After long days navigating unprecedented parenting challenges, a drink can feel like a well-deserved reward. But is your evening cocktail or glass of wine routine making you feel better… or worse? We talked to Annie Grace, author of This Naked Mind and The Alcohol Experiment about pandemic drinking, mom wine culture, how to evaluate your own drinking habits and the path to a better relationship with booze.
New research shows what we all know—that people are drinking more often and more heavily during the pandemic. Why, months and months into Covid-19, do you think the “quarantini” habits have persisted?
All humans have needs that have to be met on a regular basis, including feeling connected to others. When the world shuts down like this, a lot of those needs aren’t being met. Instead of going into an office and connecting with coworkers, we’re at home, where we’re doing more work than ever. We used to have escapes, like going to a yoga class, or for me, taekwondo twice a week, and those are now gone. So we’re turning to something we’ve seen meet our needs in the past.
Mommy Wine Culture
With mommy wine culture… I have three kids, and I was drinking heavily through the early childhoods of my first two. My drinking would increase after each kid was born, after those 9 months of giving it up. It’s that forbidden fruit syndrome. And all of a sudden you’re in this intense life change, and this is the tool society tells us will help us deal with it. I really grabbed on to that tool. I was doing the best I could with the tools I had. And that’s true for all of us right now. We just don’t realize that they’re not the best tools for us until after the fact.
The pandemic has revealed cracks in how we take care of ourselves, how strong our relationships are, and more. We can’t hide from these things as much when we’re together all the time. And what’s the quickest bandaid we can reach for? As a community, we’ve told ourselves that alcohol works to fix our problems. And it does work in the short term. But in the long term, it doesn’t solve anything.
The Dreaded Question
And then, unfortunately, if we start to question that… it becomes such a stigmatized conversation. If you realize that social media isn’t serving you and you quit Instagram, everyone applauds that. But if you start to open up about or question drinking, everyone is like are you an alcoholic? It’s hard for a lot of people to have that conversation safely without feeling like the other person is going to worry about them or pity them.
Am I An Alcoholic?
Ever ask yourself that? Download this free e-book for the answer to that question and so many others!