Getting sober is only half the battle.
Dealing with “big society” is every bit as much of a struggle.
We’re pretty sure that beneath all the “Mommy Needs Wine” memes and paraphernalia that abound, important conversations are beckoning.
This conversation is going on right now and we’re delighted to do our bit – by bringing you Kristin’s thoughts on the subject, in a very personal, forthright way.
And thank you, Kristin.
day 706 -F*CK MOMMY DRINKING CULTURE
Originally published on Instagram. Reproduced here with kind permission of Kristin F.
Without further ado, I present to you, a big ol’ F**K YOU to “Mommy Drinking Culture”:
8.11.18 | Day 704
Since I Got Sober… I’ve learned ‘Mommy Juice’ is NOT synonymous OR mandatory, in order to make motherhood ‘more manageable.’
I lived my life for 8+/- years, believing bullshit lies and buying into the hip/trendy/cute/quirky/aspirational/#goals marketing campaigns & slogan tees that I felt allowed me to fully justify or rationalise my (notably excessive) alcohol consumption, bc “motherhood, amirite?!”
ALBEIT, IT WAS 8+/- YEARS LIVING A LIFE THAT WAS SATURATED IN MESSAGING AND MARKETING… OMG PINK BUBBLES ARE DREAMY MILLENNIAL #GOALS // ROSE ALL DAY, BITCHES // MOMS CAN’T SURVIVE MOTHERHOOD WITHOUT WINE // “YOU GOT OUT OF BED TODAY, HAVE YOURSELF A HANDLE OF VODKA — YOU DESERVE IT!!! FUCK IT, HAVE A HANDFUL OF XANAX WHILE YOU’RE AT IT!!!”
Ohhhh, this type of dangerous, methodically curated marketing makes it effortless for *people like me* to masquerade ourselves and mingle with the “normies.”
So easy. Too easy, actually.
See, for *people (mothers) like me,* it goes like this: you start off with a casual glass of wine w/ dinner 1 or 2 nights a wk or when the baby goes to sleep each night, just so you can loosen up (bc motherhood, amirite?!). You like the subtle, slow burn humming under your skin, warmed belly, and happy feelz that lightly prance inside your head. You. Feel. Good.
A couple of weeks/months later, you’re having 2 glasses of wine (sometimes 3) each night because you’ve gone back to work, there’s extra chores to do, and bc motherhood, amirite?!!
Fast-forward a few more months, you’ve now started taking antidepressants or anti-anxiety meds, bc responsibilities are increasing at your job, your partner is away more (for responsible or selfish reasons), and you decide to ignore the warnings on aforementioned medications AND regularly have a bottle of wine (or a 6-pack of beer or 4 or 5 hot toddies each night) but don’t forget the oft “most stressful” part of your life — motherhood, amirite?!!!
Let’s speed it all the way up to just NINE MONTHS post-partum. Responsibilities at work continue to grow, you’re now starting to travel for your job as well, the amount of *things* you must do around the house has also began increasing bc your partner is away even more (either for responsible or selfish reasons) and you’re just burning at both ends, increasing… sometimes even *forgetting*… how much medication you’ve taken, which leads to you increasing ..sometimes even *fogetting* …how much/or what type of alcohol you’ve consumed… don’t forget the homemade “stress” you birthed that’s now 9 months old… so your means of “relaxing” or “blowing off steam” and trying to “survive” parenting, is now a cyclical (but justified!) form of destruction… but MOTHERHOOD, AMIRITE?!!!!”
“They whine, I wine.”
“I drink this much to make up for the time lost while pregnant.”
There are insulated wine glasses that can be disguised as a regular travel mug that are sold in stores, and various fashion accessories that double as flasks, for when your kids play dates or sports functions ‘wouldn’t be bearable otherwise.’
any of this/these sound familiar??)
And then one day you literally wake up, in a jail cell and see where all your (reckless yet justified!) “bc motherhood” choices ultimately got you.
#SinceIGotSober I had to completely relearn how to parent again — to an 8-year-old and 9-month-old and you cannot even fathom how much unlearning + learning + relearning lay ahead of you. Even more: you cannot even fathom how much unlearning + learning + relearning lay ahead of your child(ren).
