there are three reasons women are turning to alcohol to relax and escape. While many are quick to judge, maybe it's time we take a hard look at why mommy wine culture is so popular

Mommy Wine Culture, Part 2: A Symptom of a Bigger Problem

In the last post, I spent a ton of time on a difficult topic: the health risks of mommy wine culture.

We don’t like to look at it. We don’t like to talk about it. We don’t like to hear about it. Just let us have our wine and relax. We worked 98 hours this week and we’ve earned it.

For some of you, it was a hard read. For some it was eye-opening. And for a few of you, it was “alarmist bullshit.” One particular mom said that I should be a part of the solution and not part of the problem. When I asked her what the solution was she said,

The solution is for you to mind what’s in your glass and stop worrying about everyone else.

"I vow to rescue all living beings from their sufferings...my purpose is to preserve the lives of others."
But, that’s what I vowed to do when I graduated

I get it. I do. And maybe if I wasn’t a healthcare practitioner, minding my own glass would be easier. However, alcohol isn’t good for anyone.

According to the World Health Organization, “overall there is a causal relationship between alcohol consumption and more than 60 types of disease and injury. Alcohol is estimated to cause about 20-30% of worldwide esophageal cancer, liver cancer, cirrhosis of the liver, homicide, epilepsy, and motor vehicle accidents.” Every year, alcohol causes 1.8 million deaths.

The 2015-2020 “Dietary Guidelines for Americans” recommends that if you have never had a drink in your life, that you shouldn’t start. Full stop.

So why, then, has #winemom become a growing hashtag? Why has this mommy wine culture simultaneously become a joke and a social movement? And why is it just moms?

Why are we willing to risk depression, anxiety, weight gain, osteoporosis, premature menopause, menstrual irregularity, infertility, systemic inflammation, stomach issues, gingivitis, impaired decision making, heart disease and a wide variety of cancers for the relief of a single glass of wine at the end of the night?

Because it’s our only choice.

At some point our society stood up and said that we would rather sacrifice the health and well-being of our mothers than to give them the community and support they need.

The jokes just make us feel better about it.

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Mommy Wine Culture: Alcohol and Estrogen

“Just keep a bottle of wine in the bathroom. You’re going to need it. Trust me, it’s the only alone time you’re going to get.”

This is an actual piece of advice I got while I was pregnant.

Because of the person I am, I chose not to challenge her in the moment. But honestly, it rubbed me the wrong way and I couldn’t put my finger on it. It wasn’t until recently I finally nailed it down: why is wine the necessary component of alone time? Why did I have to hide the wine in the bathroom?

Why has wine become synonymous with relaxation and self-care for moms?

Mommy wine culture is a thing, but we don’t limit it to just wine. Jokes extend to beer, vodka, margaritas, mimosas and marijuana. And while there’s nothing wrong with drinking in moderation we have to ask ourselves – why is alcohol the socially accepted answer to mama needing to relax.

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