I used to have a parenting philosophy before my break-up up with alcohol. It was called ‘Drunk Mum’. I don’t think you’ll find ‘Drunk Mum’ in any parenting guidebooks, it was a genius theory I developed single headedly.
Drunk Mum wasn’t just something I kept privately in my own head. Oh no. I shared this wisdom with other mums. I even once suggested a colleague apply it to a challenging work situation. I was proud of this!
It was based on the question “what would drunk mum do”. It was borne out of the observation that when drinking, I was a lot more relaxed and easy going and not such an uptight stress head. Baby won’t go to sleep… what would drunk mum do? Child has destroyed the house with glitter and paint… what would drunk mum do? I thought the answer was ‘stress less’, ‘cope better’ but ultimately I think the real answer was ‘care less’. Which is not an ideal parenting technique.
I note here that not all of my parenting was done under the influence (you can brea th Mum). But the Drunk Mum philosophy just really illustrates how pervasive the messaging is around ‘drinking to cope’, how normalised it is (especially as mothers) and how much I had bought into that.
Since giving away the booze I have learnt to deal with these everyday stresses in much more healthy ways. I am present and less frazzled and ultimately better to placed overall so I don’t NEED to Drunk Mum my way through life. I am now so much more engaged as a parent and I have seen my relationship with my daughter flourish as a result. Infinitely more rewarding than anything that ever came out of a bottle!