Do mums drink too much?

There is no question of how stressful it can be to run a household. This is especially true as we adjust to life under Covid-19 lockdown.  It can be a constant grind for mothers having to get the kid out of bed, making their breakfast and keeping up with schooling. Now they have to cope 24 hours a day with the extra strains of keeping safe from the virus.  Put that on top of cleaning, paying bills and making meals (tasks which disproportionately still fall on mothers) and there’s a perfect storm of stress.  Many working mothers also juggle home lives with a job so it’s no surprise many feel they need a release from time to time.

There is a growing phenomenon where, having dropped the kids off at school, mother’s take a few hours to themselves. They may socialise, possibly over a glass of wine. Some refer to this ladies meeting ‘wine o’clock’ or ‘having mummy juice’.  Mummy Drinkers have become so widespread they have been featured in films and tv shows, and many brands of alcohol even target mothers directly. Running daytime adverts for varieties of wine they may enjoy when meeting with friends.

Mummy Drinking in Popular Culture

In popular culture, Mummy Drinking is commonly related in light-hearted, almost comical terms. There are images of lady friends and mothers, taking their minds off their problems with a glass of wine, or two or more in the middle of the day. This has been represented many times in the media. From the television series `Sex In The City` to the 2016 comedy film `Bad Moms`, starring Mila Kunis and Christina Applegate as put upon mothers engaging in wild, drunken adventures. The movie was a massive hit, grossed more than a hundred million dollars and spawned a sequel, ‘A Bad Mom’s Christmas’.

Some critics feel these movies promote the idea it is perfectly fine and funny for mothers to consume alcohol to excess. Of course, there is nothing wrong with having friends around and enjoying a glass of wine. Like many things, drinking can be fine in moderation.  People imbibe alcohol to relax, relieve stress or just for fun. However, if you drink too much and lose control, then it can become a problem, with possibly serious repercussions.

This can especially be true if children are in the house. The very notion of drinking around childred may be abhorrent to you. However, have you ever felt strung out or desperate when unable to have a drink because of the kids? Have you found you are snapping at them for minor reasons?

You may be in denial about having a problem with mummy drinking.

Charities put spotlight on growing issues

You should also be aware that if you drink too much when in charge of children you may be breaking the law. There have even been cases of parents facing charges of neglect because they were intoxicated. Therefore, children’s charities are asking Mummy Drinkers to be sensible and watch how much they consume when they and the kids are home.

Many are also concerned the rise in the mummy drinking culture, and the levity in which it seems to be portrayed can sometimes make people lose sight of how addiction can rip families apart, and how the effects of living with an alcoholic parent can last a long time.  It’s easy for one glass to turn into two and then become ‘just finishing the bottle’.

According to the National Association for Children of Alcoholics (NACOA), 20% of children in the United Kingdom are impacted by a parent’s drinking problem, and the effects can remain with them into adulthood. The NACOA received over 20,000 messages and calls from adults requiring assistance, while the ratio of grown-ups who need help and support with an alcoholic mother or father has increased by 300% since 2014.  This starkly illustrates the extent of the problem.

The past few years have seen a rise in the popularity of Mummy Drinking, although there are differing opinions over whether or not mothers should drink in the daytime whilst responsible for children. There is a world of difference from having a glass of wine with friends to not being able to live without that glass of wine.  Sadly, in many cases, drinking during the day may be a sign of dependency. Is it possible the phenomenon known as Mummy Drinking may not be so harmless after all?

If you think you may have a problem, please call our helpline 0800 170 7000.