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“Mommy Juice”: The Normalization of Alcoholism Among Mothers

“Mommy juice,” wine mom memes, and products with mantras such as “mommy fuel” have stormed the media over the last decade. Glimpsing these messages on billboards, in stores, and on the internet, it can become almost second nature to accept the normalization of alcoholism among mothers — but at what cost? 

For others, wine mom culture may not mean going to extremes. It may include a glass of wine after a hard day at work or a few drinks after the kids have gone to bed. It’s crucial to keep an eye on even seemingly harmless behavior, especially when the habits associated with wine culture are deeply embedded within our everyday lives. 

One study reveals that the number of women who demonstrated problem drinking — including the inability to quit and abuse associated with recurrent problems — increased by over 80% between 2002 and 2013. Over the same period, high-risk drinking among women went up by 58%.

Being a Sober Parent in a Wine Mom Culture

Wine mom culture, or a culture that encourages moms to drink alcohol to take the edge off of parenting, is growing more prevalent in today’s society. Reinforced by wine mom memes and product mantras everywhere, it’s becoming more acceptable to be a mom and use alcohol as a way to cope with the stressors that come with raising kids. 

Besides the plethora of social media memes, you’ve probably seen product logos flaunting the ideas behind wine mom culture: “They whine, I wine,” and “Mommy needs an alcohol day,” or “Surviving motherhood one sip at a time.” 

But what if you value sobriety or are trying to break free from wine mom culture? Here are some tips for breaking free of mommy juice — and maybe even encouraging others to do the same:

  1. Be specific: Next time you’re with friends or family at a social gathering that involves alcohol, try being assertive and decisive. When asked if you’d like a drink, request soda, juice, or water instead of simply saying, “No, thank you.” By offering a specific, firm answer, you’ll be less likely to face confusion.
  2. Be honest with yourself: Being honest with yourself means knowing your triggers. Willpower alone may not be enough to keep you dry when faced with situations, events, and people that tempt you. Skip the holiday parties, playdates, and afternoon outings where the temptation to imbibe may feel overwhelming.
  3. Take care of yourself: Indulge in healthy habits such as exercise, pleasure reading, or meditation. Not only will you blow off steam, but you’ll feel better too. 
  4. Organize alcohol-free meetups and events with other moms: Coordinate an alcohol-free book club, monthly dinner outing, or weekly coffee date with other moms. It’s important to have mom friends, and when you can control the atmosphere, it takes away the pressure to drink. 

Stay Sober in Wine Culture 

If you or a loved one is struggling to stay sober amid the prevalence of wine mom culture, help is available. With the normalization of alcoholism among mothers in the last decade, you’ve most likely seen the side effects of wine culture and alcohol addiction.

For over 50 years, Gateway Foundation has offered personalized, compassionate care to young and old individuals looking to overcome addiction and regain their lease on life. Our safe and effective evidence-based treatments address underlying conditions such as trauma, grief, loss, depression, and anxiety while assisting patients in overcoming addiction. 

More than 1 million individuals and their families have changed their lives for the better with our help. Contact Gateway Foundation today to find out more about our programs and services and how we can help.

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