Is it time for Parents to get Sober Curious?
The liquor industry has been stunningly successful in their efforts to market directly to mothers. So much so that it’s become an acceptable way to deal with the stress of parenting.
From play dates to birthday parties, the wine always makes an appearance.
Juice for the little ones and mommy juice for the grown ups.
The “Moms Who Need Wine” Facebook page has more than 700,000 followers!
As the t-shirt says:-
Motherhood: Powered by love, Fuelled by coffee, Sustained by Wine
The harsh reality is that parenting is hard – but alcohol isn’t going to make it any easier. Parenting “under the influence” can be dangerous. Supervision of small children requires total attention as does driving the older ones to their various activities.
That glass of wine at the end of the day seems like a just reward for a busy working parent but how many people just have one glass? That glass can easily become two and over the years become a bottle every evening.
Alcohol is particularly hazardous for women and drinking more than a bottle and a half of wine a week is considered a health risk. Women are prone to heart and liver disease as a result of risky drinking – not to mention the proven link between alcohol and breast cancer.
Many moms know in their hearts that parenting and alcohol don’t mix but have no idea how to make a change. The normalisation of drinking has become so ingrained that it takes confidence and courage to make a stand.
That’s why the Sober Curious Movement is an exciting development. It started with a book published in 2018 by Ruby Warrington and is fast becoming an international movement.
The Sober Curious are not people with a drinking “problem” – they are people who choose not to drink – because they are curious to see what their life would be like without alcohol in it.
It’s about noticing the normalisation of alcohol – and challenging it.
It’s about having an open mind – and being prepared to experiment
It’s about asking the question “what would my life be like without alcohol?”
The Sober Curious drink much less or not at all – and broadcast their alcohol free lives proudly on social media. We have Millennial influencers and bloggers on Instagram conveying the message that it’s hip not to drink – and of course drunk is not a good look for all those selfies!
Sober Curious is an essential part of the Wellness Revolution. It just doesn’t make sense to eat gluten free, non diary, vegan etc, to spend time meditating and practicing yoga – and then drinking the toxin which is alcohol.
Whereas sipping mindfully on a “botanical cocktail” fits right in.
An essential part of being Sober Curious is the ability to drink “mindfully”. To have a glass of very good wine now and then and to savour the taste – quite different from knocking back a bottle of wine every evening to “take the edge off”.
The Sober Curious Movement means that the concept of alcohol free living will reach millions more people and could even represent a societal culture shift towards sobriety.
It will open up a whole new conversation about alcohol – and the role it plays in society. No longer will people have to feel left out or uncool for being sober.
So it looks like the stranglehold that alcohol has had on society could finally be loosening.
In the meantime here are 5 tips for sober curious moms:-
- Take a break from alcohol. Start your Sober Curious experiment by taking a break from alcohol for 30 days. If you want a bit of help then join Tribe Sober for online and community support. Details on tribesober.com
- Be prepared to give some events a miss. If you know that the pressure to drink will be overwhelming then just don’t go. Your child doesn’t have to miss out. Ask another parent or a friend to take your child to the event.
- When you do attend events then arrive late – and have an exit plan. You can ask a trusted friend/parent to bring your child home if they want to stay on.
- Have your go-to drinks. Start exploring the alcohol free choices that are available and find one that you really like. So long as you have a drink in your hand and look happy about it the other moms likely to pressure you.
- Be a Sober Curious Influencer! Host your own alcohol-free events and meet-ups with moms – have lots of AF choices for people to discover and build up your own Sober Curious Crew.
Host an alcohol free book club and a coffee meet-up. Never feel you have to provide alcohol at your child’s birthday party – provide some delicious mocktails instead!
Wine mom culture is pervasive and dangerous, but it doesn’t need to be isolating. It’s possible to make mom friends, take your child to events and still remain sober. It’s time to be a rebel and not a sheep!