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Let’s Talk About Drinking: Alcohol Mindfulness

Last week, I started a conversation on Instagram Stories about drinking after I shared a quick recipe for my current favorite non-alcoholic “spritzer” and my commitment to having a healthier relationship with alcohol. I couldn’t believe the response–hundreds of direct messages sharing your own stories and expressing a desire for more conversation about this very important topic. While I wouldn’t exactly consider the amount I was drinking unhealthy, my awareness regarding purposeful choices for my body had gotten sloppy, and I was slipping into a place that, if left ignored, could definitely shift into habits that were harder to break and change my natural abilities to deal with discomfort. I don’t let myself run to the bakery to buy a creme brulee to give myself a moment of pleasure every time the kids’ demands feel overwhelming, and yet–come the witching hour–that’s what I was doing with alcohol. It wasn’t like swigging a bottle of vodka in the closet so much or passing out on the couch after too many, but I was definitely pouring a little glass of wine every night or dropping some ice in a cocktail glass for some club soda and vodka to take the edge off and present myself a calming ritual–a moment of “me time” when things got demanding.

This started to feel uncomfortable for many reasons, but it began with changes in my body. In my exercise commitment and talking with my health & fitness professionals about my goals, the conversation naturally turned to what I was putting in my body. I could eat healthy, no problem, but of course I’d laugh every week and admit that the drinks hadn’t been removed. I blamed it on the witching hour and made stupid cliché jokes about moms needing their wine. The truth is, though, I was starting to feel crappy–bloated after beer, sluggish after wine, achy after vodka. And I was hating that I couldn’t prove to myself that I had the discipline to not drink if I committed to it. I was saying things to myself like, “This is stupid–if you want to have a drink, just have a drink. It’s been a long day. You deserve it.”

Earlier this spring, the motivation gods somehow granted me a great month, and I stuck to some hardcore goals of eating good, removing gluten from my diet (experimental), nearly completely cutting alcohol and diligently running and working out. The results were transformative, mainly because I felt better than I had in a long time–refreshed, productive, clear-headed, motivated. Bonus? I fit back into some of those clothes that were getting tight. Summer slipped me back a little bit, but I don’t beat myself up too much over it. Last month, though, I realized I needed to restore my awareness with drinking habits.

I’ve made one main rule for myself with alcohol, and it’s the same rule I try and use to govern everything else: Be purposeful. Don’t just pour a glass to pour it, don’t jump to get a drink the minute the house gets chaotic. Think about it. Wait until you can enjoy it. Don’t use up your alcohol quota during moments when you can’t savor the experience. I’ve found that if I wait until everything settles down when I can sit down with a book and a drink, I don’t really want one any more anyway.

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Fancy mid-afternoon non-alcoholic spritzer.

As for the conversation around alcohol, I wrote this–yes, to share a goal with some transparency–but also to hopefully create a safe, open place to talk about women and alcohol without judgment and in a responsible way. While there are many beautiful, healthy conversations about sobriety out there, I’ve also witnessed a lot of holier-than-thou conversations that slant toward shaming the “weak public” for choosing to cloud their clarity with alcohol and forming an exclusive club for those who are better than that. The conversation’s even worse on the other end of the spectrum–you can’t dip a toe into social media these days without being hit with a “wine o’clock” meme that summarizes moms into a heap of weak drunks who can’t cope with life. I’ve made some of these jokes myself, and while–yes, every once in a while, there is an appropriate meme about drinking that really is funny–I want to be more aware of my contribution to this discussion. I’ll definitely feel better about sharing a cocktail recipe or posting a photo of a holiday toast if I’m making responsible decisions about moderation in my personal life.

From so many of your responses on Instagram, it sounds like many of you are in the same boat–gaining a little bit more awareness about the role of alcohol in our culture right now, especially with middle-aged women.

Here are some responses from readers (and thank you so much for joining the conversation on this!):

So many moms our age treating alcohol use as something funny and sassy and necessary “it’s wine ‘o clock” but it worries me that it normalizes habits that shouldn’t be habits. Alcohol is fine and dandy in moderation. But having “mommy juice cups” for wine seems a bit much and worries me about what our children might see as normal and necessary to function.”

