Fotolia

I’m Giving Up Alcohol This Year To Be A Better Mom

Ad failed to load

I know that participating in New Year’s resolutions is a pointless act for a lot a people and that there is no logical reason that we should wait until the new year to better ourselves. There, I got that out of the way. For me, however, the new year is a time to restart, recharge, and begin a specific time period again with refreshed goals. I have been spending a lot of time thinking about how I want to improve the woman and mom that I am. Every goal I set for myself affects my child in some way. If I choose to eat better, I’ll probably have more energy to play with my son at the end of the day. If I choose to start a new business, I’ll have to consider the time that it requires and how much it takes away from my one on one time with my son. This year, I’ve decided to make a resolution that will directly affect who I am as a mom. I am giving up drinking to become a better mom and here’s why.

In the last year, however, I’ve started to feel like my drinking has taken more of a front seat in my life and it is not a comfortable place to be.

Before I had my son, I was a self-proclaimed party girl. I liked to be dressed up at a club with a drink in my hand, two-stepping to top 100 songs. That was my idea of a good time. By the time I hit the young age of 23, I was a mom to a little human that didn’t care about my desire to let off steam from the week with a vodka soda. Throw in two years of breastfeeding and I spent a majority of my mid twenties missing the life I had before. I am not ashamed to say that I enjoyed social drinking with my friends before having a baby and I’m definitely not ashamed to say that I missed it. Aside from being someone’s mom, I am a human. In the last year, however, I’ve started to feel like my drinking has taken more of a front seat in my life and it is not a comfortable place to be.

Ad failed to load

This past year has been one of finding myself again. Even though it sounds like a cheesy line from a rom com, I truly feel like I’ve spent 2017 focusing on the dalliances that make me happy. This year has also been the first that I’ve had to split time with my son and on some level, I think that indulging myself has numbed my sadness about that.

On the nights that my son is with his dad, I’d spend my time out with friends drinking tequila or vodka with a splash of soda. Some nights I’d drink far past my limit while other nights I’d drink right to the edge of it. The next morning, I’d wake up wishing I’d cut myself off earlier in the night. All Sunday, until my son came home, I’d lay curled up on my couch dozing in and out of sleep while waves of nausea poured over me. During each and every hangover I’d say to myself that I need to slow down. I’d stick to that until the next night without my son.

Ad failed to load

The day that changed the way I viewed alcohol happened in the springtime. While, at the time, I didn’t realize that it was impactful enough to cut out alcohol altogether, it is a major reason. It was a Sunday morning and I was invited to a bottomless-mimosa brunch with my girlfriends. I’d gone to brunch before and drank a reasonable amount without getting drunk or even tipsy for that matter. I knew my son was going to come home that evening so I assumed that I’d be OK by the time my son arrived. During brunch, the waiter offered three variations of mimosa like drinks and I chose the strongest one while everyone else at the table went with the classic version. If you’ve ever had a mimosa you know that they go down like pure orange juice freshly squeezed from an orchard in Florida but get you drunk quickly.

I have never been that disappointed in myself in my life. What kind of mother gets drunk knowing that she has to take care of her kid.

By the time I’d finished eating, I felt like I’d been partying all night long though only a couple of hours had passed. I had not been that level of intoxicated in years. It surprised me because while I knew the drink was on the stronger end, I hadn’t noticed how much I drank. After a few hours of hanging out, it was time for me to head home to meet my son and I was in no shape to do so. I have never been that disappointed in myself in my life. What kind of mother gets drunk knowing that she has to take care of her kid. I’m an organic food-eating, essential-oil-rubbing, God-fearing mom and I expected more of myself than this. Thankfully, my friend was there with me when my son arrived and allowed me to sleep while her and my son played for a while.

Ad failed to load

I never made that mistake again of drinking too close to the time my son would arrive home. I let myself down and I let him down in that moment but the gravity of that situation didn’t hit me until later this year. After a few nights of hanging out with friends and noticing that I was tossing my Sundays in the trash because I was so terribly hungover, I realized that I was making that same mistake I made in the springtime all over again. The only difference is that I wasn’t drunk — I still was not present and that matters. The thing is that my body is prone to hangovers. I have a terrible digestive system that simply doesn’t process just about anything well so whether I have one vodka soda or 10, I am going to be hungover. It steals the time away from my son that is incredibly precious to me and I am fed up.

For me, drinking when my son was away became a default.

The truth is that many moms, new and seasoned, enjoy drinking as a way to relax after a long day or a long week. For me, drinking when my son was away became a default. If I didn’t have plans that involved cocktails, I started to feel lonely or like I had nothing else to lean on, which is problematic. And, since 2017 was the beginning of the custody arrangement with my ex, it just so happens to be when my bar visits revved up and stopping by the wine section at the market became a priority. I don’t want to be the parent that relies on a glass of wine or cocktail to get her through the evening. This new year, I am giving up drinking to regain my sense of self as a woman, a human, and most importantly, as a mom. Quitting alcohol will be a journey wrought with challenges and many chances to quit. I'm ready to emerge on the other side.

