When Does the Use of Alcohol for Self-Care Become a Problem for Parents

The memes are truthful – red, white, and rosé wine consumption among young parents has increased more than ever, raising the question: when does the use of alcohol for self-care become a problem? More than 1,600 mothers were polled by parents to determine the clear implications of that for parenting children. See how your habits compare to the insights gathered from this important study.

My routine underwent a few not-so-great changes with the birth of my son last year. One factor was that there was a lot less exercise being done. I also take a lot less time than usual to clean my teeth and take a shower. Sad to say, less sex.

However, drinking appeared to be more prevalent than anything else. When my son was around 4 months old, I recall going to a matinee movie with a parent friend and her infant. We picked a posh theater that offered snacks and drinks. The beverages were excellent, but the movie was mediocre. By the time the credits rolled, I had almost finished a second pint of stout while my friend sipped on an Aperol Spritz.

It was barely after two in the afternoon, during a Tuesday.

I consumed a glass or two of wine on most days of the week during those hectic early months of parenthood, frequently beginning before sunset. It turned out that I wasn’t drinking by myself. Parents polled more than 1,600 moms on their alcohol consumption, and 78% admitted to consuming at least one alcoholic beverage per week. Four or more drinks are consumed weekly by one in three people. The preferred swig? More than half of the mothers answered, “Wine all the way.” Not a significant deal thus far.

But what happens when grabbing a bottle at six o’clock in the evening begins to feel more like a reflex than a decision? About 50% of respondents to our study stated they have cut back on their alcohol consumption since becoming mothers, while 39% said they drink little or never. However, 48% claimed to have made an effort to limit their drinking. One in three people acknowledged having this concern, and 12% stated they had similar concerns about having a dependency issue. In addition, 52% of mothers admitted to frequently drinking in the presence of their kids, and 47% admitted to getting inebriated in front of them.

I have experience being the child in those situations. My mother regularly drank wine at night. One who is upbeat and tipsy more frequently than drunk. But I became aware of the difference when she drank at a young age. She was arranged, cool, and perhaps too tightly coiled by day. She broke into her fourth glass of Burgundy.

77% of mothers who responded to our study stated their drinking had no impact on how they are as parents. Could it be real? Is having a buzz while parenting really unimportant? Are we deluding ourselves, or what?

It’s (A Little) Funny

Mother of two from Redding, California, April Storey has a love for wine and exercise. She rose to fame two years ago after sharing a “wine exercise” on Facebook. She does push-ups while holding a glass underneath her in the video. She lowers herself to drink through a straw after each exercise, which she explains is only a comedic flourish because “I don’t actually drink when I work out.” However, Storey’s essay resonated with readers, earning over 22 million views and a deluge of comments. She was aware that other mothers shared her love of wine, but she was unaware of the sheer number.

Despite research showing that no amount of alcohol is safe, 49% of American women stated they preferred wine to other types of alcohol, which may be due to the general belief that wine is healthier than other types of alcohol.

Even so, the wine still has celebrity status among health-conscious people as the mythical beverage that is said to be able to reduce waist circumference and boost immunological function. Reality check: According to a study from the American Society of Clinical Oncology, consuming one drink per day, whether it be wine or another beverage, can increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer by 4%.

If you believe the messages of films like Bad Moms, Facebook memes and GIFs, and the charming slogans printed on T-shirts available on Etsy (“I wine because they whine,” ha-ha), wine is apparently a cure-all for the difficulties of contemporary parenthood.

The phrase “Parenting is so hard, I need my wine” has evolved into a wink-wink joke, according to Gabrielle Glaser, author of Her Best-Kept Secret, a book about American women’s relationships with alcohol. The punch line has a flaw: It provides individuals with legitimate drinking problems with justification for their actions.

Stefanie Wilder-Taylor, who used to be the wisecracking, is aware of this personally. She gave up drinking in 2009 after realizing that her nightly swilling had gotten out of control. She is the author of Sippy Cups Are Not for Chardonnay. Later, Wilder-Taylor founded the Booze-Free Brigade, an online group. Many moms who joke about their drinking habits don’t have one. They merely find it amusing,” she claims. But those who do struggle with addiction are duped into believing that “every mom drinks like I do.”

According to experts, the darker side of the drinking culture’s impact on our health needs to be revealed. According to Deborah Hasin, Ph.D., a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, there is an increase in alcohol use disorders, arrests for driving under the influence, and fatalities linked to alcohol among American women. If trends continue, millennial women will eventually have the same likelihood of binge drinking as millennial men.

A Victim’s Escape

In December 2016, Storey gave birth to her second child, and she was eager to unwind with a glass of wine. You’re worn out and overburdened, she claims. It’s uncommon to go out at night. We eagerly anticipate having a glass of wine.

