Ten Reasons Why I Love Being a Sober Mom
Ten years ago, if someone would have told me that I would be a “sober mom,” I probably would have laughed out loud. At the time, I was pretty deep into my alcohol addiction, and I was regularly drinking. Thankfully, I didn’t have any children yet, but I knew that someday I would want kids. Now, with eight and half years of sobriety under my belt and four years of being a parent, there are several things I have learned along the way. I would not try and claim to be an expert, but I would say I have some knowledge about the benefits of sober parenthood.
As I am sure anyone who has scrolled through their social media feed is aware, there is a glamorization of alcohol in our society. Since becoming a mother, I have begun to notice how much alcohol gets pushed onto moms. I can’t even tell you how many “wine mom memes” I have seen over the past few years. Ten years ago, I would have thought they were funny but now, not so much.
There is a false narrative that wine is a necessary component of dealing with the daily stresses of being a mother. While I will admit that being a mom can be pretty stressful at times, I will say that I have been able to deal with it all without using drugs or alcohol. In fact, there are many benefits to being a sober parent that just can’t be found when drinking. Below are my personal top ten reasons that I love being a “Sober Mom.”
1. No hangovers.
This is probably one of my favorite things about being sober in general. I do not miss hangovers at all. I used to drink so much I would get hangovers that would last all day long, or at least until I started to drink again. During my drinking days, I had the luxury of sleeping in because I didn’t have any little people dependent on me for their survival. I can’t even begin to imagine how difficult it would be to wake up and take care of young children all day while nursing a hangover.
2. Being fully present.
During my addiction, I was often either drunk or thinking about the next time I would be able to drink. It was hard to truly pay attention to my surroundings during this time in my life. Now that I am sober, I can be fully present for my family. My children don’t have to suffer through my drunkenness or impatience to be able to drink. I am no longer irritable most of the time because of cravings or hangovers. Sobriety has provided me with a feeling of freedom that I often sought but could never find while drinking.
3. No blackouts.
I used to have a lot of blackouts when I was still drinking. Blackouts used to be a regular occurrence during my life, which is pretty scary. Looking back at it all, I can see how crazy it was that I continued to drink despite all of this, but that is another topic for another time. When I would blackout, I often said or did things that I normally wouldn’t. I would either become a sloppy drunk mess or mean and angry. I am so thankful that I don’t have to worry about my children seeing me this way.
4. Being a healthy role model.
Despite my faults, I feel that I can say with all honesty that my sobriety and recovery have provided me with the opportunity to be a healthy role model for my children. I do my best to take care of myself and stay healthy. If I were still drinking, these things would not be a priority. During active addiction, I was not someone that I would want to have around my children. As much as I love myself, I am glad that my kids do not have to see the version of who I used to be.
5. Quality “me time.”
Not drinking provides me the opportunity to have quality “me time” where I can actually relax and reenergize. Thus, I am better able to be there for my children when I am around them. If I were still drinking, I would use that “me time” for things that drained me instead of making my life more meaningful.
6. Improved health.
It’s no secret that drinking too much alcohol is unhealthy. Over time a person can experience pretty severe health consequences from their drinking. Since I am no longer ingesting a toxic substance regularly, I have seen numerous benefits to my health and well-being.
7. Improved patience and more energy.
Anyone who has children that are old enough to talk can relate to the feeling of hearing “mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy” over and over again throughout the day. As much as I love my children, there are times where they test my patience. I would say that my recovery has helped me to become a patient person. I cannot imagine how difficult it would be to get through the trying times with my kids if I were hungover or drunk. Now that I no longer drink, I have found a renewed energy source that I never experienced during the days of my active addiction. Sobriety has given me the much-needed energy to keep up with my children.
8. Improved Relationships.
My sobriety has given me the ability to form meaningful relationships. Because I am no longer caught up in active addiction, I am able to create quality friendships with other parents. I can show up fully present for playdates so that my kids are able to form meaningful relationships themselves. My sobriety has also provided me with the skills needed to communicate effectively with my husband so that we can work together as a team.
9. More money.
Substance abuse takes up a lot of a person’s financial resources. It is hard to be financially responsible when you are constantly trying to maintain an addiction. By living a life of recovery, I can have financial stability and have more money for my children. It is great knowing that I no longer have to worry about paying all of my bills or putting food on the table.
10. By taking care of myself, I can take better care of my children.
The greatest opportunity is that living a life of recovery affords me the ability to take better care of myself. By taking care of myself, I can care for my children and show them what life is all about. Only when we can love and care for ourselves can we truly love and care for others.
If you or someone you know are using alcohol too often to cope with the stress of being a parent, I would highly recommend reaching out to an addiction professional for help. There is no shame in admitting that you may have a problem with drugs or alcohol, and the sooner you do something to address it, the better.
Wine is not a requirement for being a mom; if anything, it can be more of a hindrance than a help. Although being a mother is beyond rewarding, it can be hard, don’t let alcohol make it harder.