“I used to need a drink every night to take the edge off, but I started exercising four months ago and found my drinking went way down. I no longer felt like I needed it to take the edge off.”

“I reevaluate my drinking habits every few months or so and take time off from it to keep me in check. I just always want to be in control of drinking and not have drinking be in control of me.”

I don’t drink often but at parties or groups, I find my friends shaming me if I don’t drink enough, and so I do because I want to keep fitting in. I don’t want to go back to the place where I feel judged all the time, and choosing not to drink feels like that place.”

“I’m a 2-3 glasses a night Canadian gal and recently had the same “self awareness” as you. I was feeling crappy in the morning, gaining weight, and it is expensive up here! So I am cutting back and only see positive changes.”

“I figured every time I  use alcohol to “take the edge off” or numb something, I was teaching my kids bad coping skills.”

“In my culture, drinking with moderation is completely normal. I grew up with my parents having wine with dinner, and they’ve never had a problem with alcohol. While I often have a drink with dinner, I never have more than one drink and usually can’t even finish that. But I’ve definitely received judgment from friends who don’t drink.”

“I feel like the ‘wine mom’ thing is on the verge of out of control. Alcoholism runs in my family. Over the last 5 years, I have had to deal with some very difficult situations with my mother who became an alcoholic later in life.”

“I’m a 33 year old and after having my two children and never growing up around alcohol and being raised in a non-drinking home, motherhood threw me into a tailspin where I was using it to cope with my moods and the ups and downs of day to day life with kids. I kept thinking I was just “taking the edge off,” but I literally became a full blown alcoholic. One was too many and ten was not enough. It could never just be one drink. Long story…I had to surrender.”

“Thank you for talking about this. My dad started drinking a little here and there when we were younger, but over the years, it’s taken over his life. It’s affected our family in so many ways, and I live with a lot of shame because of what alcohol did to our family. I don’t want to end up like my dad.”

So here’s where I am now. I know I’m a smart, responsible woman, and I make the rules according to what I know I can handle. Your rules might be different than mine. My friends are also smart, responsible women–some who are completely sober but have no problem with friends who drink, and others who drink more than me but do it responsibly within their own limits. I’ve made some rules for myself at this period in life based on my current habits and consequence awareness. They may change over time, but for the most part, I want to stay away from drinking during the week during these demanding years with kids, schedules and my own personal work goals. Cocktails and wine are special treats, and I savor them more when I treat them that way. I’m a ritual and celebration girl, so I’ve found other ways to create moments that still feel special at the end of a day but don’t involve alcohol. I keep Pelligrino and LaCroix in my refrigerator, and when I drink them, I pour them in a pretty glass and garnish with a lime wedge or a few berries.

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Pelligrino with a splash of tart cherry juice.

I stock up on hot tea and settle for nothing less than a good mug when I drink it.

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When the witching hour gets ugly, I practice using music, candles, fresh air, a hot bath, five minutes of a poetry book and a fancy spritzer to remind me “I’m worth it.” I give my drinks special names like the “Cutie Fizz” (Pelligrino on ice with the juice from one cutie orange and a little zest from the peel shaved on top) because it makes me happy. And when I do decide to have a drink–like last weekend when Brett’s parents took us to a charming French restaurant for dinner–I enjoy it, with a smile and the satisfaction that I make efforts toward balance. Will there be occasions where I indulge in a good cold beer on a Wednesday night? I’m sure there will be, and that’s okay. I just want to be a little more mindful about them. Also, if we’re going to a social event and know we are going to be drinking, Brett and I made the decision long ago that we Uber. We Uber not to create freedom to get crazy but because it’s a small price to pay to be safe. We Uber because we’ve heard of too many people who don’t even drink that often mess up their lives from one night of lacking judgment. We Uber because I want everyone else who’s had two drinks with dinner to Uber when my kids are on those roads, and I want my kids to Uber someday when they might possibly be on the borderline of what’s safe.

I want to drink responsibly on “regular” days to keep the other occasions special–summer-in-Michigan cocktails on the dock, first night of vacation toasts, Christmas Eve martinis. And I don’t want to make choices that disrupt my commitment to living my very best life.

