Why 'Wine Mom Life' Is Killing Women

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group of friends enjoying wine

I don’t know when I first started noticing the whole wine mom thing. Was it in the 2000s? Was it just slowly simmering in the stuck-up world I was raised in? Honestly, it’s hard to tell. Wine moms were always around me, a steady part of my life.

Though I can’t always pinpoint when I noticed how many moms day drink, I can say I noticed when a major inflection took place in society. Sometime around the 2010s, women started to flaunt their drinking habits rather than hide them.

It seemed so innocuous at first, but then it quickly became a sign that something was really, really wrong.

We’ve all seen the gear, right? Right next to the "Live, Laugh, Love," there’s always going to be a cheeky, cutesy thing about life as a mom and needing wine. I can remember some of the more common ones I bought into:

  • "Momma Needs Some [expletive] Wine"
  • "Mommy Juice" (This is actually a wine brand.)
  • "Yoga Class!? I Meant Pour A Glass!"

Cheeky and cute indeed! The entire idea about wine mom culture is that it’s supposed to stay classy but still give moms a way to unwind when the kids are asleep. Honestly? I understand it.

As a former alcoholic, I definitely would have qualified as a wine mom in my peak drinking years. I was rarely ever seen without a glass of brut champagne in my hands. I’ll admit I only quit because my doctor said that continuing to drink would cause paralysis in me due to a disorder I have.

RELATED: Women Today Strive To Drink Like Men & It's Literally Killing Us

This isn’t healthy, and I know what causes it.

So, clearly, there’s a problem. Wine mom culture normalizes and even encourages alcoholism. ("A glass of wine will make mommy’s problems less noticeable!") And yes, statistics show that binge drinking among women is on the rise.

Oh, and along with the rising rates of binge drinking, we’re seeing spikes in liver damage, cirrhosis, liver cancer, alcohol poisoning , and drunk driving. Almost all of this is coming from white women between the ages of 20 to 40.

Coincidence? Absolutely not. It’s a correlation, through and through.

As a person who’s been there, I can tell you that most addictions happen when you can’t cope with what is going on in your life. For me, it’s crippling loneliness and feeling left out of mainstream culture.

For moms? Well, look at how we treat mothers in society and you’ll see why they drink.

#Momlife isn’t as fun as it looks.

I’ll be the first to point out that mom culture, in general, is pointedly toxic to women. I’m of the school of thought that having kids is one of the most heavily marketed acts society imposes on us. This is killing women.

And honestly? A lot of women should not have kids — either because they hate motherhood or because they are not capable of caring for themselves, let alone kids. Motherhood is not for everyone and we have to start acknowledging it.

American-style motherhood, in particular, involves a never-ending list of demands on mothers and basically requires them to give up their lives and identities in order to raise kids. A long-kept secret is that most moms grieve the person they were before kids.

When you pair that with constant screaming, zero support from others, no time to yourself, and often unsupportive spouses, it’s easy to see why moms feel like they need to grab a glass.

We don’t give moms a safe space to admit they’re having trouble. We shame moms who don’t smile while cleaning up every diaper. That’s deeply troubling and messed up.

Momming is a deeply isolating experience, and if you feel like you can link up with others through a bottle, you’ll start going for it.

RELATED: 10 Major Reasons I Refuse To Be Like American Moms

Mom politics is making it worse 

Another issue that’s causing #winemomlife to get ladies drunk and alcoholic, deals with playground politics. I need not explain how catty and mean some mom circles are, right? I wrote about it in this article, if you missed it.

Not playing politics ends with kids being hurt by moms, uninvited from parties, and more. Nothing urges a mom to drink more than being left out … except for the Queen Bee mom who says, "Oh, you think you’re better than me?"

It’s for the kids, right?

If you want to see women not drink themselves to death, then you have to change the culture that causes them to escape into alcohol. Banning alcohol or judging is not the answer.

Here are 7 things that need to change:

1. Child-free people (like me) need to be non-judgmental friends who can act as a sympathetic ear.

Yes, be the cool aunt lady or cool uncle dude!

2. Fellow moms need to stop cliquing up and catfighting with each other.

It will not kill you guys to get along. Grow up.

RELATED: 10 Signs Your Mom Friends Are Toxic AF

3. We all should push for better access to childcare and normalize fathers playing an active role in their kids’ upbringing.

Moms do enough already. Give them a way to get a break and have a spa night alone!

4. Stop hating on women who don’t want to be moms, and start pushing for access to permanent birth control.

Getting sterilized as a woman is nearly impossible for some reason. This needs to change.

5. Ladies, if you don't want kids, do not marry or sleep with a man who wants kids and is pro-life.

If you had a guy who "changed his mind," stop sleeping with him immediately and divorce him. Let him find someone who wants what he wants and will be happy to mom it up. He ain’t the one for you.

6. Be honest about the bad sides of parenting and don’t try to sell babies to people who are on the fence.

I believe people who try to paint it as all rosy tend to act in a "crabs in a bucket" type of way. As a result, I distance myself from them.

7. Ladies and gentlemen, do not tamper with your partner’s birth control to get the baby you want.

This is actually a form of assault called reproductive coercion. Do not be that guy or girl.

Less unhappy moms mean less drinking. Plain and simple.

RELATED: I Didn't Want To Be A Mom, But Had Kids Anyway

Ossiana Tepfenhart is a writer whose work has been featured in Yahoo, BRIDES, Your Daily Dish, Newtheory Magazine, and others. 

This article was originally published at Medium. Reprinted with permission from the author.