No Thanks, I Don’t Drink.

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No, I’m not pregnant. Nothing bad happened, and yes, I have a #momlife without wine. I’m certain that I’m a better mom because I choose not to drink. For me, that’s what works. You don’t need to have a “rock bottom” moment to decide you want to make a change in your life. Life isn’t black and white, and neither is one’s relationship with alcohol. There’s a grey area, and that’s where I’m at.

In February of 2018, I chose to remove alcohol from my life. My son, who was 18 months old at the time, was one of the biggest reasons I made that choice. It has been one of the best decisions I’ve made and I’m so proud of myself for making it. I got sick of parenting with a hangover and I was tired of having the mom-guilt that came with it. I wanted to give my son the mom he deserves, for our family, that’s a mom who doesn’t drink. 

My friends and I love to get together and have a good time. Usually, that involves alcohol. In the past, it was normal for us to go to happy hour, have a night out that lasted until bar-close, or have a Sunday Funday. After having my son, the way I thought about alcohol changed. Drinking lost its appeal because I knew that I’d regret it the next day. I had another human to take care of, so any selfish thoughts had to go out the window. Since giving birth, my body was different too. I wasn’t able to drink as much as I could before, and I could feel the effects much sooner. It was no longer fun and those late nights weren’t worth it. This feeling is different for everyone, and some people can moderate their drinking better than others. For me, I knew it was best to cut it out completely. 

Alcohol is the most easily accessible drug, and it’s the only drug we have to explain not using.

No hangovers are a game-changer, people. Let me say that again for the folks in the back…NO..HANGOVERS. My son is an early riser, which forces me to be one too. Let’s be honest, that sucks no matter who you are. Of course, sometimes I wish he’d wait until at least 6 or 6:30 to start his day, but I have no choice! ((waves to selfishness as it goes out the window)) Since I removed alcohol from my life I’ve been sleeping better, so those mornings aren’t as bad as they used to be. I’ve also noticed that I have more energy, my mood is better, and I have more money. I never have to worry about drinking too much and saying something stupid, how gross I’ll feel the next day, or having to piece together the previous night’s events. Some things haven’t changed. I still get excited when it’s nap time because that’s my nap time too! I still get stressed out and have bad days; I mean, I do have a toddler, people. The difference now is that I have healthier ways to unwind and relax.

Most of us have grown up thinking that drinking alcohol is normal and everybody does it. In college, it’s a right of passage. As an adult, it’s our stress relief. We’re told that we need alcohol to have fun and it will help us relax. It’s common to post pictures to Instagram of your glass of wine as you’re enjoying a Friday night in. We celebrate with it, we mourn with it, and we even have it at our kids’ birthday parties; I did anyways. Yet, as soon as someone says they want to quit drinking or “take a night off,” we want to know why. We’re conditioned to think that something bad has happened. How dare someone turn down a drink! Alcohol is the most easily accessible drug, and it’s the only drug we have to explain not using. It’s widely promoted to us in movies, on TV, and on social media. If you walk into the liquor store, you’ll find wine in a can. They’ve made alcohol taste like sparkling water, and you can even buy a flask that looks like a bracelet. I used to think it was funny and I often shared the “mommy needs wine” memes online. The big problem I have with this is that it’s promoted as self-care, and it’s often targeted at women. I don’t know about you, but my self-care does not include waking up at 3 am, filled with regret, a headache, and a dry mouth. I’d much rather get a good, full night of sleep and be fully present with my son, ready for whatever he throws at me (literally and figuratively). 

So what, I don’t drink, right? What’s the big deal? Well, I’m writing this about why I decided to cut alcohol out of my life, and why it was a problem for me. I’m not saying that everyone should make this choice, or saying that I disagree with your choice to drink. You do you! I’m only sharing my perspective as a retired drinker and putting it out there in case someone needs to hear this: If something isn’t positively serving you, it’s OK to take a break from it or cut it out of your life completely. And on the flip side, find out what makes you happy and do more of it! If your thing is wine tasting or going on a pub crawl, that’s great! But for me – no thanks, I don’t drink. 

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Blair is a wife to Rodney and mommy to Kyus (2016). She grew up in Red Wing and has lived in Rochester for 15 years. Blair works full-time at the Mayo Clinic as a Psychometrist (she tests people’s thinking). She finds mental health and psychology extremely interesting and loves learning about wellness. In her spare time Blair likes to do all things relaxing. This includes, but is not limited to: napping, going for walks, taking baths, and watching reality television. On the weekends you can find her thrift shopping, and attending fun events around town with her family of 3. Blair loves to make people laugh with her sarcastic and blunt personality, and she doesn’t take life too seriously.

11 COMMENTS

  1. Blair, isn’t it so true that when you don’t drink people want to know what’s wrong with you. The hangovers do seem to get worse as we get older and that feeling of regret and depression, even if nothing really happened the night before, is so real with drinking! Thanks you for being vulnerable and sharing this. I loved reading your why!

    • I love this Blair! I feel the exact same way about drinking! I don’t feel like I need to drink to have a good time, I would much rather wake up feeling refreshed, not sick. Our kids are only little for so long, might as well enjoy it with them!

    • I don’t drink. Haven’t since 1987. I just don’t like the smell or taste of it, or how I feel after. (I’m 52) My kids are now grown, and I am still being asked why. I had a winter car accident several years ago probably 2006, slid on ice and hit a tree. Rumor in our little town was that I was drunk. That I was a closet drinker and fallen off the wagon. Everyone assumed I didn’t drink because I can’t drink. Luckily I have family in town who corrected the rumors but it’s ridiculous!!!!

    • Thank you for reading Elizabeth! We’ve got to make sure that we as parents are the best versions of ourselves before we can teach our kids to do the same, right? I’m so glad you enjoyed it.

  2. Thank you for putting into words how I had been feeling for a while. I believe alcohol is worse than a drug, it’s a poison. Theres no “good for you” amount of it, any amount has a negative effect on our bodies. It has been proven to be one of the most common causes of cancer but no one says it out loud.
    I’m tired of the “it’s wine o’clock” and “mom juice” culture that people had created to normalize daytime drinking too. It really isn’t cute. It’s promoting functional alcoholism.
    And there’s no judgment. Like you said, “you do you”, heck, I’ll have an occasional drink too. But it’s my fully conscious choice of knowing what I’m doing to my body and most of the time it’s not worth it. I don’t think of it as any kind of sacrifice either. It’s just me doing me…

    • I am so glad you enjoyed reading Anna! You are absolutely right about the normalization of it.
      What’s good is that recently many media outlets have been sharing the research done on the negative effects. I think the more we talk about it openly, the more positive outcomes there will be!

  3. Blair, I am so proud of the mom and person you have become. College days are in the past and seeing you as a ‘present’ mom and wife is awesome. You’re pretty great, girl. XO

    • Thank you so much Kari! I definitely don’t regret the college days, we had a blast!! And today I’m so glad to be able to tell my story. Thanks again for reading!

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