere in the world, am I right?)
We share Instagram memes about not understanding what a wine stopper is for and tag our mom friends in TGIF posts about needing to “rescue some wine” out of a bottle after a long week at work, or a mind-numbing afternoon at home with the kids.
And while we can’t afford to have a sense-of-humor failure when it comes to parenting (if we don’t laugh we’ll cry, right?), we need to be aware that perpetuating the wine-mom trope could be more of a problem for some mothers than we care to admit.
Normalizing a culture that glamourizes pills or alcohol as a coping mechanism to “get you through the day” is perhaps more problematic than any of us care to admit.
ADDICTION CAN SNEAK UP ON YOU
Cape Town mom-of-two Claire Choudhry knew she had a problem when she suddenly switched from drinking wine and beer to drink a bottle of vodka at night because it “was stronger and acted quicker”.
Prior to that, Claire had been finishing a bottle of wine or two each night to cope with persistent depression and anxiety.
This year, Claire celebrated seven years of sobriety. She believes that, had she not cut alcohol from her life when she did, her marriage may not have survived, and she wouldn’t have become a mom to Jack (5) and Harry (4).
Nevertheless, the Cape Town mom admits that alcohol still sometimes crosses her mind as a quick-fix solution for feelings of anxiety and being overwhelmed, especially during the hardest days of being a mom.
“Anxiety reared its head in the early days of motherhood – the first two years were especially hard for me. I was living in the UK at the time with no support system close by. And when you’re in it, it can feel like a permanent crisis and that you’re all alone. Lack of sleep made it that much worse for me,” she recalls.
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