Mom Shares the Struggles of Being Alcohol-Free in the "Mommy Wine" Culture
"Being alcohol free can truly feel ostracizing."
Yvonne, 40, is a mom of two kids, who are 3 and 5. She lives in Reno, Nevada and runs the blog The Ultimate Mom Challenge, where she writes about her efforts to be the best mom she can possibly be. One of the most crucial things that she has done to achieve this goal was to stop drinking alcohol in 2018.
"I decided to quit drinking because I realized I never wanted to stop at one," she told Best Life, when reached. "My dad was an alcoholic and I saw how that destroyed his health with a stroke at age 52. I also saw firsthand how my dad's alcoholism affected our family, and I did not want that for mine."
But while staying sober is a challenge in and of itself, Yvonne soon found that—odd as it may sound—telling other moms that she didn't drink was also an act of courage.
"I read a meme yesterday that said 'I determine my kids playdates by which mom I want to drink wine with,'" she wrote in the viral Facebook post, which currently has more than 52,000 likes. "Being alcohol free can truly feel ostracizing. And it's strange to think that alcohol is the only drug that we have to explain NOT using."
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Some people can nurse a glass of wine all night. I am not one of them. I looked for answers in the bottom of my glass. And ultimately in the bottom of the wine bottle. Spoiler alert: There are no answers to be found there. Only despair, pain, mistakes, and deep deep guilt. The irony is I found what I was looking for by finally putting down the wine glass. Because the answers I was looking for? Peace of mine, confidence, happiness. You can't find that in booze. And if you look for it there, you will just keep drinking more and more hoping that the next glass will be the one. Alcohol is one of the most addictive substances on earth. Don't drink it looking for answers. The "mommy needs wine" culture plays off the dangerous idea that wine is the answer. I'm grateful I didn't learn this lesson the hard way. So many people spend their entire lives thinking that the next glass might just be the one. I'm here to tell you that it is not.
In her post, which has been shared more than 35,000 times, Yvonne described the experience of going to a playdate at someone's house and being uncomfortable when a mom suggested mimosas.
Caught off guard in the moment, Yvonne thought about saying "yes" and pretending to sip it, but instead, she simply said, "Not right now, I'm good thank you." But then it came up again 15 minutes later, and once again 15 minutes after that.
"I was practically banging my head against the wall mentally thinking, 'Why don't I just tell her I don't drink?'" she wrote. "But I didn't. I was afraid she would think I wasn't fun. I was afraid she wouldn't want to have more playdates with me."
Yvonne told Best Life that there's a strange shame associated with telling people you don't drink alcohol, because it means admitting that you have a problem. And, she added, it can take a toll on one's social life.
"I do feel like I get [fewer] invites to parties and 'moms night out,' and I think my friends honestly think they're doing me a favor by not putting me in that position," she said. "But it still hurts my feelings a little bit."
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Sure, drinking to forget used to be my jam. Waking up the next morning with a pounding headache — checking my phone for who I might have texted or called in my inebriated state 🤢 But have you tried being fully present? Have you tried getting high on life? Feeling ALL the feelings? That shits rad. And hangover free. 👍 Let's change the narrative. You don't have to drink to have fun. You can be sober and do ALL the things. And even drive yourself home safely after. 🚗 Sober is cool. 😎
Still, there's no denying that for Yvonne, it's worth the sacrifice.
"I waited a whole year before I went public about [going sober], because I wasn't sure where I was going with this," she told Best Life. "Is this a break? Is this forever? After a year, I realized I never wanted to go back, and my life is so much better without it."
And as more and more people realize the dangers of alcohol and make the choice to abstain from it entirely, Yvonne hopes that being a sober mom will soon become more normal.
As she wrote on Facebook, it's "time to change the narrative. Alcohol free is a choice that should not require an explanation, embarrassment or fear of condemnation."
And for more eye-opening essays, check out This Teacher's Reasons For Leaving Her Job After 12 Years Will Shock You.
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