Ad failed to load

Check out Romper's new video series, Romper's Doula Diaries:

Watch full episodes of Romper's Doula Diaries on Facebook Watch.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

8 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say That, Yes, You Are Their Favorite

For a baby to show a preference for a specific person is not only normal, but an essential part of their development. Babies need to form strong attachments to their caregivers for their emotional, social, and physical wellbeing. Usually, but not alw…
By Kimmie Fink

10 Reasons Why I Won't Apologize For Giving My Toddler A Pacifier

My first child had no interest in a pacifier. I tried a couple times to get him to take one, but he always spat them out and gave me an incredulous, judgmental look. But my second? It was love at first suckle. And after a while, the incredulous, judg…
By Jamie Kenney

Being A Dog Parent Prepared Me For Having A Baby, Really

I’ve always wanted kids; I was never as sure about raising a puppy. Then I spent six months living with someone who brought home an eight-week-old golden retriever puppy, and I see no way to make it out of that experience claiming not to love dogs. I…
By Heather Caplan

20 Of The Most Popular Unisex Names Of All Time, That You'll Be Hearing More Of For Sure

You might think of unisex names as a fairly recent trend, but the truth is these versatile monikers have been commonly used throughout history (well, some more commonly than others). That's why the team over at Names.org recently compiled a list of t…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

How To Have A Date Night With No Babysitter, Because It's Easier Than You Think

After having children, many couples feel that their love lives immediately go out the window, but it's so important to make your romantic life a priority so both you and your partner can be the best versions of yourselves you can be. As we all know, …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

9 Ways Baby No. 3 Made My Family Feel Complete

My husband and I decided to have another baby right after we got married and, well, we had no idea what we were getting into. I got pregnant right away, endured a high-risk pregnancy, and, before I knew it, my third baby had arrived. Together, we emb…
By Steph Montgomery

8 Stereotypes About New Dads That Are *Totally* True

Much like new mothers, new fathers have a lot on their plate. Parenting can be scary and complex, especially at first and regardless of your gender. People want to do right by their kids, after all. And since all new parents are a hot mess, dads are …
By Priscilla Blossom

8 Differences Between Being Pregnant In Your 20s Vs 30s, According To Science

Whether you're planning a pregnancy, or just thinking about your future family, it's typical to think about things like child-spacing, how many kids you want, and when to start trying to conceive. When making your pro/con list, you might also conside…
By Steph Montgomery

16 Moms Share Remedies For Their Most Intense Chocolate Cravings During Pregnancy

For better or worse, pregnancy is usually synonymous with odd cravings. Sure, there are the stereotypical combos like pickles and ice cream that plague gestating women the world over, but there are other mind-boggling combinations, too, including but…
By Candace Ganger

Putting Sunscreen On Your Kid Doesn't Have To Be A Fight — Here's How To Do It

I am almost translucent, so me and sunscreen are basically besties at this point. Even though my children are beautifully deep brown thanks to my husband's genetics, I still slather them like biscuits being buttered because I refuse to take risks wit…
By Cat Bowen

7 Things A Mom Really Means When She Says She Doesn't Want Anything On Mother's Day

Every year my family asks me what I want for Mother's Day, and every single year I tell them the same thing: Nothing. So, by now, they know that when I say "nothing" I absolutely do not mean "nothing." In fact, there are more than a few things a mom …
By Candace Ganger

19 Moms Share The Way They Cured Their Pregnancy Comfort Food Cravings

I was obnoxiously sick during the first trimester with, "lucky" for me, both of my pregnancies. For the first three months I lived on saltines, lemonade, and fresh bread. Once I was able to eat, however, all I wanted was savory and sweet comfort food…
By Dina Leygerman

8 Fascinating Facts About Babies Born In May, The Luckiest Month Of All

The height of all things fresh and springy, May is an excellent month to have a baby. It's a time of growth, graduations, and outdoor celebrations. And these fascinating facts about May babies will give you more reasons than ever to appreciate childr…
By Lindsay E. Mack

I Used To Judge Formula-Feeding Moms — Until I Became One

The other patrons in the hip Brooklyn restaurant probably couldn’t care less what I was feeding my baby, but I’ll always remember the shame I felt as I quickly mixed up his bottle of formula in front of them. I admitted to my childless friend that I …
By Katherine Martinelli

7 White Lies It’s Necessary To Tell To Keep Your Relationship Healthy

Telling lots of lies typically isn't associated with a healthy, strong, lasting relationship, and that's still certainly true, but not all lies are exactly the same. Though you've probably heard from someone at least once or twice that the lie they t…
By Lauren Schumacker

The Skinny Jeans That Saved Me Postpartum

Accepting my post-pregnancy body is hands-down one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It’s something that I still work on every single day. During my first pregnancy, I was 20 years old, so I managed to bounce back quickly. In fact, I dropp…
By Allison Cooper

7 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say They Feel Safe

In those first weeks of new motherhood, it can feel like you need an interpreter for your newborn. With their limited means of communication, figuring out what message your baby is trying to get across to you can be a challenge. With time, however, y…
By Kimmie Fink

Here's Why Dogs Are Obsessed With Babies' Poop, According To Science

Most family dogs seem to understand babies, and they're more than happy to make friends with the newest member of the pack. It's adorable... for the most part and until you go to change your little one's diaper. Suddenly, you're wondering why dogs ar…
By Lindsay E. Mack

6 Signs You're Meant To Have A Big Age Gap Between Kids

There's a five year age difference between my two children, to the day. Their age gap wasn't planned but, for a variety of reasons, works well for our family. And since I was so focused on having a second baby, I totally overlooked the signs that wou…
By Candace Ganger

Here's The Right Birth Method For You, According To Your Zodiac Sign

If you're pregnant, you've probably given childbirth some serious thought. Some moms-to-be prepare a meticulous birth plan, while others are comfortable just going with the flow. And me? Well, I made a plan... but that plan was useless when faced wit…
By Steph Montgomery

My Dog Knew I Was Pregnant Before My Family Did

Growing up, I was 100 percent sure I'd be a mom one day. To a dog, that is. My baby plans came later. And once my husband and I were sure we wanted both a dog and a baby, we'd add to our joint dog-and-baby name list over Sunday brunch or on date nigh…
By Melissa Mills
)}