The Word “Alcoholic” is Keeping Moms Trapped - Love Life Sober

A couple of weeks ago Gary Janetti, a comedian I normally find quite funny posted this “joke” on his instagram “Um.. all these wine moms are alcoholics, right?” The post has already received almost 30k likes. The comments go a little something like this. “They’re just trying to get through the day” and “I’ll send you my teens, and you see how you do.”  Echoing the notion to thousands of moms that they need wine to parent. I thought we had made headway with this kind of thing at end of last year when Tropicana pulled and apologised for an advert where Molly Sims and Gabriella Union were sneaking into their closets, hiding from their children to down mimosas. Alas, it seems we still have work to do. 

If you follow the sober curious movement you know that mommy wine culture is something that most of us sober moms are trying to fight against. When you become a mom the memes, greeting cards and merch that tell us that we need our “mommy juice” is come at us from every angle!  As a society we have been told that it’s funny, cute, and necessary to drink in order to cope with our toddlers and teens. Recently in an Instagram live Jennifer Garner addressed her drinking during the pandemic and said ” It feels like it’s (wine) become part of a code among moms: ‘Your wine, oh my gosh, you must be dying to have it!

What struck me as extra sad about Janetti’s tweet, and reading the comment section, was that now we are meant to make light and laugh at the word “alcoholic” like we laugh at the moms drinking wine out of a sippy cup. Before I stopped drinking, I used to pop open up a bottle of red during homework time with the kids and polish off most, if not all, of the bottle before bed. I didn’t think I needed to change any behaviour because according to mommy wine culture, all the moms were doing the same thing. But further, if I did need to address the amount I was drinking- did that make me an alcoholic? 

There is so much stigma around the word alcoholic. It kept me trapped in my nightly wine routine, and I know it keeps other moms trapped too. It’s a word that I tell my clients that we do not have to use. A label we can throw away. What makes an alcoholic an alcoholic, really? Have you ever googled “Am I an alcoholic?”. I have. There are dozens of those tests meant to give you some semblance of an answer, they are all different. You’re not an alcoholic if you drink (insert number here) drinks a night, but you’re off scott-free if you drink one drink less than that?! 

Medically speaking, scientists have not discovered one gene that makes you an alcoholic (they have discovered genetic makeup that makes some more vulnerable than others) but the point is, you don’t take a blood test, and get the label. We label ourselves, or maybe a doctor gives you that label after you’ve told them you’re finding life unmanageable. But if you never tell anyone you’re struggling, you don’t get the label (or any help!). The point is, it’s SUBJECTIVE. 

Why use a subjective label that just makes us feel bad about ourselves and keeps us trapped? It makes us feel like something is wrong with us. And if there is nothing wrong with us, we can continue drinking a bottle of wine a night. We find further justification for our behaviour in, you guessed it, mommy wine culture. 

Instead of asking the question “am I an alcoholic?” I started asking myself different, better, questions:

“Would I feel better without my nightly wine? 

“Would I have more energy, would I sleep better without booze?” 

“Would I have more patience with my children if I wasn’t hungover every weekend?” 

The answers to all of those things were a resounding “YES!” Jessica Simpson caused an Instagram sensation among the sober curious movement recently when she posted about her sobriety. She wrote about the stigma around the label alcoholic. For Jessica it was about making her life better. Simpson states “The real work that needed to be done in my life was to actually accept failure, pain, brokenness, and self-sabotoge.” Although, as you may have been able to tell, I’m a massive fan of celebrity pop-culture, I’ve unfollowed Mr Janetti and will continue to advocate to ditch the word alcoholic, especially among mothers. If we can get rid of that word, then we can start asking ourselves real questions that can lead to freedom from “mommy juice.”  

Ready to discuss making a change for your health? I don’t use the word alcoholic, I help change the beliefs surrounding alcohol so you can make healthier decisions that lead to lasting change. 

Want to know more? Book a discovery call here and we can chat about working together. 


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