Can we talk? There’s a giant elephant in the room—or more accurately, an enormous attack from the enemy on families that many of us aren’t even aware of. I know I was completely blind to it until a couple of years ago when the Holy Spirit opened my eyes. In September 2018, I made two separate posts on my personal page sounding the alarm about mom wine culture. Sadly, it’s getting worse and worse. Moms are expected to drink. It’s almost like you can’t get into the “mom club” without a glass of wine or another alcoholic beverage. Because this attack has not gone away and instead intensified, it bears repeating. I went back to my original posts, updated them with current numbers, and combined these two into a more cohesive whole. I believe this is worth our time and attention.
In full disclosure, I’ve never been much of a drinker, really, with very few exceptions, even when I was completely lost in sin. I believe my last alcoholic beverage was consumed at my sister’s wedding in 2015, but I could be wrong. Don’t quote me on that! It’s just not something I do. However, there is alcoholism in my family tree, and my family has lost loved ones to the disease.
Although I never drank excessively, years ago I would frequently “joke” about needing a drink or a Xanax after a stressful day of mommying, rarely ever following through. It was literally a joke to me. I’d even say things like, “These kids are going to drive me to take up drinking.” Not that I don’t have my own strongholds, because I do. Alcohol just was never it for me. I also didn’t think much of other’s constant remarks about how they “need” a glass of wine after a bad day with their kids or spouse, etc. I know most of it is said in a “joking” manner, but the Holy Spirit has been increasing my sensitivity to this constant barrage of “jokes” because there is truth underneath it. The jokes are veiling an all-out assault from the enemy. And it’s everywhere. It’s pervasive in our culture. The “jokes” are in memes, t-shirts, coffee mugs, and even Facebook statuses, (including my own in the past.)
I just did a little “research.” I searched “mom wine” on Etsy. Do you know how many hits I got? 39,019! Thirty-nine thousand, nine hundred nineteen products that fall into the “mom wine” category on Etsy alone! That’s not counting Amazon, eBay, Zazzle, overstock, Walmart, or any other internet source.
Here’s a sample of the “funny” phrases (mostly printed on wine glasses) available for purchase on Etsy:
“I’ve waited 9 months for this.”
“They whine. I wine.”
“because *kids names*” (example: “because Alyssa and Brian”)
“because I raise boys”
“Parenthood requires love, but being my mom requires wine” (printed on a onesie)
“Naptime is my Happy Hour”
And on and on and on.
Not long after I wrote this back in 2018, I scrolled down my newsfeed and saw a meme posted by a popular parenting page that stated something like: “Mom fact 457. If you combine wine with dinner, you’re a winner.”
Only one week prior to my original writing, my family and I had lunch at a local restaurant, and the waitress asked if my husband or I would like a beer or margarita. I can’t remember her exact wording, but she was alluding to the fact that we had 3 kids and understands “how it is.” “It’s too early for some people, but there’s no such thing as too early in my book,” she continued.
It’s everywhere. I’m telling you, at least 5 times a week, I see a post (either from a mom page or a friend) referencing the running “joke” that moms need alcohol because being a mom is hard. It’s either a reposted meme or even a personal Facebook status/selfie/wine/pretty drink photo that references a hard day with the kids that caused this drinking to occur.
This is an all-out attack from the devil! The LIE is “I can’t cope with the stress of motherhood or life without alcohol. Alcohol makes me a kinder, more grace-filled, ‘fun’ mom who isn’t as stressed out or irritable. I’m a better mom with it. My kids like me more. I like me more. I can be the mom I want to be after alcohol.”
But one certain thing we know about the devil is that he’s a liar. You don’t NEED alcohol (or any chemical substance for that matter) to be a better mom. You NEED Jesus! The devil tells you, it’s just one glass of wine on particularly stressful days; what he doesn’t tell you is that you’ll build up a tolerance to it, and soon one glass on “some” days won’t be enough. You’ll lose your ability to handle less stressful situations. Why deal with any stress when I could eliminate all stress with just a drink? Why not make it easier on myself by having a glass of wine? It’s too easy and convenient. Sip by sip, one glass of wine on “some” days becomes one glass of wine “every” day. One glass works for a while, but soon you’ll build a tolerance for it, and the stress never goes away. It doesn’t resolve or disappear. It builds and worsens over time because you haven’t dealt with it. Soon, the stress will overflow the reaches and effects of one glass and you’ll NEED two glasses. Then three. Then four–and before you even realize it, you’re in bondage and don’t know how to get out.
It’s like swimming and playing in the ocean. You’re too busy having fun to notice you’ve gotten caught up in a slow current until you look up and realize you’re a mile from where you started, you don’t know how you got that far away, and you don’t know how to get out. This tactic is insidious. One sip at a time, you are going farther and farther away from where you want to be. It’s a slow drift. Don’t wait until you have a full-blown alcohol addiction.
Stop the attack at its onset! If you get into the habit of running to alcohol every time you have a problem, your brain will begin subconsciously linking the two: “problems require alcohol.” But if you get into the habit of running to Jesus when you have a problem, your brain will return to Him again and again. At the first sign of stress or overwhelm, you’ll be on your knees in prayer instead of searching the cabinets for a bottle of wine.
Pour the alcohol down the drain. Let Jesus fill your cup to overflowing. He offers us rivers of Living Water!
Our answers to our problems aren’t at the bottom of a wine bottle. They’re in Jesus! One of the most amazing things about Jesus is, you can never have too much of Him! Too much alcohol? Yes, your life will be stolen, and your family will be torn apart. Too much Jesus? No such thing! You’ll have life more abundantly and your home will be full of grace and love and peace. More problems? More Jesus. You can’t satiate or overdose on Jesus! The rewards are eternal. You can’t lose them.
On top of how this mom wine culture is ensnaring moms, let’s sit a moment and consider how it’s affecting and damaging our children.
I remember seeing a viral photo of a store posting a “funny” sign outside around 2017, I believe: “Buy Mom a bottle of wine for Mother’s Day. After all, you’re the reason she drinks.” Most of us laughed at it and thought it was harmless, including myself. I may have even reposted the photo.
But my eyes have opened to this wide-spread thought process and how it’s changing motherhood.
Not only are we letting how much alcohol we consume gauge and validate how stressful our days are and not only are we turning to alcohol to ease our normal stress associated with mothering our children, what are we saying to our children? What message are we giving them?
You may dismiss this as “just being a joke” but at what point does a joke lose its humor? Kids are highly sensitive. Take a moment and really consider a few questions. Don’t just dismiss these. Sit with them. How many children of divorce blame themselves? How many molested children grow up believing it was their fault, and it happened because there’s something wrong with them? How many physically abused kids think “my mom or dad wouldn’t beat me if I just behaved better”? Without anyone ever saying this to them out loud, this is simply how children’s minds work. They internalize it. They blame themselves.
Yet here we are broadcasting to them over and over again: “you’re the reason I drink.” We say it as a “joke,” but kids hear: “There is something so inherently wrong with me, and I cause my mom so much stress and anxiety that she can’t be kind to me unless and until she drinks alcohol.” And those kids whose moms have developed legitimate alcoholism behind closed doors (because what you see as a “social” drinker may only be a shadow of a very real addiction) are literally hearing: “I’m the reason she drinks.”
Stop the jokes. It’s not funny anymore.
Speaking all truth in love and humility,
A fellow mom and sister in Christ
Written by: Crystal Wormser