Mom Pressure & Drinking to Cope

Updated: Aug 19

woman sitting on floor in kitchen looking overwhelmed while holding a glass of wine

The pressure on Mom's to always have it all together is immense. So many women choose wine as their relaxant at the end of a night or during those stressful days; however, our culture has never allowed for much room where mothers can find balance in life without feeling guilty about themselves.

Our culture has put a feeling of shame and guilt on Moms who haven't met the 'standards' of today. This can lead to many unhealthy habits and patterns that can be detrimental to their own health and wellbeing, as well as their own family’s.

Social Acceptance of Drinking and Hiding a Problem

It has become widely accepted to drink socially while out with a group of friends, at a party, or even at work holiday parties. Though, many of whom may be engaging in these activities, may be struggling with a drinking problem that they don’t want anyone to know about.

In May of 2020, the National Institute of Health & National Library of Medicine conducted a survey on Alcohol Consumption during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Out of 832 adult participants, 84.4% were female. Almost two-thirds of 2020 participants 60.1% reported that their drinking had increased compared to before COVID-19. Of those, 45.7% reported that their drinking had increased because of increased stress, 34.4% reported that their drinking had increased because of the increased availability of alcohol, and 30.1% reported that their drinking had increased because of boredom. Almost two-thirds of the participants 63.7% listed some combination of these three reasons. The remainder either gave no reason or some other reason such as “It gives me the feeling of going out”, “I feel safer because I am at home”, “It’s a tasty distraction”, or “It feels permissible”.

an infographic showing more than 10 percent of US children live with a parent/caregiver with alcohol use disorder

Of the 84.4% females, 45.1% had children under the age of 18 still living in the home with them. Alcohol is a widely used, socially accepted substance that many mothers have used as a coping mechanism in their lives.

Motherhood is tough enough without adding alcohol to the mix. The occasional glass of wine at the end of the night, has turned into drinking in the middle of the day for many.

Mothers often feel guilty and ashamed about their drinking. They may be afraid that others will judge them, or treat them differently. She doesn't want to admit it out loud for the fear of realism setting in. While others may not realize that their drinking has become a problem. The occasional, has turned into, ‘the regular routine’. It’s when we feel that drinking alcohol is the only way to relax or ‘feel better’ that we begin to question whether it is a problem.

When is it a Problem?

If you find yourself drinking during your day-to-day routine, it might be time for some self reflection on how this affects other aspects of your life like family and work!

Here are some signs that can help you decide if your drinking has become a problem:

  • Drinking alone or in secrecy

  • Losing interest in activities you once found enjoyable

  • Alcohol cravings

  • Making drinking a priority over responsibilities

  • Alcohol withdrawal symptoms

  • Extreme mood swings and irritability

  • Feelings of guilt about drinking

  • Having a drink first thing in the morning

  • Continuing to drink despite health, financial and family problems

  • An inability to stop or control the amount of alcohol consumed

  • Having difficulty staying accountable for your actions throughout the day.

If you find yourself periodically seeking solace in alcohol during the day, it could mean there's something deeper at play than just an occasional glass of wine every now and again.