Sober Mum

A Letter to My Daughter from Her Newly Sober Mum

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Dearest one,

Last night you unlocked something important for me. And you made me SO proud.

When most 6 year olds would have be worrying about how to evade capture at bedtime, you were nestled in your bed and wanted to have a heart to heart.

It was the last day of school holidays and you looked ever so serious and said how you had really wanted to make me a present that day but you got busy and forgot.

That’s ok, I said.

You said you wanted to make me a present to say thank you for organising such a fun summer. You said you are aware I’m the one booking things and organising it all. And you wanted to tell me that the big advances you made swimming have given you terrific confidence for starting Year 2.

Your words were,

I am going to be so brave this year. I am going to stand up for myself.

You asked why you felt so good about it, you were curious as to why you had no trepidation or fear and we discussed the word confidence and being happy with yourself. And how all the great activities you did over the summer help build that up.

You said you have had the best summer ever.

And you have. You have grown and blossomed.

It’s been an extra special summer. And I remember every second of it.

What you are too young to understand now is that a big part of why it was so great was because I have stopped drinking. Your best and most confident growth took place the second I put the wine down, and picked you up instead. I am finally proudly, gratefully a sober mum.

Being sober makes me love to be your mum even more than I thought possible. The difference in my level of parenting is the biggest motivator and best change I’ve seen.

As a sober mum my patience has doubled.

As a sober mum instead of running hot and cold, I run at an even temperature (most of the time;)

As a sober mum I pay better attention to your needs and know better where to place boundaries.

I’m not perfect and never will be, but I am blossoming as your mummy and you are the proof.

You are the beautiful confident proof that sobriety does indeed offer everything alcohol promised to this sober mum.

I hope you have the best year ahead. I will not be drinking. I will learn from what you have taught me this summer. And in turn try to be the best teacher for you that I can be.

I am filled with awe and wonder to watch you grow.

I am blessed and honoured to be your mum.

Maybe one day I will share this letter with you. I will certainly hope to share this story.

Love Mummy xx


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― Caroline Knapp, Drinking: A Love Story

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