I’m fascinated by this conversation though and would love to hear your thoughts on it.  (Also, check out this Enjoli essay by Kristi Coulter–insightful). And if anyone has any fabulous mocktail recipes, please…do share!

As we head into a holiday week where we make room for indulging, I’m looking forward to finding the right balance so we can enjoy all the things we are meant to enjoy…with purpose.

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Leave a Comment
  1. Thanks so much for writing this! I am/was in a similar position. I used to have a glass of wine every evening while making dinner. But soon it was two if it was a “long day”. I didn’t really like it, so decided to cut out weeknight drinks unless there was some sort of special occasion. I definitely look forward to weekend drinks, but I love not waking up in the morning with a little headache. One of my favorite mocktails is a Whole30 inspired one with sparkling water,a splash of apple cider vinegar (bonus: so good for you!), a little lemon juice, and anything else you’d like to add! So nice to share in this discussion!

  2. I grew up in a non-drinking home, and I had my first drink at 21. I still only drank rarely, and I didn’t battle with drunkenness or habit-forming coping skills. But–I still gave up alcohol this year, and I plan to do so for life. I came to the decision because 1) my kids need to see someone who models that alcohol isn’t necessary to be social; 2) I teach college students, and too many of my students battle alcoholism and need to know that someone else isn’t drinking (and surviving); 3) I realized I was drinking to be “cool” with my colleagues or friends, even though that was why I didn’t drink in high school. Why was I caving to peer pressure at 40? It’s also been a year of working toward healthy coping skills–for me, not diving into chocolate and unhealthy eating patterns when the witching hour hit or things got stressful–and giving up alcohol became part of that larger change. I appreciate your emphasis on moderation. We need to know what we can do moderately (and why we’re doing it), and we need to be careful when things go beyond their limits. The small patterns and habits so quickly take over! Thank you, perhaps most, for taking Uber and for bringing up the dangers of driving while intoxicated. When we put things into perspective–I could harm someone else’s children–then it forces us to remember that our decisions always have the power to change others’ lives, too, for good or for bad. I’m glad you opened up this conversation!

  3. My in laws are alcoholics. The effect on my husband and my brother in law is profound. We have no alcohol in our house, we have no relationship with them, our children don’t know them beyond a name.
    My husband doesn’t care if I have a glass of wine now and again, but I have one maybe once a year.
    He doesn’t mind being around others who are drinking – as long as it is responsible and as long as they don’t have a problem.
    I so agree with the epidemic of moms need wine. I don’t mind drinking you know? But it should never ever ever be a coping mechanism- the scars that causes never go away or fully heal.
    It’s also amazing and sad how many people don’t want to hang out or get offended that we choose not to drink when they do. They will push and push and push for us to drink, make jokes about teetolers and religion- and then, when my husband finally says “I don’t drink because my parents are alcoholics” people get angry as if he is calling them alcoholics. There is so much emotion surrounding drinking and that I think means it should be treated with care. Thank you for starting this conversation. I think it is a very important one.

    • I totally relate to this… both my parents are alcoholics and my father died two years ago from alcohol-related illnesses. Because of this I made a conscious decision to never drink and have also grappled with the way to say “no thank you” at a party or when out with friends. While most of my close friends know my reasons and don’t even ask me, others seem to think it’s ok to ask why “are you pregnant? on medication? driving?”… I simply say, “my family has a history of alcoholism and I don’t want to tempt fate, water is fine, thank you”…I don’t typically get any anger with that, more often it’s an “ok” or an awkward giggle. I have been in counseling because of my parents and my counselor has told me that adult children of alcoholics, and the trauma related to growing up in such an environment is a little studied phenomena that he sees growing as these children reach middle age.

      All the best to you and your husband.

      • I’m sorry *hugs* I hope your counciling helped – I know my husband would benefit.

      • I could have written this post myself. My dad, step-mother and my father-in-law were all hopeless alcoholics. I drank a bit in my rebellious days but always in the back of my mind was that question “what if I like it too much?”. I have always gotten flack about not drinking at social gatherings and I felt shamed because I wasn’t drunk at the end of the night. Now, a bit older and wiser, I see that my health and my coping abilities are far removed from what I grew up with and that my decisions were wise. Children of alcoholics are 4 times more likely to develop alcohol problems than the general population and the problem is only getting worse. The key is to be aware and Kelle is right on in her endeavors.

