Moms

Why I Choose to Drink Less Than My Friends

On a Friday night, you won’t find me on my couch with a bottle of wine, a glass in my hand and binge watching my favorite Netflix show (okay – I will probably be binge watching my favorite Netflix show…)

Yes, many moms joke about their love of wine and bring out the booze once bedtime hits. Some stores even offer novelty glasses that look like sippy cups. It works for them, but it doesn’t work for me and here’s why.

My Family has a History of Alcoholism

Members of my family have been alcoholics, so one drink is a slippery slope. It’s not something I want to mess with. It’s not worth the risk. I’d much rather have a single gin and tonic and then throw back some seltzer with lime for the rest of the night. Is it as tasty? No, but it’s safer.

I carry the weight of seeing the effects of alcohol in my family firsthand, and it’s something that crosses my mind quite often. I won’t be that person. It’s much easier to set a rule for myself — that I’ll have one drink and stop — than to worry about getting out of control and falling into the grip of alcoholism.

My Body Doesn’t Appreciate the Calories

I have a hard enough time eating healthy and preventing the need for mom jeans. Most alcoholic drinks have at least 100 calories per serving, so by the end of the night, you can easily consume several hundred extra calories.

I’d rather save my extra calorie intake for something I truly love, like an extra serving at dinner or that slice of cherry cheesecake sitting in the fridge that’s been calling my name. If I’m going to consume the extra calories, I really want to enjoy them.

I Don’t Like to Feel out of Control

Being drunk makes me feel like I don’t have complete control of my body and my actions. I don’t like that feeling. If I want to have that out of control feeling, I’ll just try and put my toddler down for a nap when she doesn’t feel like taking one. The hour that follows leaves me feeling helpless. Why should I drink to have that same feeling?

I’m an Angry Drunk

This isn’t easy to admit, but I get mean when I drink. I’ve found out that one drink is fine, but having multiple quickly makes me sound like someone spit in my cheerios. Not cool. I don’t like getting angry and not having control of my emotions. Instead, I limit myself so I never get to that point.

I saw this in my family and it’s something I really want to avoid. I don’t want my daughter or the rest of my family to see me drunk and angry. I never want her to fear what I may do because I have one too many drinks and steamroll anything and anyone in my path.

Alcohol Makes Me Sleepy                                                            

First comes anger, and then comes sleep. Why would I want to drink only to lash out at those around me and then pass out afterwards while they lick their wounds? If I want something to make me sleepy, I can accomplish that in a much more affordable way in the form of some over-the-counter sleeping pills.

I Need to set a Good Example

I don’t want my daughter to grow up watching me swallow drink after drink. I don’t want her to have to say, “Oh, that’s just how mom is,” when I drink and become difficult to tolerate.

More importantly, I want to teach my daughter that you don’t have to drink just because those around you are doing it. People don’t need to have glass after glass to have a good time. You can enjoy one drink just the same as those around you enjoy multiple.

This is important to me because when she gets older and is around alcohol more consistently, she needs to know it’s okay to not drink to keep up with her peers. I want her to know that the number of drinks she is able to down doesn’t have a direct correlation to her popularity. How else can I show her that you can have a good time without alcohol if she never sees me do it?

So the next time you see me with a drink in my hand, you can be confident in that it will be my only one that night. I’ll give up my gin and tonic or that extra glass of wine for something that allows me to have full control of myself and set a good example for my daughter. I can enjoy a single drink without feeling pressured to have more just because my friends are.

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2 Comments

  • Reply sarah pollak January 24, 2017 at 11:25 pm

    This is one of the bazillion things that every parent needs to decide for themselves. Thank you for sharing. There is no right or wrong. I enjoy my evening glass of wine, and on occasion, a second as well. For my beloved spouse one is too many and two is too few and so I drink by myself. I find the Serenity Prayer used in AA to be most helpful in parenting; change the things I can change, the things that I actually have control over. And then, there are a lot of things that I can’t change, and as my kids grow, so does that list! And it’s all good so long as I can remember not to parent from fear.

  • Reply Jennifer January 25, 2017 at 8:33 pm

    Well said, Sarah!! I’ve always found it so curious when people question why I have a glass of wine and switch to water or seltzer after. (The only person I don’t question is my husband’s grandfather – who always tells me “Ya can’t walk on one leg, girly!” SO I humor him because he’s adorable and old and I’ll let him fill my glass a second time.) And even after saying all I’ve already said I still have my vices – I’d rather munch on a bar of dark chocoalte and sip peppermint tea after my kid goes to bed than sip wine. All I want is to live in a world where you can drink your wine, I can sip my tea, and everyone is happy and accepts it. ^_^

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