Having a glass of wine while you relax at the end of a long day is a common occurence in many homes. "Mom wine culture" is something we often laugh about, with baby onesies carrying clever jokes about wine being “mommy juice” and wine stoppers shaped as pacifiers. It isn’t often we hear from another voice on how this affects women who may use mom wine culture as a way to mask their addiction or simply put a bandaid on a serious problem with anxiety or any other mental illness.
We all know how exhausting being a parent can be, especially when caring for small children. It can be hard to find moments in the day or week when you feel like you are more than just a mom. The hours are grueling and sometimes the rewards are few and far between. This is precisely why the whole mom wine culture seems to work, it’s a simple quick fix for moms who need to relieve tension fast.
But for Self magazine’s Claire Gillespie, she now understands how she used mom wine culture as a crutch and excuse to drink wine to excess on a daily basis. Gillespie, who says she often rewarded herself with a bottle of wine after getting kids bathed and in bed, proudly admits she is now sober and it wasn’t until she gave up drinking that she realized how problematic mom wine culture can be for those who struggle with addiction, anxiety and other mental illnesses.
Licensed mental health counselor, Channing Marinari, explains some of the messages the "Mommy Needs Wine” mantra sends to women who are struggling. Marinari says, “We need to think about the message the ‘Mommy needs wine’ culture sends to women. That moms need wine to handle the chaos of raising kids and life? That moms can only socialize over wine? That wine solves the problem of motherhood? None of those things are true, and the ramifications can be serious.”
Gillespie, though sober, sees no problem with friends and family imbibing in a responsible way. She explains that it’s the message to women and moms that wine will solve your problems is what’s dangerous. Gillespie says, “However, I know from experience that there can be fine line between responsible social drinking and numbing yourself with booze to deal with being a parent (or with work, or a relationship, or mental health issues, or any number of stressful circumstances).”
What do you think about the mom wine culture?
Do you think it can be problematic or is it just a fun way to bond with other moms?
I agree it should not be used as it has been so glamorized. Just as with anything, moderation and be sensible. If one can't handle parenting so much then maybe talking with someone about an underlying issue should be addressed. Hey we all have times where it's hard to deal with the whining and crying and complete chaos some days throw at us. It's always up a d down. But think of positive thoughts and push out the negative ones. Dont let them unpack and take your life away. It's just as much effort really but one is creating and influencing our little ones to problem solve and have a well rounded balance of dealing with life. No one is perfect to say the least. And raising children is not do as I say not as I do. If you are doing it and you tell them No, it will be their greatest mission to do it.
I definitely see how this "Mommy wine culture" could be used as a mask to normalize substance abuse. Everyone is different and everyone has their own way of dealing with different situations but for some, and for me, this has always been the case. I believe it has a lot to do with the fact that society as a whole doesn't see much of a problem with alcoholism, especially in young adults. From my experience many people have encouraged drinking to excess and think building up tolerance to any form of alcohol is 'cool' and even shamed on if you can't which is why it's so easy for it to become a bad habit. Not in the parent community but just about everywhere else. Over all, I do think that social drinking is a good way to unwind and enjoy the company of others, but I believe it is when you have trouble knowing your limits when it becomes a problem, especially when it falls on the pressure of 'one glass won't do harm'. Just know yourself.
I love wine and always have. I actually started drinking wine as a minor. Our family is Italian and the kids all got a taste during the holidays, like a sip. I buy lots of wine, but only drink it occasionally. I like to have a variety on hand to cook with. I like a glass to relax at the end of a long day. I think certainly some people can have it as a crutch, but I think the majority of moms do not.