It’s not that there was anything particularly different about today. It was like so many others. You woke up feeling a little less tired than when you went to bed, but still bone tired. Maybe there was a fight at breakfast over what color plate someone had, or you were late dropping the kids off. The sink is full of dishes, someone’s uniform isn’t washed, is it grocery day? You catch yourself clenching your teeth and fists as you race through the store, shoving items in your cart, hoping to make it to pick up on time, or before someone falls asleep for an early nap in the cart.
The list goes on, toys on the floor, dinner, crying kids, homework, and the dreaded bedtime. Without someone to listen, to help out, or even a little bit of time to yourself, it can seem like so much to handle. A glass of wine or two at the end of the day while you watch your favorite show to unwind sounds innocent enough.
You see it in books, movies, and memes. You hear it in statements like “it’s five o’clock somewhere right?” or referring to it as “Mommy’s juice”. It’s often a joke about how else can a mom get through the day, or her reward for making it through another day is a bottle of wine.
Don’t get us wrong, if you like to unwind sometimes with a glass of wine or a cold beer on a summer night, that’s ok! Being a mom is hard work, and we all deserve to relax, unwind and have fun. The problem is when it becomes a habit and that habit turns into an addiction. One glass of wine turns into two. You find yourself reaching for the wine earlier and earlier, and before you know it, two glasses turn into a bottle. Then you’re having a glass while you cook dinner, put the kids to bed, and open another bottle for your late night show.
This may sound alarmist, but the truth is, alcoholism among mothers is on the rise (S S). Too much alcohol is bad for your brain and your liver. It also affects your sleep! At the root of drinking too much is a suffering mom who needs help. Before we talk about how to help, let’s talk about what is “too much”.
What is too much?
Having a drink every so often is not a sign of Alcohol Use Disorder, but here are some signs to look out for:
- Craving a Drink
- Drinking more than you intended often
- Not being able to perform your daily duties due to the effects of drinking too much
- Have to drink more to feel the effects of alcohol
- Giving up or cutting back on activities you enjoy so you can drink
- You get upset or frustrated when you can’t drink (S)
Modern day society is not set up to help us moms out. Both of us live in a state that has the highest bars per capita and has a big drinking culture. This along with families that are often scattered, friends that are busy, and the day-to-day burden that too often fall on our shoulders creates a storm of problems for moms. We need stress relief, and we need to learn how to care for ourselves. We’re here to tell you you don’t have to turn to a glass of wine at the end of each day to care for yourself.
What to do instead?
Some women transition into motherhood seamlessly, finding mommy and me groups, friends, and community, but for a lot of us, it’s a process. You might not know where to start or where to look for a community. The local library often has groups and classes you might want to check. If you’re having a hard time finding community, check out this blog. Here are some ideas to help you unwind at the end of the day:
- Join a book club (virtual or in person)
- Drink tea
- Hot herbal baths
- Herbal foot soak
- Evening Walk
- Start a hobby
- basket weave
- wood work
- needle point
Non-Alcoholic drinks are no longer sparse and nerdy. They got a fabulous rebranding, and alcohol free drinks have never been more fun or trendy. Mocktails are all the rage right now, ranging from fun flavors and mixes to an even healthier option where they add herbs and adaptogens to make fun mocktails. You can try our recipe to make a tasty adaptogenic mocktail as you shift your habits.
If you find yourself really stressed at the end of the day, your body might need some help processing stress. Earthley’s Anxiety Relief tincture and Goodnight Lotion can be really helpful. If you’d like to learn more about stress you can read Natural Ways to Reduce Stress & Anxiety..
We moms are doing the work, raising future generations. Often tackling problems and issues that generations before us didn’t have to deal with. Our kids will be strong, resilient, and emotionally intelligent, and we will be too.