  4. Hi Kelle, Sarah Bessey wrote a blog on this very topic and I thought it was so good and so thoughtful.

  5. My favorite recipe is what I call a “mocktail mule.” Into a nice copper mug pour … ice, ginger kombucha, freshly squeezed lime juice, touch of honey and garnish with a lime wedge. Also if you’re into the fizzy waters, try the TopoChico mineral water … amazingly refreshing, even if you leave It out for a couple hours. I crack open a chilled bottle while cooking and it feels like drinking a fancy beer!

  6. I grew up in an alcoholic home. How my sisters and I escaped alcoholism (so far, fingers crossed) is a mystery to me – alcoholism runs deep on my dad’s side of the family. I am not hypersensitive to alcohol, but I’m always aware of how much I’ve had or my husband has had. I learned at a young age to always keep count.

    The Mommy wine culture annoys me to no end. It’s just ridiculous and makes us seem incapable of handling our lives, when I think all of us are doing quite well! The challenges we face are entirely different from those our own mothers faced, and we’re reacting to technology advancements, bullying, pressure in sports, earlier exploration with sexuality, etc at a rapid pace and I think we’re reacting well. We don’t need wine to cope, like society is all of a sudden implying.

    That said, I do enjoy a glass of wine with a nice dinner or a couple of cocktails on the weekend. Our kids see us drink responsibily (and unfortunately, once irresponsibly which we addressed with the kids immediately) and I think that is important. I want them to see alcohol being handled appropriately, because they are going to be presented with it when they’re older and not home. I want them to know that one drink is just fine – that you don’t need to drink just to get drunk. I want them to feel comfortable saying, “no thanks, one is enough.” We model in our home what we want them to do later, and ‘Mommy drinking wine because she’s losing her mind’ is not something we want them to see or think, so I don’t do it.

    (I decided at the age of 19, after drinking after bombing a test, that I would never drink when I’m down or stressed, and I’ve stuck to that 100% since that moment. Having an alcoholic parent is truly awful, but also can teach you some very valuable things. Because of this, the “wine-o’clock” culture has never resonated with me.)

    This is a very honest and relatable post – thank you for sharing!

  7. Kari Kettner says:

    As a fairly recently sober person, I love to see these open conversations about alcohol.

    Do I wish I could go out “for a couple” every once in awhile like a normal person? Maybe. But, I am not that.

    Am I ashamed that I am an alcoholic? Nope. It is part of who I am.

    BUT! I only have a drinking problem if I am drinking. And, I am not drinking today. (Or the last 629 days. Woot!)

    To anyone who feels like they may have a problem with alcohol or drugs, I know how scary that can be. But, there is a way out. And, it is so beautiful on the other side. I swear.


  8. I grew up in a household with no alcohol. My parents didn’t drink (or if they did it was rare and I personally never saw it). In my early 20’s I got married and since we were the only married couple amongst our friends (and had our own home) we became the party house (interpret raging drinking parties). I’m an “in control” kinda gal. I didn’t like how alcohol would take that from me. For that reason in my late 20’s – early 30’s I became more a social drinker and would have a drink maybe 3-4 times a year. I met my current husband in my early 40’s. Let’s be honest and open here… he was an alcoholic. I won’t sugar coat it. He loved his beer. I drank occasionally with him but when his alcoholism came to an ugly head 4 years later it was either stop drinking or we are divorcing. We’ve been married now for 10 years and in September he celebrated 5 years of sobriety. When he stopped drinking, I stopped drinking. It wasn’t difficult for me because I drank so rarely that it didn’t even feel like I was giving up anything. I want to be supportive and encouraging of his sobriety so I will not drink again. I don’t have any problems with those who like to drink socially but after going through the hell we went through to get him where he is today, I simply cannot tolerate a drunk or an alcoholic. I draw the line at exessiveness.

