Moms that are also alcoholics carry around an extra piece of baggage in the overhead compartment. We are bombarded with media, social and alike, telling us that we need booze to cope. The memes, the Facebook groups, the Mommy and wine playdates, the wines directly marketed to Moms all validate any reason to drink. And then if you have a night off from the kids? No problem. Book clubs with wine, painting with twists (spoiler: twist = wine), movie dates with bars are all encouraged because obviously Moms need to drink. And there is no inherent problem with any of these things, unless of course, you're an alcoholic.
So here's the rub. What happens to the Mom that wakes up one day with a nasty little addiction? What happens to the Mom that has crossed lines, any line, that society and your integrity determined should never be crossed? I know that my decision making skills became poor to downright terrible after the first glass, even when my kids were present. There is no shame, either internal or societal, that is comparable to the shame showered on an alcoholic Mother who has crossed the line. None. So what do we do? Enjoy all the wine, Mommies, but not too much. It's very confusing and no wonder I see so many Moms everyday that have no idea how they got to where they are or how to back out.
The good news is, there is a solution. But in spite of all of the recovery, including putting down the drink, that shame can still linger. The best thing I ever heard around the topic of all the shame and regret that we Moms feel over what damage we may have done to our children, what precious time has been lost, was this: model the solution. Show our kids how to cope with stress, how to relax, how to wind down, how to decompress, how to show up without booze. We can show them how we are okay, just the way we are, without having to change our physical, mental and emotional states with booze. We're good and we're enough. I don't know about you, but it never occurred to me that I was modeling the opposite of that to my kids. And even though I really want to make up for lost time, I believe it happened the way it was supposed to and now I just keep moving into the right way everyday.
So this is what we now do with downtime.