About a year or two ago, the book club I’m part of chose the book ‘Why Mummy Drinks’, by Gill Sims. I borrowed it from another woman and read about two chapters before thinking what a load of tripe and put it down.
And it wasn’t because I was going to stop drinking anytime soon.
And it wasn’t because it was hitting a nerve or uncomfortable in that way.
It was because it was suggesting we mummies need to drink because, well, having kids is just a little too ‘kiddy’ and well, we are fabulous creatures who need to remind ourselves of that by drinking. Basically it was suggesting to me that feminism and drinking are somehow great bedfellows. WHAT??
So I’m going to be a strong fun sexy mum, if I drink every night? Hmmmmmm.
Even though at the time I was in denial about my own problem drinking, I knew that Why THIS Mummy drank was not because I stepped on a piece of Lego. (That does hurt a lot don’t get me wrong) but that’s not why I drank. And I’m not a trailblazer. I don’t think it’s why most other mums drink either.
I needed wine o’clock because my marriage was proving more difficult than I expected and I was unhappy.
I needed ‘mummy juice’ because I felt lonely.
I deserved ‘letting off steam’ because I lacked purpose.
I ‘treated myself’ because i felt lost and a bit empty.
The only small part linked to parenting was that I liked the gear shift change at the end of the day.
But the big issues as to why I opened that bottle each evening had very little to do with kids exhausting me.
And what I have learned since I stopped drinking is that…
Being a sober parent is the best part of being sober.
You are truly reliable. You SEE them fully.
And that’s what kids need most. To be seen and to be HEARD.
Not to be dismissed easily or not taken seriously.
Not to be taught that drinking is the best way to cope.
Most of us strive to be the best parents we can be, and ‘mummy wine time’ creates a parenting deficit. More wine, more deficit.
T-shirt’s that say ‘rosé all day’ attempt to give us full permission, empower and justify our over-drinking. Keep us in denial where we needn’t face our problems or improve our situations. Aha! Just blame it on that damn Lego, and pour some more mummy juice.
Debunking the Glamour of Mummy’s Wine Time One Voice at a Time – Because Sobriety is the Best Kept Secret
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