  9. I do agree that this cult around mom’s needing drinks is out of hand and does more harm than good. That said, I live in France so wine comes after water :)

    Seriously, we seldom drink during the week and when we do it’s at a dinner with friends, or with my husband. We drink with meals during the weekend, not to get drunk but everyone stops when they are ready and no questions are asked. I’ve never been one to drink alone, for me it’s always about celebrating a moment so you are with someone.

    I think it’s important for my kids to see us having a healthy relationship with alcohol and also that if they want a sip it will be with us and not binge drinking somewhere.

    At the end of the day, everyone needs to do what works for them and respect the choices of those around them.

  10. I read this article from a mom on scary mommy not to long ago. She realized that she was drinking entirely too much and decided she needed to stop. She also declared the disdain for the mommy memes that glorified drinking. I took to the comments, searching for someone like me. Someone who wasn’t quite ready to cut herself off completely but who knew things were getting out of hand. I parent 3 boys under 6, (one with an extra chromosome). and when we finally wrestle them all to bed I like getting silly with my husband. I like connecting over beverages and talking glorious talks. I like being a little funnier, lighter, uninhibited and less adulty…. but that sometimes comes with a side of shame and guilt. Anyway, I joined a sober mom group and stayed there for awhile but I just felt I didn’t fit in so I left. I’m having trouble finding what I’m looking for. Your vision is the closest to it I suppose. I have to somehow carve a place for myself where I am neither completely abstaining or riddled with anxiety and guilt. It’s tricky. There’s no meme for that. I’ve struggled with it since I became a mom, that balance…. of being me but not too much me, not off the rails me. Because little people love me and need me and I need them right back. One day at a time man. Day 1….

    • I loved your post. I have 5 children age 12 and under, and I felt like I nodded all the way through reading this. Good luck to you, and happy holidays x

    • You are a great writer and what you said is exactly how I feel! So you aren’t alone! Just know that :)

  11. I felt like this was written for me. I am way beyond your age group but find after a long day at work (which is everyday), I’m reaching for that glass of wine. On the weekend there is always a few cocktails with or after dinner. Then when I get in bed every night I think why did I have that drink(s). Glad to see I’m not alone.

  12. Thank you for writing this in an inspirational and non-judging way! These kind of thoughts have been in somewhere in the background od my mind, too. I am 34 and could I say that I drink a beer today, one glass of wine tomorrow just like you said having a little moment for myself after work, but it’s kinda often if you start to think about it. And now I’ve come to age where I no longer feel so “forever young” in the body, and if I don’t exerecise or if I drink more than a few it feels all the time more akward in the body than it used to when I was younger. Leaving those occasional drinks would propably give me some more energy to move and maybe go to the gym instead. I should just find it in myself to make some changes, since my man is as lazy a beer-drinker as am I.

    Well I don’t know if this made any sense at all putting it here just as the thoughts came in to mind… But I could really use that tip to make such pretty mocktails! :)

  13. Mom of 10 kiddos here, and my witching hour is one you can hardly imagine. That being said, I have a rule for myself regarding alcohol that I never knew was a “rule” until someone pointed it out to me by saying, “Really? You’ve never had a glass of wine or a beer or any kind of alcoholic drink alone? By yourself?” — growing up, I never saw my (single) mother drinking alcohol unless she was in a social setting; with friends, or maybe just one friend over, or at a party or gathering. Never saw her pour herself a glass of wine when it was just me, my sister, and her in the home – not after a hard day’s work, not after me and my sister gave her a tough day. Never. My mom just never did any solo drinking, and so I guess I grew up thinking that alcohol was only for drinking with other people, never alone. And now, at the age of 48, I can honestly say that I have never poured myself a glass of wine during the witching hour, or after a stressful day, or any other “mom” crazy moment. I have never had an alcoholic beverage by myself, no matter how hard my day has been. My husband’s work keeps him away from home 5 days out of the week, and when he is home I might enjoy a glass of wine with him. But because he’s not home often, that keeps my alcohol intake to a minimum. So my “rule” is to never drink alone. It works for me :)

    • I have the same rule for myself. I have only, in my lifetime, had one drink solo and that was at lunch at an awesome cheese restaurant and it just sounded good with what I’d ordered. It was just me and my son, who was behaving like an angel. Maybe I felt the need to celebrate his behavior? In don’t know! But I still think about that lunch fondly… It’s not something I’ll probably do again but I sure enjoyed it!