Learning how to deal + cope + handle the unfiltered, pure, tense frustrations & friction… without being able to find comfort or release in your old “bc motherhood, amirite?” bullshit… and it will be one of the most difficult growing pains you encounter, and even more: the amount of shame and guilt you’ll feel inside will eat you up, cause you to lash out, or to clam up, and you’ll hate yourself and everything you did… but in that anger & hate, you’ll completely lose the desire to dangerously nurse your “bc motherhood, amirite?” (self-inflicted) wounds & you’ll learn to slowly love + forgive yourself (it took me 2 years — it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done), and you’ll.. sorry, “I”..still have unnecessary arguments w/ my sassy af 10-year-old (going on 18) daughter, whose attitude & mouth know no boundaries towards me, and I hug her extra tight after these tense moments and I am more patient during her angsty temper tantrums, & I am more understanding + empathetic when her feelings are too much for her. We have deep, meaningful conversations, & I am PRESENT… and I am gentle w/ myself (and her) when I recognise “unfamiliar” parenting frustrations… because I realise + remember that she & I are only 2 years into unlearning 8 yrs that could’ve been filled with better parenting. As @sillylara said, “Time takes time.”
These days, my daughter frequently + voluntarily tells me I’m “the best” mommy in the world… and I can’t express how much, *she doesn’t know* how much that means to me.
My 2-year-old is the biggest mama’s boy EVER, he is rambunctious, fearless, intelligent, communicative, caring, and gentle little boy there ever was. He’s hit “terrible twos”…and during ALL the ups & downs, over the last 704 days #SinceIGotSober — being a mom has NOT ONCE made me wish I could lessen the blows “bc motherhood.”
You see, these days “bc motherhood” is THE greatest pain-in-the-ass, most rewarding thing in my life #SinceIGotSober
Here’s a little (long) post-script, btw:
“To build community requires vigilant awareness of the work we must continually do to undermine all the socialisation that leads us to behave in ways that perpetuate domination. Dominator culture has tried to keep us all afraid, to make us choose safety instead of risk, sameness instead of diversity. Moving through that fear, finding out what connects us, revelling in our differences; this is the process that brings us closer, that gives us a world of shared values, of meaningful community.”
― bell hooks
Thank you to:
@simplelivingfolks for starting a desperately needed, resilient wildfire that cannot + will not be tamed.
@tellbetterstoriesmedia + @hipsobriety for forcing us to take a good, hard look at a society, culture & endless marketing campaigns that are hellbent on normalising drinking and convincing us (especially women + especially moms) that such destructive behaviours (ranging from the subtle to the extreme) is socially accepted, celebrated, and should oft be equated with a sense of fun and relaxation. (Fuck that shit by the way, gloves were thrown off a long time ago, and I’m proud to be a part of a revolution speaking out + against the normalised drinking culture — specifically mommy drinking culture.)
@servedupsober for being the main source of inspiration for the #SinceIGotSober
movement — I see EVERYONE’S posts & I’ll devour them after my babies go to bed tonight.
@JanuaryHarshe / @TakeBackPostPartum for sharing my personal testament — I shit you not, the day after I was released from jail (my story can be found on Love What Matters), after I scheduled my 1st appointment for a 6 month IOP for substance abuse, I sobbed into the phone, “If I can use my past & my mistakes and prevent JUST ONE person from repeating them, then all of this won’t be for naught.”
About our author, Kristin
To the outside world, Kristin is simply a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a college graduate and a worker bee in the corporate world; an overall productive, contributing member of society. If you dig a little deeper than what the surface presents, you’ll find that she is an empathetic old soul, a deep thinker with the mouth of a sailor, a daydreamer, a passionate creative who has an offbeat sense of humour and collects kitsch, a lady whose penchant for loud clothing and a macabre aesthetic knows no boundaries. She is a firm believer that music can heal almost any ailment.
She’s also in active recovery, (mostly from booze, boys and benzos) while continuously learning to cope with anxiety and depression.