Being a Sober Mom in “Wine Mom Culture”

A mother with her children

Let’s face it—sobriety isn’t always easy. Although it is extremely rewarding, if we are being completely honest, sometimes it can be hard. On the same note, being a parent isn’t always easy either, and although it is also extremely rewarding, sometimes being a mom can be really hard too. With all of that said, being a sober mom can at times be really challenging—especially in the age of “mommy wine culture.”

The adjustment of becoming a mother is a big one, and although it is beautiful, it can be tough. Everything about life changes the instant you find out you are pregnant and that suddenly you are completely responsible for someone else. It is a huge responsibility to take on and many times it can feel overwhelming.

I finally got sober a little over seven years ago. Luckily I was given the opportunity to go to treatment and have some time to focus on myself before I became a mother. It was a huge change, but I’m very glad I made that move because it gave me sobriety and brought me to where I am today. Sometimes I think about where I might be had I not made the decision to get sober and, let’s just say, it doesn’t look too appealing.

A little over two years ago I gave birth to my son and yet again my life completely changed for the better. I cannot describe the amount of love that I feel for my child and the mix of nervousness and excitement that I had about starting a new chapter in my life. I was finally able to join the “mom club” and my life began to revolve more around being a mother than anything else.

An unexpected challenge on this road that I had not really thought about was meeting new friends. The reason for my uneasiness about this was that on social media wine is made such a priority for mothers. I used to be so afraid to tell other moms I met that I used to have a drinking problem. How would they think of me if they knew? In an effort to not make things awkward I decided to not bring it up unless I had to and for the most part the issue hardly ever surfaced.

There were times I was invited to drink and I usually just started off with a “No thank you.” That was usually enough but there were times I ended up explaining myself and other times I did not—it really just depended on the situation.

When I achieved my seventh year of sobriety I had an overwhelming desire to share on my social media page some of what I had learned during that time. At first, I hesitated because I had friends there who were not aware of my past but I decided that if they no longer wanted to be my friend because I had been an alcoholic seven years ago, then they weren’t really my friend anyway. So I went ahead with the post.

“I’m at peace with my past. I am grateful that I was able to escape the cycle of addiction and for where I am now.”

It turned out that most of the people who I hadn’t told yet were actually very supportive and they congratulated me on my accomplishment. The next time I saw some of my friends in person they either didn’t bring it up or they let me know what an inspiration my story was to them.

I have come to a point where I’m at peace with my past. I am grateful that I was able to escape the cycle of addiction and for where I am now. I have learned that sharing my story helps break the stigma associated with addiction and shows other women that there is an alternative approach to motherhood than “mommy wine culture.”

At this point I don’t really mind telling other women I meet why I no longer drink. I have learned that it helps draw a firm line in the sand that I won’t be drinking with them but if they would still like to hang out, that would be cool with me. If not, I have plenty of love and support in my life already and I wouldn’t trade being a sober mom for anything in the world.

AUTHOR

Julie

Certified Addiction Counselor and Staff Member at Narconon Colorado.

NARCONON COLORADO

DRUG EDUCATION AND REHABILITATION