  14. I love this. I think what you’ve pointed out here is that there are two sides to self-care: sometimes it means allowing yourself grace when you decide to indulge or when you make a mistake or you come up short (because too much rigidity can come with guilt and shame), but self-care is also about maintaining boundaries and living in accordance with your values and goals. The culture on social media is pretty biased toward the “ah, f*** it” side of things, which I think can be dangerous. I believe the key to health is finding that sweet spot in the middle of being way too hard on yourself and totally forgetting your goals. I’ve made the mistake (usually when I’m totally overwhelmed) of believing that self-care is all wine and bubble baths and yoga while my budget and the hard conversations and all the other scary stuff goes hungry. In short, I think the best way to know if drinking is hurting you is to let your emotions guide you. If you are feeling guilty when you pour that glass of wine, listen to that and be curious about it. Thank you for starting this conversation!

    • I think you are so spot on Chelsea! I totally agree that good self-care always involves grace. And too many rigid rules usually always comes with a side of guilt. Balance is hard, but I agree, when we lead with our goals and values, it is much easier to trust our instincts! Great insights!

  15. Thank you for writing this! In the last few months, I’ve noticed that there is a lot of drinking that goes on at any gathering we attend. Not just from us, but from those around us.

    I’d like to teach my children that moderate consumption of alcohol is perfectly fine, but they do not need it to enjoy life. I also feel that it’s a slippery slope when drinking, just to get through the day. I’ve been guilty of having a glass of wine while cooking dinner to try and relax.

    I often pour sparkling water into my wine glasses to enjoy! It’s a nice way to spruce up your drink. I’ll have to try some different combinations! Sometimes I just want to have a fancy drink but without the alcohol.

  16. Yes! All of this. Thank you for sharing <3 I'm going to reevaluate my alcohol choices

  17. As a wife of an alcoholic and the destruction it has had on our family I choose to stay away from it. However I do not judge others use of alcohol. If others judge me about not drinking I can really care less and they obviously aren’t very good friends. They haven’t walked in my shoes nor seen how it has effected my 3 young children. It is difficult sometimes to see all the post and memes about it as it has become a terrible thing in our society. The evil one is out to destroy families and he will go to any length to do so. I feel people need to find better ways to cope with stress. I see younger generations slipping further into this rutt of self medicating because they cannot deal with the hardships that life bring. It is very sad and scary. Marriage and child rearing are the hardest things I have found in life. It is our job to find joy and blessing even in the hardest of times.

  18. my son’s dad is a recovering alcoholic and our long-gone relationship was complete hell because of it. my great aunt and uncle who were the most amazing people in the world and would ritually serve each other a glass of wine or beer each night for dinner. my husband and i tend to wait until my son is in bed to indulge in an alcoholic beverage, but both of us are mindful of balance, and we do reevaluate on a continual basis. i’ve kept in mind a quote from a softball movie in which reese witherspoon said, “never drink to feel better, only drink to feel even better” and i think that is a good check when opening a bottle… am i doing this to feel better? and if so, it’s good to put it down. good conversation to have, i hadn’t really paid attention to how much the wine mom culture/posts (or at least, the volume of them) has been worrisome to me. may we all achieve more wellness around this topic!

  19. I love not drinking. I tell people who wonder why that I drank up my lifetime quota. When I was 40 and a habitual drinker, I realized that alcohol was sapping my energy. More than that, I was pouring a depressant into my depressed self (failed marriage, long story and ancient history now).

    I decided to take a break from drinking. Not quit. It never occurred to me that I was quitting. What a surprise. What a relief. No more pretending to be sober when I wasn’t. No more morning-after malaise. No more falling asleep on the sofa after two gin and tonics.

    I was lucky. I stopped cold turkey with no withdrawal or cravings or regrets. Not drinking, never being inebriated or even just buzzed was more freeing and euphoric than drinking ever was for me. It’s been many years now. I’ll have half a glass of champagne at a wedding or on New Year’s Eve but I’m happy to have made lemonade – I love lemonade.

