How will I fit in as a sober mom without looking like Cindy Walsh?
Most of today's moms have heard of "mommy juice." It's a cute and clever way of describing the alcoholic beverages moms enjoy while taking care of the wee ones. If you've spotted Mommy's Time Out Wine at your liquor store, or are familiar with Stefanie Wilder Taylor's book, Sippy Cups Are Not For Chardonnay, then you know just how mainstream blending the daily tasks of motherhood with a few cocktails has become.
As a former drinker and mother-to-be, I'm beginning to wonder how my newfound lifestyle will accord with this seemingly popular state of affairs.
When I made the decision to quit drinking in January 2010, I did so mostly for myself. My eight-year love affair with all things alcoholic was getting out of hand. "Too much, too often" is the nicest way of describing my little problem without getting into the sloppy details. Though a big part of my choice had to do with my not-yet-conceived child.
For starters, if I wanted my husband to do what it takes to get me pregnant, I would have to be sober. As a responsible drinker who rarely went beyond the point of being buzzed, completely-intoxicated-tripping-over-her-own-feet-Brooke did not exactly inspire sexy time for him.
Also, after three months off of birth control with no "accidents," I was ready to really get down to some serious baby-making business. Which meant that limiting alcohol was a wise idea. Spending any period of time trying to conceive, only to be later told to lay off the booze, seemed like a giant waste of time.
Most of all, I knew that in order to be good mother, I would need to call it quits. For me, motherhood plus drinking did not sound like a recipe for a tasty concoction.
As a problem drinker, I played games with myself, like, "I will have this much, by this time, and take a sip only when a Daily Double comes up on Jeopardy."
I envisioned doing this as the breastfeeding momma I plan to be: "I'll just down this glass of red, nudge the baby so she wakes for a feeding and then have another once she's fast asleep." Real classy.
So that was that. I was giving up the drink ... cue the most difficult months of my life.
I've been sober for just over a year. And after months of planned sex, peeing on sticks and yelling at my husband for taking hot baths, I am expecting a healthy baby girl this May. There was a miscarriage somewhere in there, but that's a topic for another post.
The other day, I was faced with my first drinking+pregnancy-related question: "Are you so ready for a drink by now?" I chose not to play along. I admitted that I had actually given up drinking months prior to getting pregnant and had no plans for resuming once the baby was born.
"Just wait until after you give birth to say that," was the response I got. A muffled laugh was all I could offer in an attempt to politely end the conversation.
Now this casual commentary has me wondering what kinds of questions and situations I'll be confronted with once I enter the world of motherhood.
Will I be sitting around in a circle of women who are cradling their babies and nursing their glasses of rosé, feeling like the only uptight nerd who declines? Will this inspire an interrogation? Will I be forced to share my story?
Do I lie and say I'm on antibiotics, or tell the truth and open myself up to a whole other world of judgment?