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Too Much “Mommy Juice?” Three Tips to Rely Less on Wine

If pandemic drinking is becoming a problem, use these strategies to get support.

Key points

  • Mothers have experienced a sharp rise in drinking alcohol during the pandemic.
  • Connecting with others for support is not only valuable, but an important part of childrearing.
  • All humans need time for rejuvenation and respite. Moms in particular need to prioritize making that time.
  • Mental health support is available to women who need it; some programs are designed especially for mothers with children.
August de Richelieu/Pexels
Moms are drinking more than any time in the recent past.
Source: August de Richelieu/Pexels

Have you noticed the trend to promote or even glamorize the drinking of “Mommy juice" (wine)? Stressed beyond what they can take with demands of home, work, parenting, and Covid-19, many parents, especially moms, have started drinking more than they did in the past.

Adults have reported a significant increase in drinking during the pandemic, both the number of drinks consumed at a sitting and the numbers of days on which drinks are taken. Women’s drinking has increased disproportionately to men’s drinking. This may be because women are disproportionately stressed due to the need to care for children while maintaining the home and working.

Many women have been forced out of the workforce to care for children during the Covid-19 pandemic. Drinking to cope has increased significantly, some studies suggesting a 300% increase in drinking among women with children, since the start of the pandemic. While the impact of such alcohol consumption likely won’t be known for years, there are steps to take to curb drinking.

Here are three tips to help you manage your stress, so that you might drink less.

Connect with Other Moms/Parents

If you look at human evolution, there is no point until the modern era in which women were expected to raise children essentially on their own. Until recently, we humans lived in multi-generational households, and in communities or villages where people knew and connected socially with one another. Women might all go to the river together to wash clothes or tend the fields together. Friends met at the park and organized play groups. There were peers, aunties, and grandmothers—whether related by blood or not—who were ready to help raise the children.

Connecting with other parents/moms is a great way to share the burdens of child-rearing. Make playdates so that you can talk with other adults. Share time together. Let children study in pods. Make arrangements for one parent in the group to take several children for a few hours so that you can have a break or run errands without children tagging along. Connection is the most helpful and healing thing you can do for yourself, and it’s a good experience for your children to have other reliable adults in their community for support.

Make Time for Yourself

If you’re trying to get one minute to yourself in the bathroom alone but see paws and fingers slipping under the locked door, it’s imperative for your mental health to find some time to do something that rejuvenates you. It might be ten minutes for yoga or a bath. You might want to read a book, knit, or go for a walk. Whatever it is that means something to you, your health will suffer if you don’t make time for you.

Some people don’t have the luxury of personal time. They may not have partners who help or may have to work two jobs to make ends meet. These problems are real – but drinking alcohol doesn’t address them.

Drinking only makes us unavailable to have genuine interaction with the people we love. And, depending on how much alcohol is ingested, it can make the stresses of our lives worse.

If you have a genuine need for support, start asking for it—from your family, a religious organization you belong to, or a social service group. Even five minutes of quiet time, such as sipping coffee before the kids get up, will make a positive impact on your mental health.

Seek Mental Health Treatment

If your drinking has got to the point that there are negative consequences, it’s time to seek structured assistance. If your drinking has developed into alcoholism, there are 12-step and other community programs available to help. There are rehab programs designed for women with children, including outpatient services.

In less severe cases, support from a psychotherapist or a mom’s group can make a dramatic, positive impact on how you feel. Stress and anxiety are very real problems. Find people who will listen to you and who have the ability to help you find solutions to your problems. You deserve to engage in whatever treatment you need in order to live your life to its fullest.

“Mommy juice” is certainly reasonable now and again. But if you find that you are drinking more often, or more volume, or are having consequences from your drinking that you are not comfortable with, seek support. Your kids will thank you.

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