    If you drink, I don’t judge you, as long as you don’t overindulge and drive, as long as alcohol doesn’t fuel any ugliness. But if you are on the fence about it or thinking of trying life without booze, I urge you to try. It’s liberating to keep the edge on and life in full focus.

  20. I feel this is a hot topic at the moment and one that is striking a chord with many women.
    There was a recent podcast on ‘Ladies we Need to Talk’
    where the host Yumi discussed her drinking with other Mums. You might like a listen.

  21. Thank you for this. There was a time in my life when I drank at least 5 nights a week. I decided that I needed to see if I could stop. One evening we went out for Tex Mex and wanted a margarita. I realized I hadn’t drank in 9 months. Since then I rarely drink but do enjoy a nice Margarita or a glass of wine a few times a year. I know a lot of people that drink and have never felt pressured to drink. I have several alcoholics in my family, it was my original motivation to stop but alcohol isn’t something I really even think about very often so it isn’t my motivation to not drink now. Drinking just isn’t my thing.

  22. Joanna Downey says:

    In the UK we have quite a problem with women drinking too much; the younger ones fall out of nightclubs totally paralytic & the older ones – ‘Baby Boomers’ are experiencing many alcohol-related health issues. We have also got a relationship going on with Prosecco, the drink of choice for many women when they are getting ready to go out for the night, & gift shops are full of ‘little bits of gorgeousness’ showing a hundred variations of the words Prosecco O’clock. I’m not endowed with strong will power so have conditioned myself to follow a few rules: I never drink on a school night, go alcohol free during January & February & always have my non-alcoholic drinks in a wine glass. I also see having a drink as a treat & don’t waste money & empty calories on poor quality wines.

  23. Hmmm, I just realized your alcohol is my chocolate …I don´t drink alot, hardly ever at home, but chocolate, chocolate is a different story ..I NEED a piece after lunch and sometimes I´m craving it! And it´s not just one piece…it´s many…I guess I should look into that…:(

  24. Be purposeful. I love it. You need to think twice on the things that you are having doubts with and check what’s the purpose why you are doing it.

  25. This topic has been on my mind for months… years? I’m single and in my early thirties. It’s not that I have kids to “relax” from, except it’s more of a stigma of I have no reason not to drink!
    The friends i see frequently are usually single like me or casually dating, so going out or drinking wine on the couch together is the norm. The supposed alternative is me sitting alone at night. I hate feeling that those are my two choices.
    When I do drink, it’s great the time, but the next day I feel shitty or groggy and work/chores barely get done.
    I appreciate this so much bc the judgement I feel when I don’t order a drink is real! Also being single, dates usually involve drinking. It’s everywhere! And I realized 90% of the time I drink is only bc I worry what other people are thinking if I didn’t. Or to fit in. Grrrr

  26. Kelle I think this is great and not just for mothers. As a single gal, I still found myself always grabbing a bottle of wine on Sunday night to enjoy with my shows. Its like I felt that all of my shows needed wine with them…The Bachelor, Greys Anatomy, etc. Finally I just realized enough is enough! I don’t need to drink red wine with my shows because commercials to promote these shows tell you to do so. I feel so much better now! And don’t get me wrong, I still will have a glass of wine here and there with a show, but maybe on a Friday night. Thanks for sharing!

  27. I’m an expecting father and I have to say that alcohol has no place in the human body. It seems like when we quit, that we can’t go without it, but that’s because we haven’t introduced an adequate replacement (Matthew 12:43-45). It’s always going to be more than a mild annoyance, when we realize that we aren’t living up to our potential, which our children will be watching closely to see if we do. Alcohol, in any amount, is a stumbling block. Aging, combined with a caustic chemical such as alcohol, is a formula for failure. Take God at his word and have him remove all that is causing you to fall short in this life and He will. Take care.

