I’ve always enjoyed alcohol, but after having three kids, I’ve realized that booze helps me be a better mom. I’m not falling down drunk around my children or anything, but after a long day of tending to my family, there’s never been a more welcome sight than a glass of wine (or three).
First things first: I’m not an alcoholic. I don’t “lose it” and become an emotional wreck or turn violent when I’ve had a glass. I actually drink alcohol in moderation and never drink and drive. At most, I have three glasses a week—enough to help me relax and manage the stress of running a household but not so much that it’s a problem. If you have three boys who always seem to want to kill each other, you’d understand where I’m coming from.
I know my limits and never exceed them. I know not to have too much alcohol when I haven’t eaten all day or I’m feeling a bit dehydrated. My body’s too old to cope with a hangover and I know that won’t help me function the next day. A headache is not what I want from drinking, but I do have alcohol when I have a muscular tension headache. For me, that usually works better than taking Ibuprofen.
I drink responsibly. I don’t have booze and leave the kids to do school work or get their dinner; that would make me a bad and irresponsible person and parent. I might have a sip of vodka in between cleaning up after dinner, but I really sit down and take my time to enjoy a glass when the kids are in bed.
I don’t lie about drinking or hide that I’m doing it from my kids. I don’t hide the fact that I do enjoy a mimosa or two from my children. On occasions or celebrations where alcohol goes so well with the food, I have a glass and my kids see me drink and toast with the guests. I talk with them openly about it so there are no weird issues surrounding drinking.
It takes the edge off. Adulting and parenting can be hard, you know? I grew up around a dad who loved beer and became a jolly and playful person after drinking a few cans. He’d laugh so hard when we’re watching TV after dinner and we always had so much fun together. In contrast, my mom never drank and shunned alcohol and she was always uptight. I guess I have some weird childhood association with alcohol and relaxation, and now when I have a drink, I instantly feel myself relax a bit.
I find no shame in admitting that alcohol keeps me from losing my mind. I work full-time and when I get home at the end of a long day, I still have to make dinner for my family, do the laundry, help with homework, etc. Hence, I pour a sherry and take a sip so that I don’t turn into a screaming monster in front of my children and husband. I think my kids will appreciate me for doing this when they’re older.
It helps me focus when I need it most. Being a mom means constantly worrying about the well-being of my kids, and alcohol helps me stay focused. It clears my head and relieves me from the worries that come from thinking too much. Did my 5-year-old forget his sweater? Is he going to end up with pneumonia? Did my 10-year-old turn in his homework or am I going to get a call from his teacher? Was my 8-year-old able to patch it up with his friend in school? My mind is constantly spinning and being able to unwind with a drink is a serious stress reliever sometimes.
We can’t afford a regular nanny for the kids. We don’t have the luxury of going to the spa to unwind at a whim. My husband and I aren’t the kinds of people living off trust funds and we can’t afford to hire a staff to cook, do laundry, and keep the house in order. We earn enough to buy a bottle of wine or stock up on beer in the fridge and that’s all we really need.
My husband and I enjoy having a drink together. We try cocktail recipes and sample other beers. We’re not snooty connoisseurs at all but I like these moments when we discover a new drink and enthusiastically talk about it with each other. We unwind with wine on some evenings too. The kids benefit from seeing happy parents and they’ll always remember that. How can drinking alcohol be bad if it’s good for the harmony in our home?
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