Several years ago, memes, t-shirts, and novelty items began to show up that used humor tying together motherhood and drinking wine. At first, many found it easy to have a laugh at them. Having a glass of wine to wind down after a day full of tantrums, mischief, and a dozen diaper changes seemed reasonable and relatable. To many, what started as a joke has now turned into a “Mom Wine Culture” of sorts. Some feel it normalizes drinking alcohol regularly in order to cope with life.
When Humor Masks Alcoholism Among Women
People who suffer from alcoholism are among those questioning the prevalence of mom wine culture. Someone who has dealt with true addiction often finds a limit to how humorous jokes relating to drinking can be.
There isn’t an equivalent to mom wine culture. For example, people aren’t bombarded with advertisements for cutesy t-shirts that say things like “Leave Daddy Alone, It’s Beer Time” or “I Can Be a Great Dad Thanks to Tequila”. Yet messaging promoting reliance on wine in order to cope with motherhood now floods advertisements and social media regularly.
One of the risks of mom wine culture is how it normalizes binge drinking of wine and alcohol addiction. Some women might feel a great deal of concern and shame if their drink of choice was beer or hard liquor. Seeing how moms drinking a lot of wine in relation to the stressors of being a parent can make it seem like this is an exception and not as likely to be a sign of alcohol abuse.
The alcohol industry spends billions of dollars looking for successful ways to sell its products. When an advertising campaign catches on, most corporations are happy to stick with it. A single video or an ad featuring the message that mommies “deserve” to make wine a regular part of their routine can be humorous.
The problem comes in when an entire campaign capitalizes on this idea. Younger mothers are especially targeted with the mom wine culture concept that turning to alcohol to cope just makes them part of a fun crowd. The underlying message often contains the thought that the reliance on drinking isn’t that serious because it’s “just” wine.
Men often find themselves targeted with a similar message in advertising. Drinking a lot of beer is portrayed as masculine, something male buddies do together, and a reward for a tough day or a victory in sports. The subtle idea suggested is that it’s “just” beer as if only reliance on hard liquor becomes problematic.
The Message Kids Get From Mom Wine Culture
Children often pick up on way more than adults give them credit for doing. Mothers who consistently joke about how drinking wine makes parenting bearable risk communicating a dangerous message to their kids. Exposure to the t-shirts, the print on wine glasses, the conversations, and other mom wine culture messaging is not lost on many children.
Kids who hear their moms explain that wine offers the only incentive to get through another day of raising children can internalize that dark message. While parents may not intend for kids to interpret the messaging this way, it often happens. It contributes to some children feeling they are devalued and not worth the trouble it takes to be around them.
This message can also be internalized by children who will grow up to believe they need reliance on alcohol to be good parents themselves. Instead, these kids need to hear the message that their parents love them and want to be with them without requiring a glass or three of wine as a buffer.
The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry reports that one in five Americans lives with an alcoholic relative during childhood. Doing so puts these children at greater risk for emotional problems. Children of alcoholics are four times more likely to become alcoholics themselves.
Quarantining During the Pandemic Helped Normalize Alcohol Addiction
Shortly into the beginning of the pandemic, jokes began to arise about drinking “quarantinis”. People struggled with social distancing and being confined to home as the new way of life. For many, drinking alcohol became a way to pass the time and calm their anxiety. Many shopping programs and restaurant delivery businesses began to offer alcohol delivery as part of their services during the pandemic.
Harvard Medical School published a report that showed that during the pandemic, the rate of heavy drinking by women increased 41%. Women also reported experienced higher rates of difficulty related to sleep, mood, health, and productivity during the pandemic. Women with children under 18 had higher rates of anxiety than men and childless women.
With the widespread application of the coronavirus vaccine and the reopening of society, much of the cause for anxiety has begun to dissipate. For women who developed an addiction to alcohol, they have a whole new problem.
A good first step to dealing with this involves rejecting the idea that mom wine culture is just a fun way to enjoy life. A person who may have an addiction to alcohol should seek evaluation by a clinical professional and discuss treatment options.
Alcohol Addiction Treatment in Texas
Have you developed an addiction to alcohol and need help? Purpose Driven Recovery offers gender-specific sober living facilities to help women and men address their addiction and learn to embrace recovery. Our therapy, sober coaching, and round-the-clock management provide the support you need.
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