• Sober Blessings

It's "Wine O'clock Somewhere" and other stupid things we're supposed to believe

Updated: May 8, 2020

“Mommy wine culture” found its way into our world and suddenly, all of the paraphernalia that went with it was front and center.

Evvvvvverywhere. At playdates. On the tennis court. At lunch. At the hockey rink and soccer fields. In car pool line (yep, even there). Couples get-togethers. At neighborhood get-togethers.

Mommy life included wine and pretty glasses, designer corkscrews, and even jewelry for your wine glass and your bottle. Pretty pink and crystal cups and glasses with cute sayings like

“Mommy Juice” and

“I wine because my kids whine” and

“Mommy needs wine”

and bottles of wine branded with mommy lingo like

“Mommy’s Little Helper” and

“Pump and Dump” (for all you nursing mommies).

Lordy, there are even handbags that help you hide your wine and are fully equipped with a spout for easy pouring! And, if that’s too much, they created “carry along” size mini-bottles that are small, fit nicely into a diaper bag or purse and easy to hide! How convenient.

It was all marketed directly to us wine loving mommies and we bought it hook, line and drinker! I know that I’m not the only mommy out there who fell for it. Heck, it was literally marketed AT us! The mommy wine culture was born and made light of an often crazy, exhausting and unappreciated profession, so many of us loved it! Mommies were FINALLY getting some recognition!!! {{ INSERT long, dramatic sigh HERE }}

Kid’s driving you nuts? Great, here’s some wine.

Not feeling appreciated? Great, here’s some wine.

Feeling stressed and lonely? Great, here’s some wine.

Overwhelmed with kid’s activities? Great, here’s some wine.

Girl’s Night Out…definitely!

Kathie Lee and Hoda were crowned the honorary chairwomen of the Mommy Wine Culture Club. Welcoming us to, yet another day of mommy life, they reinforced our drinking and its influence by hosting a national morning show where they sampled wine at 9 o’clock in the morning! “Wine Day Wednesday” was their theme, making it seem almost normal for women around the country to start their day with a glass of white or red.

All of this, combined with the news that it was now okie-dokie to use alcohol as a crutch to help us be mommies, wives, and friends, created an entire culture of women on the cusp of alcoholism or right in the middle of alcohol’s midst.

I know what you’re thinking. Maria, stop being such a kill joy! Not all women who got sucked into the “mommy wine culture” are (eh-hem) alcoholics, but this culture, branding and marketing certainly aren’t helping to stop the disease from recreating itself over and over again and taking new, unprepared hostages along with it.

Listen, I’m not blaming the industry (well, maybe a little) that created all of this wine culture crap entirely (even though they are making bazillions of dollars while people are getting drunk and dying) ~ but, the fact that they specifically marketed their products to worn out women and overwhelmed mothers, creatively romanticizing alcohol, only manages to increase the abuse of the product.

“Wait a minute here. I’m not an alcoholic”, you say. I know. I’m just talking about me here. I take responsibility for myself. I am an alcoholic. I know that when I put alcohol into my system, I can’t stop at just one. I react differently to alcohol than some people. My brain literally tells me that once I start, I’ll have a very slim to none chance of stopping before it’s too late…most likely, only after I’ve managed to stir up some big chaos, possibly hurt myself and/or someone else, frighten my family and end with a sense of shame and self-loathing that burns inside of me and, ironically, tells me that the way to deal with that shame…you guessed it…is with alcohol in a fun, silly glass that tells me it’s okay.

I don’t need that. I don’t need to buy into the culture in order to be someone other than myself or to hide my drinking behind a “mommy’s sippy cup”. I am stronger than that. I love myself enough to make alcohol totally unacceptable, unwanted and irrelevant in my life and I passionately love passing on this gift and helping woman achieve and maintain sobriety for themselves. In return, I go to sleep with one more day of recovery and I wake up each morning hangover free.

Here’s the other thing. It’s hard. Life is hard. Momming is reeeealy hard, I ain’t gonna lie, and quite frankly there are days that are just going to suuuuuuck. There are times when I still romance the thought of enjoying a nice glass of chardonnay with the girls or a fruity alcoholic beverage on a hot summer day. There are days where the thought crosses my mind that I’d rather numb out than have to be a grown-up and deal with the blows that have been thrown at me. But, I play the tape through. I know exactly what will happen, step by step, if I take that first drink.

So, you know what I do? I call my sponsor. I pick up the phone and talk to another alcoholic. I go to a meeting. I do service work. I walk around the block. I do yoga or jump up and down or punch a pillow or I write. I do anything I possibly can to get out of my own crazy head because that’s how I handle life now. I have been given the gift of sobriety and I’ll do whatever it takes to protect it. One day at a time. One minute at a time. One moment at a time.

It’s been more than six years since my life was entangled in the culture that lead me to believe that I needed alcohol to be a woman. A culture that told me that mommies NEED alcohol to do their job. No way. Not anymore.

So, you can keep your “Surviving Motherhood One Sip at a Time” glass. I don’t need it.

Neither do you!

Wishing you love and sobriety,

Maria ❤️

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