The same is true for Louisville, Kentucky resident and mother of two Stephanie Saxton. She usually pours herself a Chardonnay about the time her kids go to bed. “After a glass of wine, I’m more understanding and entertaining. It just so happens to be the most convenient one. It’s not my only outlet.”

Over 80% of the mothers According to a survey of parents, drinking is most commonly done to unwind and relax. And many of the people interviewed for this article discussed drinking and stress in the same sentence. Some people who were newly parents felt alone and alien to themselves. Reclaiming a portion of their lives lost to parenthood by relaxing with a drink felt comforting.

Canadian journalist Ann Dowsett Johnston, author of Drink, said, “We live in an alcogenic culture.” “We rejoice, unwind, and reward ourselves with alcohol.” If she is correct, nobody should be surprised that we have normalized going too far.

Nearly one in three Americans overindulge, and one in six binge drink approximately four times each month, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. I was astonished to learn that low-risk drinking for females is defined by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration as consuming no more than seven drinks per week but no more than four in one session. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists advises breastfeeding parents to further limit their alcohol use. They advise those who are nursing to have no more than two servings per day and to wait two hours before feeding their infant after drinking.

I’ve never thought of myself as being a heavy drinker. And yet, prior to the birth of my son, it wasn’t unusual for me to consume more than I normally would on a Friday night. When the folks around you are swilling at the same rate or quicker, it’s simple to justify how much you consume. According to Stephanie Brown, Ph.D., director of The Addictions Institute in Menlo Park, California, “the voice in your head says, “I drink four glasses of wine a night, but I’m not drinking more than my friend.”

One or maybe even two glasses of wine can help you unwind, but what about three or four? There are two types of self-care: self-care, which is my generation’s rage, and self-medication. Some drinkers don’t clearly distinguish between the two. Children make the situation much more complicated.

Kids Are Observing

Children may be more aware of their parents’ drinking habits than we’d like to believe, according to research from the Institute of Alcohol Studies, a nonprofit organization in the U.K. In a study of light to moderate drinkers and their kids, children were more likely to report feeling scared or embarrassed by their parent’s drinking than their peers did if they had witnessed their parents being drunk, tipsy, or hungover even once or twice. In other words, youngsters are aware of our buzz and don’t enjoy it.

According to Dr. Brown, children begin to notice, hear, and smell the effects of drinking at a young age. They can detect a difference in your mood after just one drink.

Outside of Phoenix, Amanda M. often drank one or two glasses of wine in front of her children in the evenings. Even a wine playgroup of moms like her belonged to her. She says, “I thought it was wonderful. “We went to have fun. There was no condemnation.

However, Amanda started drinking a bottle of white wine every night after the birth of her second kid in 2013, when she was going through a difficult time in her marriage. Until the night she overindulged with her friends and could not drive herself home, she believed her kids were unaware. She says, “I had to stop, phone my husband, get the kids up, get them in the car seats, and come get me. Amanda, who had been waiting in her car, had puked all over her backseat by the time he arrived with their pajama-clad kids. She recalls, “My husband told them I’d had horrible pizza.” The youngsters continued to inquire about the stench for several days.

Identifying Your Risk

Of course, not all parents who enjoy a glass of wine at night go on to have drinking issues. Take a step back and avoid becoming overly pessimistic, advises Glaser.

Despite having a four times greater chance than other children of alcoholics of becoming alcoholics, half of them won’t experience any problems. According to Reid Hester, Ph.D., senior scientist of CheckUp & Choices, an online moderating software, the secret is being brutally honest with yourself.

A free questionnaire provided by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism provides users with an unbiased assessment of their behavior. (Dr. Hester’s website has a comparable self-evaluation.) Users receive assistance setting boundaries and determining what triggers their need to drink.)

Although moderation is effective for many people, it isn’t the solution for everyone. Amanda ultimately decided to give up drinking forever after the vehicle mishap. Although she still gets upset when she sees wine on Instagram, she has found that following accounts that promote sobriety have been beneficial. She is also cautious about taking time for herself and frequently communicates with the Booze-Free Brigade. She explains, “I like doing crafts and painting, and I make sure to work out.” “I take better care of myself.”

Self-care. That word is used over again. I’m attempting to partake in the sort these days that doesn’t involve a popping cork. Two or three times a week, my husband puts the kids to bed while I lace up my running sneakers. Sometimes I pour some wine when I get back, sometimes, I don’t, still coasting on endorphins. I appreciate having options. I’m delighted it still has the feeling of one.

What happens if it doesn’t? I’ll know what to do, I guess.

Meaningful articles you might like: 5 Ways To Keep Your Family Healthy, 7 Scientifically Proven Advantages of Eating as a Family, What Parents Should Know About Teen Substance Abuse