I started 2021 with dry January and kept on going…all the way to December 8th, when I enjoyed a couple of Smirnoff Ice with colleagues at our Christmas social, but with no plans to drink again in the near future.

I’m not looking for any accolades because to be honest, it wasn’t hard. I’ve never been much of a drinker – I don’t like the taste of almost any alcohol and I may have a tendency to prefer to be in complete control. My dad is a lifelong teetotaler, my mom, husband, extended family and many of my friends drink socially, some rarely and some not at all. I drank a bit when I was younger (possibly before the provincial legal age of 19; possibly my parents and daughters also read my blog posts) but since having kids perhaps three or four times a year.

My motivation to cut back even further was that despite rampant misinformation out there about various foods, drinks and products (no, I did not get breast cancer from my deodorant), it is true that scientists (like the real ones, not Dr. Facebook) have found that avoiding or cutting back on alcohol can reduce a woman’s risk of breast cancer, so I figured it was one simple way I could feel like I was actively doing something – by not doing something – to prevent recurrence. If I’m addicted to anything it’s not alcohol – more challenging for me would be giving up takeout, Netflix, desserts or social media.


My drink of choice. And yes, I know about aspartame and rats. I would have to drink 44 cans a day to match the dosage they were given.


On the other hand, I have a good friend who, during the pandemic, self-identified as an alcoholic (some people don’t use that word anymore). She is now well over a year sober, and it certainly hasn’t been as easy for her – it’s an addiction, it’s a disease, and it’s hard. {Edited to add: after reading this post, my friend clarified for me that those in AA do still use the terminology of “alcoholic”, and find it important to be honest and acknowledge it in order to make progress, though in the health care setting a different term such as “alcohol use disorder” may be used.}

Many women feel they have their drinking under control, and there’s no judgment from me if you can’t even imagine a world without wine, or whatever your vice is. What I do worry about is the rampant messaging in the media (memes, jokes, socks, signs, etc.) about moms and their need for alcohol, and not because it’s incorrect, but because it’s devastatingly true that moms are drinking more than ever (this rise began even pre-pandemic). Sure, you hear songs about guys (who may happen to be dads) enjoying their beer by the tailgate (yes I listen to country music) but it’s rarely implied that they need “Daddy Juice” just to get through the day as a parent. Why is that so different for moms?

Rather than rehash ideas that are already out there, I’m going to share some recommended reading as food for thought about this issue.

First a couple of articles:

Why Mommy Drinks (Today’s Parent)

Can We Address the Real Reason Moms are Drinking More Please? (Parents) Take note of the phrase “role overload” – I bet you can relate – and this passage: “A good mother is not a martyr…That’s the deeply held myth for us to shatter.”

And some good books on the general theme of alcohol:

Drunk Mom: A Memoir by Jowita Bydlowska

Quit Like a Woman: The Radical Choice Not to Drink in a Culture Obsessed with Alcohol by Holly Whitaker

The Addiction Inoculation: Raising Healthy Kids in a Culture of Dependence by Jessica Lahey

A couple of final thoughts: If someone says no to an alcoholic drink, let it go. And if you are serving up wine, beer and spirits in fancy glasses, maybe do the same with that person’s Diet Pepsi instead of just handing over the can.

If you have thoughts about any of this I would love to hear from you – you can leave a comment or reach out to message me privately. I will never share your name or anything you say without permission.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *