From “mommy juice” to sayings like “I wine because they whine,” alcohol and drinking culture has slowly become a part of #momlife in recent years. Especially during the pandemic, one look at social media might have you thinking that drinking is pretty much a requirement for making it through parenthood intact; or — at the very least — an accepted part of daily life. At the same time, however, studies show that more and more women are falling victim to alcoholism and diseases related to alcohol abuse. When does it cross the line from being fun into being harmful for your kids? How do you know if you’re an alcoholic mom?
How Drinking Hurts Your Kids: Physical Safety
The most obvious way that drinking alcohol can harm your children is physically. Parenting while “buzzed” can have unexpected consequences.
For example, you might not be watching your kids’ activities as closely as you do when sober, making them more likely to have an accident. Or, you might have an accident that harms them: mistakenly making the bath too hot, slipping and bumping into them, or even driving while buzzed and getting into an accident.
Even if your drinking is not the cause of physical harm to your child, it could prevent you from getting them help if an emergency situation arises. Imagine if your child had an accident and you were too buzzed to drive them to the hospital. How would you feel?
The last thing any mom ever wants to do is to put her children in harm’s way, and it’s a terrible thing to have to think about. But when you drive and parent, it’s a reality.
How Drinking Hurts Your Kids: Emotional Stability
Drinking alcohol also can harm your kids in ways that you might not see. Having a parent that abuses alcohol causes lasting, serious emotional effects for growing children.
Even if you don’t think that your drinking is extreme, you should know that even the smallest touch of an “altered state” is confusing and scary to children. Kids depend on their parents for everything in life, so when mommy is acting weird and you don’t know why, it causes deep-seated anxiety and even shame in children. That can take years to undo.
If your drinking causes you to act in ways unlike your “normal self,” and your kids witness you arguing, stumbling around, or even talking out of turn to them directly, that can cause emotional scars.
How Drinking Hurts Your Kids: It Hurts You
Overall, the most serious way in which alcohol abuse harms your children is how it harms you. Alcoholism is a chronic, fatal disease that ends in “jails, institutions, or death.” If you take your drinking to the end of the line, your kids could end up without a mom.
That may sound drastic, but even on the most basic level, they’re not getting the best mom you can be when you’re drunk. Your kids deserve a mom who is present, dependable, and stable. And you deserve to experience motherhood in that way as well.
Addiction Treatment for Moms
It can be overwhelming to think about leaving your kids to go to residential addiction treatment, but if you are struggling with your relationship with alcohol, it’s worth it. So often, moms give everything they have to the people around them. Dedicate just a few weeks to healing yourself, and you can be a better mom, wife, sister, coworker, and friend to the people you love. Even more importantly, you can feel at peace in your own skin and stop feeling sick and tired of being sick and tired.
Country Road Recovery works with moms to get clean and sober so they can get a new life — one with freedom from alcohol. If you’re interested in how it works, call our team for a no-pressure, no-blame conversation about your situation and your options so you can be the best mom you can be.