Amelia feels really guilty about her drinking. She feels like she has to maintain secrecy about her drinking. She does not want to be out of touch with her friends. She wants to have a normal social life. To feel connected to other people. But after a lot of thinking she’s decided to come clean.
Why did she feel the need to drink?
She tried to figure out why she felt drinking was so essential to her role as a Mother. So she was not one of the 630,000 Facebook group members of “Moms who need wine”. But she did feel the urge to keep drinking. After all Motherhood is stressful and we need the wine to relax at the end of a long exhausting day.
Women don’t become fools when they become Mothers
Amelia is an intelligent women. She kept to the then guidelines about drinking while pregnant. (Now days it’s recommended, no drinking while pregnant or trying to get pregnant) She knew Mother’s don’t become fools when they have children. So why did she and her friends feel the need to drink so much?
Amelia asked questions about her drinking
Amelia realised part of the reason she drank was because it’s just so normal now. As leading journalist Gabrielle Glasser says wine has become
“Normalised, expected and then reinforced by popular culture, social media, advertising. The volume and ubiquity of the pro-drinking message has made it infinitely more likely that even mothers who know it’s a caricature, will immediately think of pouring themselves a drink as a release valve once the children are in bed – and then do it.”
Amelia realised wine is everywhere
Amelia knew what Gabrielle was saying is true. From
“The wine glass engraved
“You’re not really drinking alone if your kids are home”
Or the flowery fridge magnet chuckling
“The most expensive part of having kids is all the wine you have to drink.”
All the messages we’re surrounded by, are its safe to drink alcohol. The message is by drinking we’re fighting against the constant pressure that society expects us to be perfect Mothers. And who would not want an escape from that awful pressure!
Amelia wrote an article about her drinking
So Amelia did lots of research to try and understand what was going on. She found that in the UK in 2009 it was reported that the most significant trend was women drinking more. She found people encouraging Mothers to drink so they would not be seen as a tiger or helicopter Mum.
She wrote an article about her research.
The secret shame
Amelia had to think long and about publishing the article on her drinking. She felt shame about her drinking. The problem was she was not that horrible label “alcoholic”, but she had given up drinking. So she did not want to appear sanctimonious or look like she was judging people. She felt pressure to stay quiet about her healthy life choice. But finally, she decided to publish to see if she could start a conversation.
As she states
“The attitude is:
‘If you don’t have a problem with it, why do you have a problem with it?’”
But if we don’t talk about it, how do we know if we have a problem?”
It’s well worth while reading the full article which you can find here
If you found this post interesting you might also enjoy BeanyNeamy’s story here.