“Tough day? Have a glass of wine!”
“These terrible twos deserve WINE!”
“Kid’s woke up at 5AM, #morewineplease”
“Kid’s wont go to bed #bringonthewine”
These are just some examples of things I see when I am scrolling through instagram. I am not sure when wine became necessary to parent, but it seems to have a big role in the lives of many. You should see the looks I get at playgroups when people find out I have two kids under the age of two and I DON’T drink. sober parenting.
I am a sober Mom. I feel very blessed to have entered recovery before I had my children. It is not like I am saying that every mom that drinks alcohol is an alcoholic; but, the rise of day wine drinking and comments about mixing liquor into morning coffee to cope with the terrible twos is all over social media. There are many blog posts that outline day drinking as a stay at home mom and justifies it because “momming is hard.”
Having my second child really changed my recovery. Getting to meetings was no longer easy and that meant a lot less connection with other people. I found myself on the brink of being close to postpartum depression. I felt alone, overwhelmed and in way over my head. Again, I am very grateful for my recovery and the tools I had because it kept me a sober parent and the thought of picking up never occurred to me. After a couple of months of struggling, Finding balance and a way to nurture my recovery while being a mom has been very helpful.
Tips for Sober Parenting
Here are some tips for being a sober parent:
1.Yoga- Yoga is something that I have always loved. I love the asana(postures) but I also love the lifestyle. Practicing yoga on a regular basis and many times with my children is a great way to connect with myself and my kids. As a stay at home mom, I don’t get immense amounts of alone time. Every morning after breakfast my toddler and I roll out our yoga mat and start our practice. The baby lays on the mat or I wear her during this time.
We have an awesome book that we read and follow the yoga routine in it. We then look at our ABC yoga poster and my toddler picks out a few more poses to do. This is not what I thought my yoga practice would ever look like, but it is pretty magical. It gets me on my mat and it gives my toddler a chance to learn and grow in his own way. Yoga helps me to be a sober parent.
2. Mindfulness- There are so many types of mindfulness. After yoga we sit and take deep breaths. This is a way for me to be present and it just slows us both down. We come back to this practice of deep breathing many times throughout the day. Deep breathing is scientifically shown to slow the brain. So throughout the day when either of us get frustrated or upset we will practice this again.
Another way I practice mindfulness is to just truly be present in each moment. This means putting my phone down and just being. When I am truly present in each moment all my “problems” and “worries” instantly melt away. In the present moment my problems don’t exist. Being a sober parent means I have to deal with the array of difficult emotions and the sense of being overwhelmed at times. I have found mindfulness to be effective tool in being a sober Mom.
3. Nutrition- This has been another big one for me! With two small kids it is SO hard to find time to cook healthy meals. So in our house we do a lot of meal prepping. We plan our meals so there is very little work to be done throughout the week. During the week my toddler helps me to prep vegetables which helps to occupy him while we get to make healthy food choices. We also do lots of smoothies, homemade green juices and healthy muffins! When I eat well, I feel better and I am less likely to reach for a negative coping skill.
4. Connection- Connecting with other adults is so important to me. I can’t always just race to a meeting when I am feeling the need for connecting with people. It is very helpful for me to practice being vulnerable with others and so I reach out to others more easily than I used to.
I have wonderful friends that have become family that I met in AA. It is a blessing to have these people to connect with because they live in the solution and we can talk about that and live it together. I also have made some amazing friends with Moms who are not in recovery. This has been crucial for my happiness too. It is so nice to be able to talk with people who are experiencing similar things in regards to raising kids. There are so many local groups in different areas to join and ways to meet people. They even have mom apps to meet other moms!
Being a mom is hard! Being in recovery has its challenges as well. Drinking and parenthood do not have to go hand in hand. Find the tools that work for you and take care of yourself. You deserve it. Being able to utilize the tools listed above has allowed me to find true happiness even through the sleep deprived, messy and chaotic life of being a sober Mom.