OUR MOM DUTIES ARE DONE, NOW LET’S GET OUR DRINK ON
How often have you heard that being said? Or “mommy’s little helper? Bottle openers on everything with the caption that reads: “moms fidget spinner”, the internet is overrun with meme’s, imagery, gifs and articles promoting that moms just need a drink and how deserving we are of that drink.
This year I turned the big 30 and I wanted to commemorate it by doing something significant for myself, something that would challenge my determination and resolve so, I decided to embark on a very personal journey and this is how the 100 day challenge was born.
100 DAYS OF SOBRIETY
If you know me personally or follow me you will know my life socially is quite hectic and my house is never without people in it or some calendar event I must attend or some school function or party for Princess Minion, all while trying to juggle a small business, a long distance relationship and still trying to find time for yoga and meditation (I complain about not having silence but I secretly enjoy the noisiness of my life) so deciding not to drink for a 100 days was no easy task as 9 out of 10 times alcohol is involved.
When I first informed my loved ones of this, they laughed and called me crazy and asked me why, whats the reason?!, and at the time I really did not have a valid reason other than the annoying voice in my head telling me I had to do this. So over the 100 days(well in the end 130 because you know me and my issues with trying to over achieve) the reasons slowly started to unfold and the first one that hit me like a ton of bricks was, man us moms find any reason to drink and I knew one too many moms who were bordering on being functioning alcoholics.
For me this was not ok!
In the short 100 days I watched fellow moms drink themselves into a stupor and cry about how their lives are extremely hard and how lonely they felt, I watched moms break glasses at my pool and lie almost paralytic next to it, I watched a mom suddenly become a smoker every time she drank and then desperately try to hide it from her husband all while saying “this was me before kids, I finally feel like me”, I watched mom’s lose all forms of self-control due to being beyond over the limit, I was offered wine at 11am in the morning “because its 12 o’clock somewhere” and brandy at 10am “the day has been rough”… without so much of an eyelid being blinked, I had mom friends get so drunk they ended up throwing themselves at my fabulously gay cousin, I had a mom flash herself to a bar full of people and all this was done with the excuse that …the kids are in bed, I earned this , or I’ve given up my 20’s it’s my time now.
Don’t get me wrong I am no saint, I’ve been drunk with the best and the worst of them, but with my dad’s voice drummed firmly in my head I have always tried to maintain a level of etiquette whilst drinking, because a lady knows how to carry herself right?!
Just because I am skilled at holding it together when I’m plastered doesn’t make it ok that I too help perpetuate the culture of “momcholism”.
This challenge derailed the happy train I was on and opened my eyes to modern day motherhood, why were we all failing so hard at functioning like adults, why were we masking our struggle with motherhood by making it ok for us to drink, why did we feel we were so much more deserving of that drink than a single, childless person, what was it that made us moms so special we could get away with promoting functional alcoholism?
Why do moms in general think they are so fantastic? Really, now what makes us so special? And the more kids you seem to pop out of your twinkle cave the better you rate as a mom because “wow she is superwoman look at her juggle a mini soccer team of tiny tyrants” but in the exact same breath a single woman of child bearing age drinking as we do would be deemed immature, selfish, a drunk and even a slut and “she really needs to get her life together”…but because we are moms we deserve it because we sacrificed our bodies, our girlish looks, perky breasts and flat toned stomachs …so that makes us far superior, right? … I think not!
We are role models to a whole generation of tiny humans , tiny humans that are going to grow up and model all the behavior they have seen throughout their childhoods and well if I’m looking around at some of us , I am a little concerned for our future generations.
We as moms are so damn afraid of admitting that WE HAVE NO CLUE AS TO WHAT WE ARE DOING, WE ARE ALL VERY DAMAGED TRYING TO HIDE BEHIND THE THIN VEIL OF OUR INSTAGRAM ACCOUNTS AND WE DESPERATELY NEED MOM FRIENDS WHO UNDERSTAND THE STRUGGLE.
We hide all our insecurities, all our short comings, all our failures, all our imperfections in a giant glass of merlot all while posting perfectly edited photoS on the #TheGramSham of our perfectly managed lives, because when the likes start flowing in we feel less alone because that mom just understands that “momma needs to get her drink on”
We are failing not only as mothers but as woman, we are holding others to some unobtainable standard which us ourselves can’t maintain, we judge one another for every single thing we do and don’t do, and in the same breath applaud each other for our terrible behaviour. We ghost moms who don’t agree with us, or call us out.
I don’t know if I could go back to drinking like I used to after this challenge, I will definitely be enjoying a good old G&T on occasion and in moderation but I have learned alcohol is not needed to have a good time, nor is it needed to make yourself feel better.
Top 10 things I learned
- Hangovers suck, even if you don’t drink excessively, you will still feel absolutely sluggish and generally bleh after a night of drinking. The first week of not drinking it was one of the key things i noticed, how amazingly fresh I felt on Saturday and Sunday mornings
- Alcohol is extremely expensive , I saved so much cash over the 130 days I got to treat myself to new yoga clothes.
- Your skin will glow!!! ever wandered why you look so ashen the morning after a binge, its the influx of sugary carbs …yes that is all alcohol is: sugar and carbohydrates ..gasp!
- You will lose centimeters around your belly
- You will look less bloated, that goes for your entire body especially your face
- you will be more focused, now that you aren’t drinking to fill the voids you will find you have a sudden interest in many different things and your brain gets to function at its optimum
- you will be more engaged, remaining sober at social functions helps you to engage more and really focus on a person and what they have to say
- you will always leave with your dignity intact
- you will eat less, sounds funny,but it’s true, just test it stay sober and see how much less you nibble at a braai , and how much less you consume in general over a weekend, not to mention how the sugary and salty cravings disappear
- This is the big one YOU WILL LOSE “FRIENDS” , you will suddenly have less invites to functions, apparently not drinking somehow makes you really uncool (queue high school all over again), when I first noticed it I was extremely bummed but then I realised that maybe its a blessing in disguise kind of like the trash taking itself out , who wants friends like that anyway?! I literally had a mom tell me to my face she will see me when my challenge is over …like really so my sobriety is a damper for you, no problem I will see you never.
In conclusion, I feel us as mothers need to stop with the wine culture, call up a mom friend and go for a tea tasting, go to gym together, or better yet just call her up and ask how she is doing, stop by and bring some snacks and movies or just netflix and chill.
More often than not a mom friend just needs a safe place to offload, maybe offer to take her kids, run her a bath (*if you aren’t in cape town) before you leave, offer your shoulder and your ears without the glass and the bottle , because there are better way s to be a supportive mom friend without perpetuating “Momcholism”