  28. Well-written and so good.

  29. thank you SO much! I am always so grateful for you and your honesty! I have been feelng this way too – I missed your insta-story but saw your post and headed straight over. Lately, I’ve been drinking far too much wine. Not for any particular reason, really, just cuz. It’s yummy. But like you, I certainly wouldn’t eat Chick-fil-a waffle fries dipped in mayo as much as I think it’s ok to drink wine! But I’ve been feeling crappy. I’ve been wanting to “get healthy” even though I am in every other aspect of my life, mostly. Mostly :) I actually started doing yoga and meditating and a meditation I ran across was about addiction and recovery and stopping the booze train and etc etc. So, I listened… But I’m not in pain, I’m not masking any pain… I really am not. (Is that denial?) I just have a glass or 3 a night, while cooking dinner, relaxing after the kids go to bed. I just do cuz I always do… My toughest challenge right now is that the holidays are always so festive and since New Year’s resolutions are right around the corner…I use that as an excuse… Anyway, thank you for sharing! We are not alone, we can go through these things together and learn from each other. Sending you love and Happy Thanksgiving!

  30. Thank you so much for this post. I watched my sweet Uncle pass away from bile-duct cancer after a long and painful struggle with alcoholism. While I know he was self-medicating and that we did all that we could do to get him help, it pains me deeply that he suffered spiritually, mentally and physically for so many years. I pray that God has forgiven his sins and welcomed him into Heaven. God bless you!

  31. Light coloured soda of your choice, splash of cranberry juice, pomegranate seeds to garnish!

  32. I’m finally getting around to reading this and it’s really thought provoking. I too succumb to the witching hour drink, far too often as my husband is working during that time and well, it’s crazy sometimes. I found myself putting my daughter to bed one night and wondering if my kids will associate the smell of booze with mom when they get older. I typically have 2 drinks a night, which I know is more than I should. And I too want to keep those special occasion cocktails (hello thanksgiving Apple cranberry mules!). This is a wonderful conversation.

  33. Kelle!! This was such a good post. Awareness is the best. A place to be honest is necessary ….You provided!!!

  34. this is so inspiring kelle. I am young, early 20s and still a ways away from kiddos, but I really appreciate you having this open conversation. It’s so important to be mindful of everything we do.

  35. I discovered your post after reading Carly’s response to what you wrote on her blog, The College Prepster. I, like some of the commenters above me, have also chosen to give up alcohol. I grew up in a family in which drinking was not common, and I myself never made a big deal about turning 21 or being able to drink with my friends. I was previously a social drinker, usually nursing just one drink for the entire night, but I began to re-evaluate why I felt the need to even have just one. It did not bring me any joy, and I found that I was holding a glass out of habit to blend into the group, rather than because it was something I wanted. Over the past two years, I have slowly phased alcohol out of my life, choosing to order water instead. Over time, my water order became my natural inclination, and while I do receive a raised eyebrow now and again from a friend or server when I decline wine with dinner, on the whole, my transition to an alcohol-free lifestyle has been fairly seamless. I’d much rather have dessert over liquid dessert any day!

  36. Thank you – this was really convicting for me. I don’t have kids, don’t have any reason I feel the “need” to drink. It’s more just a habit for me at this point. I come home from work and pour a glass of red wine. And while I think some ladies in this comment thread are being a little too hard on themselves (No need to feel guilty having one glass while cooking dinner!), it is good to stop and reevaluate from time to time. Thanks again!

  37. Thank you so much for this post. I’m the mom of a big family (5 kids!). My husband is a paramedic and works crazy hours, leaving me home alone a lot in the evenings with the kids to get through homework and dinner and bedtime procedures. This school year on my nights alone I’ve been starting with one glass when I start to cook dinner, a second by bath time, and sometimes even a third glass after the kids are asleep and I’m finishing chores. I silently have been starting to feel guilty about this & wonder if it was becoming a problem. But just like you said, every time you login Facebook or Instagram you see a new wine meme or a mom posting about her wine. So I tell myself, “it’s ok. Everyone is like this”. But they’re not. Very inspiring post from you Kelle, thanks again so much for the eye-opener I needed to read.

  38. Charlotte says:

    a drunk driver killed my great grandfather. two of my uncles literally drank themselves to death. it’s just not worth it. i’m so glad you recognized the slippery slope. moderation is key and sometimes and you have to confront yourself with “is this worth it?” that’s where i am. as a military spouse, i watch women fill their “jars of shame” with cork after cork while their husbands are away. and i just want to tell them, this isn’t worth it. thank you for opening this conversation graciously and mindfully.

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