This is an ever increasing commonly used term and one that many Mums’ are falling victim of. It is part of my story with my past relationship with alcohol, where alcohol seemed to creep up on me and catch me unawares when I was most vulnerable, and it was a very long, slow, and subtle slippery slope.
Moving to a new area, 300 miles from our home, with 3 young children, 1 of 19 months and 1 month old twins, my husband still working in London, night feeds, etc. and undiagnosed postnatal depression, (I lied and faked how I felt to my new Health Visitor) life was tough. But my relationship with alcohol remained healthy, and having always been a keen runner continued to exercise when I could. (It was about another 12 months before I was diagnosed with chronic depression). However, it wasn’t until the children started infant school and I went back to work fulltime that I became a member of the Mummy’s Helper Club. Everything seemed fine for a while, I’d have a glass of wine at bath time; but in hindsight that was when wine became my way of self-medicating. It appeared to worked for a short time, but the glass at bath time became 2 glasses. Then it became a glass as I was preparing their dinner. Very, very gradually over a couple of years Mummy’s Helper became Mummy’s Downfall and Prisoner. My day, and the children’s after school activities slowly began to be planned around when I could start my evening drinking.
It didn’t help that publicity validated, and still does, using alcohol in this way. The pro-drinking mothering, the all-pervasive marketing presence, and products targeted at mothers to validate their ‘need’ to drink. I thought everyone else seems to be drinking like this so it must be ok, convincing myself that I’d earnt it and deserved it. Utter nonsense, I now know for a fact that the moment I became a member of this club was the moment I signed my life over to the alcohol sniper. My reward receptors fully alert and gradually leading me to feel that I needed a ‘little bit more’ to ‘relax’, then more and more. This was where my secret drinking pattern began, and where my tolerance to alcohol started to increase. The secret drinking, wine stashed in cupboards around the house, hidden inside winter boots, drawers, drinking out of mugs and eventually, after stopping work, drinking alone earlier and earlier in the day. I drank to escape life. I’m ashamed about it, believe me, but I can’t change the past.
Well, I’m pleased to announce that this little mummy is approaching 5 years of no longer being a member of the wine o’clock club. Life is full of pitfalls but I can deal with them rather than trying to escape them.
I’m a survivor and proud of it! You can be too XXXXX