Being a stay-at-home mom is a dream for many women. Imagine spending every waking day with your children, being with them every step of the way. There is no need to work as your husband brings home the bacon for you. While this may sound nice, this has paved the way for a new kind of problem: alcoholism.
The exact details are sketchy, as there are no official surveys to explore this demographic. But looking at the available data, one can safely assume that this issue affects a lot of mothers.
According to the Talbott Campus, 1 in 2 women of childbearing age drink. 18% of this group tend to binge drink. And if you look at the Facebook Group “Moms Who Need Wine“, you will see that it has a cult following of 712,000 mothers, presumably. With these figures, it is safe to say that a lot of stay-at-home moms in America may have issues with alcohol use.
What causes alcoholism among stay-at-home moms?
Stay-at-home moms seem to have it all – enjoying the day at home while they wait for their husbands to come home. Some are even envious of their ladies because they get to spend their days with their children 24/7. With these perks, why do they find themselves downing glasses of wine? Here are some reasons why:
‘To feel good’
Most moms, like other individuals, drink alcohol to feel good. After all, the study by Mitchell et al has shown alcohol can lead to the release of endorphins, the body’s feel-good chemicals. Motherhood can be frustrating at times. Alcohol in small amounts can help them relax – but some might end up drinking just a little too much.
It’s a form of escape
Taking care of children – and the husband when he comes home – can be a daunting task. It’s a never-ending cycle of tending to needs and virtually stopping your children from harming themselves. Stay at home moms, as strong as they are, need some reprieve too. This is one reason why at the end of the day (or the middle of the day, really, when the children are at school), she decides to drink – and drink – and drink. It makes her forget about motherhood problems, and just reminisce the days when she was single and carefree – and without a care in the world.
It brings some sort of excitement
Motherhood is a calling that entails living a quiet life. For ladies who were wild and free during their heydays, motherhood proves to be a stark opposite. Gone were the days when she could party all night because now she has to read bedtime stories to get the children to sleep.
This existence can prove boring for some, and since they can’t party like they used to, they look for something that can stoke the fire in them. Heck, if they can’t go out, the least they can do is to drink loads and loads of alcohol. After all, that’s what happens in the bar anyway.
‘Nobody can see me anyway’
More often than not, stay-at-home moms are left with very young children. With no adults around, it’s hard not to give in to the call of alcohol. Your children can barely even speak so there’s nobody to rat you out. With this type of freedom, a sip or two can lead to five glasses of wine per day (maybe even more.)
Changes in marital dynamics
Before, ladies had their weekends reserved for date nights with the husband. But now that the stork has dropped a baby, all of these have changed. There are no more quality times with the hubby since taking care of a child takes up most of the day. Not only is the mom tired, but the dad can also be exhausted as well. This change in marital dynamics might be frustrating to some, and instead of seeing an expensive counselor, some opt for alcohol instead.
After birth, the mother is just a big bowl of hormones. Such may lead to mood disorders, which can affect as much as 85% of all mothers. (Source: MGHT Center for Women’s Mental Health)
The blues involve feelings of sadness, anxiety, tearfulness, irritability, and mood changes. While this usually dissipates after two weeks, the ‘low spirits’ may prod them to drink another form of spirit. Since liquor has the power to make people ‘feel good,’ it’s the first choice for many mommies.
It’s a natural tendency – as women are generally at-risk of developing alcohol addiction
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, as much as 5.3 million American women suffer from alcohol use disorder. Why this occurs may be attributed to the estrogen hormone that is predominant in women.
According to a study conducted by University of Chicago researchers, high levels of estrogen can make alcohol feel more rewarding. And since estrogen levels rise twice during the menstrual cycle, you can expect twice the amount of alcohol binges during the month.
For stay-at-home moms out there…
How to overcome boredom, frustration and alcohol if you are a stay-at-home mother?
Being a stay-at-home mom is more or less like being a superwoman. You only have two hands but you need to take care of the kids, do chores, and make sure that there’s delicious food to eat. These can be overwhelming, and while alcohol can help you relax, drinking too much can have dire effects on your health. If you are guilty of such an infraction, then these tips can help you break free from the cycle:
- Let the sunshine in! A dose of Vitamin D can help jolt your mood.
- Sleep whenever you can. This will make you less cranky and less prone to drinking feel-good alcohol.
- Join a support group, whether in actuality or online. Sharing your concerns with fellow mommies can help you reduce your alcoholic tendencies.
- Give yourself some alone time. You deserve some pampering, momma! After all the sacrifices you have made for your children, a once-a-week trip to the parlor or nail spa can be your well-deserved reward. This can help uplift your spirits better than alcohol can.
Remember: before you go drinking again, think about your kids. Since everything you do is for them, the best choice is to quit alcohol for their sake.
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