Mommy wine culture may seem harmless – whether it is funny slogans, merchandise, or social media posts. However, constant messaging that encourages or normalizes drinking can have harmful consequences, especially when alcohol is presented as a coping mechanism for stress and the challenges of motherhood.
This blog explores the growth of mommy wine culture and its hidden toxic consequences.
What Is Mommy Wine Culture?
There’s no official definition for mommy wine culture, but you can see it in the world around you.
Mommy wine culture exists in wine glasses that say ‘mommy’s therapy’ and ‘mommy juice’ and pillows decorated with ‘mommy needs some wine’. It’s found in Facebook groups titled “Moms Who Need Wine” or in the label ‘wine mom’.
Mommy wine culture implies that moms need to drink wine to cope with the high-stress levels of motherhood – or that wine can help get them through. It presents alcohol as an effective and healthy mechanism that moms need to relax at the end of the day.
Why Is Mommy Wine Culture Dangerous?
In reality, drinking wine is a really bad way to manage stress. While it may help you to relax in the short term, drinking alcohol can ultimately increase anxiety. Many people feel anxious the day after drinking, and in the long-term, heavy drinking harms your mental and physical health.
Relying on ‘mommy’s medicine’ as a coping mechanism puts you at risk of developing a drinking problem. While you may start with just one glass of wine in the evening, this can quickly increase to two or three – and then a whole bottle. When you see other ‘wine moms’ doing the same thing, or think that mom wine culture is normal, you may not realize that things have gotten out of hand.
Over time, you may find yourself regularly binge drinking to forget the stresses of the day – leading to hangovers that make the following day more stressful. Repeated drinking may lead to alcohol dependency and alcohol addiction, two serious mental health conditions.
These harmful consequences are not visible in the wine glass that says ‘mommy’s sippy cup’, but they are very real. Alcohol addiction among women is on the rise in the United States: a study published by JAMA Psychiatry found that high-risk drinking (of more than 4 drinks a day) among women increased by 58% between 2002 and 2013. While it may not be fair to attribute this growth entirely to toxic mommy wine culture, it certainly contributes to our unhealthy drinking culture.
How Can Drinking in the Home Affect Children?
Mommy wine culture paints a specific picture of parenthood. It supports the idea that parenting is exhausting and moms are desperate to escape.
Children quickly pick up on the actions of their parents. Because young children are naturally self-centered, they also tend to view themselves as the source of all problems. They may start to see themselves as annoying, bothersome, difficult, and the cause of their parent’s apparent exhaustion.
Of course, these are not feelings you’d want your children to experience. They can also be damaging to a child’s development and contribute to insecure attachment styles in later life.
Drinking alcohol excessively in the home also normalizes alcohol abuse – children whose parents have a drinking problem are more likely to develop addictions themselves. Living a healthy lifestyle is important for your children’s physical and mental health as well as your own.
How Can I Stop Drinking Wine?
If you’ve been drinking wine for a while, it may not be easy to leave alcohol behind. Alcohol dependency and addiction are physical conditions associated with changes in your body chemistry and brain pathways. Many moms need professional support to stop drinking – reaching out for help is often the first step.
If you’ve developed an alcohol dependency, the first stage in quitting drinking is alcohol detox. Because alcohol withdrawal can come with severe withdrawal symptoms, you should always seek the advice of a medical professional before you stop drinking.
Medical detox programs support you to detox from alcohol under the supervision of medical professionals. Detox programs can be outpatient or residential depending on the severity of the dependence.
Alcohol Addiction Treatment
Detox alone is rarely sufficient to stop drinking wine long-term. Recovery involves identifying the underlying causes of alcohol abuse and developing the skills to overcome them. It’s a journey of personal growth and holistic healing that takes commitment and support.
The good news is that there are many effective substance abuse treatment methods out there that can guide you to long-term sobriety. Effective addiction treatment programs are individualized to each client’s needs and typically combine several different treatment options. They may involve:
- cognitive behavioral therapy
- support groups
- family therapy
- couples therapy
- experiential therapy
- complementary therapies like yoga and creative art therapy
- life skills development
While seeking professional help may seem like a big step, it’s the best way to stop drinking and reclaim your sober life. Being sober is the best way to be a good mom, create healthy family dynamics, and look after your own mental and physical health.
How Can I Relax Without Alcohol?
You might be wondering how you can relax as a sober mom. Luckily, there are lots of relaxation techniques to try that act as healthy coping mechanisms for stress and long days.
You could try:
- mindfulness and relaxation techniques
- exercise – such as taking a walk or going to dance class
- spending sober time with friends and other moms
- participating in hobbies
- creative outlets like singing, cooking, or making music
While these techniques can help relieve stress, many women may need greater support. If you are struggling with anxiety, depression, or other mental health concerns, it’s a good idea to seek professional support.
One in 10 women may suffer from some post-natal depression in the first year after giving birth, and 6.7% of the general population live with the illness. If you’re struggling to cope with motherhood, you are not alone, and there’s nothing to be ashamed of. Help and support are available – you could speak with your healthcare provider about what treatment options may suit you.
Alcohol Addiction Treatment at Alina Lodge
Alina Lodge is a specialized addiction treatment center in New Jersey. For over 60 years, we’ve offered exceptional clinical care and holistic support to our clients, supporting thousands of people to long-term recovery. Today, we’re widely considered to be one of the best rehabilitation centers in the United States.
Our recovery programs combine a diverse range of treatment modalities, tailored to each client’s needs. We emphasize the role of the family in supporting recovery and abstinence, involving family members in the recovery process. We aim to treat the entire person, identifying any underlying issues and treating them alongside addiction.
Our expert team is full of specialists, whether it be in grief therapy, mindfulness techniques, or social support. We ensure you receive the best possible treatment from the forefront of addiction research, combining our collective expertise and experience. At the same time, we work to maintain a caring, welcoming atmosphere filled with compassion and respect. We act with integrity and treat you with dignity.
If you are worried about your drinking, living with addiction, or just in need of advice, give us a call today. We’re here to help.