Being a mum is one of the hardest jobs in the world, but also one of the most rewarding. It’s cheesy but true. Nothing prepares you for it. I had my first child at 19 and we literally grew up together, he got fun, not a care in the world, throw caution to the wind mum. But with that came all the mistakes I made and the life lessons along the way, he learnt them with me. Consequently I have a very together, organised, level headed, responsible down to earth, grown up as my first born (I got lucky).
I had my second much later, in my head I thought “this is going to be easier, because I know what I am doing.” Wrong! Very different children and in a very different situation. In fact parenting my youngest has been the hardest thing I have ever done. I married the wrong man, had a very difficult relationship, life got very difficult and as a result my youngest was hard work from birth.
The whole thing is linked. Life can get hard and those normal habits you have can turn into crutches and bad habits, problems for you, your partner and children.
Without realising it, my drinking became a problem; and my partying, let’s be honest. But as a mum the partying isn’t so much of an issue, or is it? You’re out, the kids are with a babysitter, and you’re allowed right? You need to let your hair down? It just depends how far you let it down.,
For some of us the hair pretty much falls off! For us mums there are 2 types of drinking to watch out for. There is the party, binge drinking. Night out, kids looked after, you’re tired, and you need to let off some steam. Before you know it you have drunk way too much and for some of us the tipping point can be only 2, 3 or 4 drinks.
I can remember one mum telling me that once she gets to 3 that’s it, at 3 glasses of wine, she isn’t thinking straight and if she is not careful she is going to continue drinking and then lose the off button.
And as those of us know that have a penchant for losing the off button, anything can happen on a night out and if you are inhibited, under the influence in any way then this can make things worse.
But not only that, it’s the hangovers the next day. Particularly if you have little ones and are a single mum. How do you get through the day while your body detoxes itself from your night out, your brain tries to figure out what happened and if you are really unlucky you get those lovely little memories of embarrassment coming through, played back in your head like a movie.
Then there is the regular daily drinker. Your tired, you look after your kids, work hard, take the kids to all their clubs, spend time with your family and partner, there doesn’t need to be anything significant going on in your life. You just need a glass of wine at the end of the day to relax. And a glass of red is good for you right? (Just for the record to get the benefit of the anti-oxidants in red wine you would need to drink a whole barn full, which incidentally would kill you).
If you do it every day, it’s a habit, I would urge you to take some days off, for no reason other than to prove you can. I always recommend at least 2 alcohol free days in a week. Another way of looking at it, is would you eat a takeaway every night?
Alcohol is the same and in some ways worse (depending on your takeaway). It’s a toxin, a poison, there is nothing of value in that drink at all, empty calories. If you want to lose weight I always suggest the first thing to go is the drink. Get it down to an occasional thing, like a takeaway.
I am passionate about making sure people have the right information to help them make informed choices about their health. Particularly us mums, it not only helps you look after yourself, but if you understand about alcohol you can educate your children which is also really important.