Mama’s, I know you are stressed out.
School is starting and the kids aren’t going anywhere.
In addition to your job at home, as carpooler, housekeeper, chef, and CEO of family scheduling, you are now expected to also act as teacher’s support, tech support, early education childcare, and more.
Your multiple kids need to be logged into multiple meetings with hundreds of links, passwords, ID’s, and emails.
It’s a lot to keep up with and you likely have your own demanding job.
Many of you have kids who need special assistance in any number of ways.
It is overwhelming.
Your feelings of overwhelm, panic, anxiety, and exhaustion are valid.
If you feel like you are losing your mind, I don’t blame you one bit.
You need and deserve a break.
“Me Time”, as they say.
You need time away, time alone, and time to focus on you.
This is often advertised as a woman in a bathtub with a glass of wine.
When you are at your wit’s end, this scene can look incredibly enticing.
Being alone and pampered, all while sipping a little something, to take the edge off.
Anyone in your shoes would want this relief.
Wine is sold as a cure for parenting stress and it’s a lie.
Wine is marketed as a tool for self care and it couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Wine is alcohol and alcohol is a substance that creates dependence.
It is a progressive, meaning it gets worse over time.
If you are a mommy wine juice drinker, think about how much you drank 5 years ago compared to how much you drink now.
How much will you need to drink 5 years from now for the same effect?
Your nightly glass may have turned into a bottle or more.
I know it did for me.
It may feel like COVID is a special circumstance, but alcohol does not give special consideration for unusual circumstances.
You need self care and you need me time.
This danger is thinking that self care comes in a bottle of wine.
It doesn’t, and I will explain why.
Self care is defined as the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health. It is the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.
Turning to alcohol takes away from your physical health. It negatively affects every system in your body and contributes to 7 different forms of cancer. It is the 3rd leading preventable cause of death in the United States.
These facts can’t be argued. Alcohol does not improve your physical health.
Alcohol also increases depression and anxiety. It is classified as a depressant and lowers your overall mood and sense of well being. Mental health is health. Alcohol negatively affects the way your brain works and feels.
Self care is the practicing of checking in on yourself and tuning into you. Alcohol is a big tune out. It temporarily numbs you. You may feel less pain, but you are also feeling less joy. Alcohol is avoidance. Self care is an actionable daily practice.
To prevent burn out you need to recognize your feelings and say them outloud. When you have a drink, the drinking takes over your thinking and you lose clarity of thought.
Setting boundaries and recognizing your own needs is what you need to take care of yourself. Alcohol takes you away from yourself and leaves you feeling more depleted, with all your problems still waiting for you.
True self care comes in the form of nourishing your mind, body, and spirit. That could be movement, time in nature, meditation/prayer, time alone, self compassion, asking for help, or reading a book.
It is necessary that you make yourself a priority, especially if you feel you don’t have time for it.
It is not an indulgent luxury to take care yourself It is absolutely necessary for your health and wellbeing, and your top priority.
You put on your own oxygen mask first.
You cannot pour from an empty bucket.
Your kids need a healthy mom more than they need to be on time for their Zoom meeting.
It is your job, not anyone else’s to take care of youself.
It is the best thing for you and your family.
A child worried about a parent is a large load to carry.
I encourage you find a way to take some time for yourself, even if it seems impossible.
Leave the alcohol behind.
If you need guidance, I am here to help. Wine was supposed to be the solution to my problems. Then it became the problem. It wasn’t easy to ditch the drink, but I am so much stronger, healthier, and more resilient since I did and I can help you get there too. You don’t have to quit forever to take a break. It’s ok to experiment with going alcohol free.
Your circumstances may not change, but your ability to handle them does when you learn real coping techniques and set the booze aside.