After a long day of juggling the kids, we often take to social media, laughing when we come across memes or images that make light of drinking alcohol as a parenting coping strategy.
However, experts have warned that drinking alcohol to deal with stress instead of finding more beneficial outlets is more harmful than helpful.
La Trobe University’s Centre for Alcohol Policy Research conducted a study focusing on how social media sites that are supposed to support mothers are ‘actively promoting risky drinking’.
Many celebrities and social media influencers have been among those accused of glamourising this ‘mum wine culture’, a term used to describe the growing trend of busy and overwhelmed mums taking time out to enjoy a glass of wine alone, or with friends or family. It is seen as an opportunity to relax, self-medicate, and connect with other parents and to celebrate parenting successes.
Here, we reveal the possible dangers to mums and their families, the signs that you might have a drinking problem, and where to get help.
You’re definitely not alone and this article isn’t a judgement on anyone; many women from all walks of life have been hugely influenced by this growing trend. We get it. Parenting is hard!
What are the possible dangers of mum wine culture?
- Excessive alcohol consumption: Mum wine culture encourages frequent and excessive drinking, leading to alcohol-related health risks such as liver damage and addiction. For women, excessive alcohol consumption is defined as more than one drink per day or seven drinks per week.
- Loss of productivity: Mum wine culture can lead to an overall decrease in productivity as people become preoccupied with drinking, leading to less time spent on more important tasks.
- Increased conflicts: When people become intoxicated, the chances of conflicts with partners or children arising increases.
- Financial strain: The costs of regularly buying alcoholic beverages can add up quickly, leading to financial strain.
- Risk of alcohol poisoning: Drinking significant amounts of alcohol in a short period of time can lead to alcohol poisoning, which can be deadly.
What are the signs you might have a drinking problem?
- Drinking in secret or lying about how much alcohol has been consumed
- Finding it difficult to limit the amount of alcohol being consumed
- Drinking to cope with stress or anxiety
- Feeling guilty or ashamed about drinking
- Experiencing blackouts or memory loss after drinking
- Neglecting responsibilities or commitments due to drinking
- Continuing to drink even when it’s causing problems in relationships
- Needing more and more alcohol to feel the same effects
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not drinking
Where to get help
If any of this sounds like you or your partner, help is available.
You can visit your GP or local health service for advice and support.
Other options include calling the Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS) on 1800 250 015, going to a local alcohol and drug service, or contacting a counsellor or psychologist.