Hitting the Mommy Juice Too Hard? Alcohol Abuse & Motherhood

Is it wine thirty yet?

This, and many more, wine-related jokes seem to go hand-in-hand with motherhood.

And lord knows I enjoy my vino.

But are we self-medicating our anxiety? Experts warn that alcohol abuse is running rampant among over-stressed moms.

“I’m seeing it widespread across the country – an increase of moms, particularly with young kids, coming in for treatment,” Deni Carise, deputy chief clinical officer at CRC Health Group, tells TODAY.

In a TODAY.com survey, approximately 40 percent of moms said drinking helps them cope with the everyday stress with their young kids. And more than one-third said they have mom friends who they think have a problem with alcohol.

MORE: Do Moms Drink Too Much? Are We A Culture of Mombies?

The survey says that wine is the alcohol beverage of choice, with more than half of respondents naming it as their preferred poison.

Wineries are taking note, with new bottles hitting the market called Mad Housewife, Mommy’s Time Out and Mommy Juice.

As well, there’s a new trend hitting daytime routines: mommy-and-me playdates, fully-equipped with wine for the moms.

During a recent playdate in California, a group of women sipped on wine and shared their thoughts.

  • “This is our liquid therapy,” one mom said.
  • “It makes me feel human again after I’ve been beaten down all week,” said another.
  • Added a third: “Moms should be allowed to relax and kick back… and have their Mommy Juice and not be judged for it.”

Celebrity mom Stefanie Wilder-Taylor once drank up to six glasses of wine a day.

“All of a sudden I was like, I don’t have an off switch,” said the mom-of-three. She stopped drinking after she drove home drunk — with her kids in the car.

“I had seen her drinking, but it didn’t jump out to me as a big problem. I mean, she was entirely functional and all it takes is one escalation and suddenly your kids are at risk,” her husband, Jon Taylor, said.

So how do you know if you’re hitting the mommy juice too hard?

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism suggests that you ask yourself the following questions:

  • Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking?
  • Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?
  • Have you ever felt bad or guilty about your drinking?
  • Have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or to get rid of a hangover?

If you answered “yes” to one question, this suggests a possible alcohol problem. But according to NIAAA, if you responded “yes” to more than one question, you might need to reach out for help.

I’ve written about this topic in the past. Not only do I love my wine, I also enjoy mommy/wine-related jokes. And, yes, I have hosted a drinking playdate.

That said, my wine consumption is only on the weekends. Also, I don’t drink more than 2-3 glasses and I never get hangovers, so maybe I’m doing something right?

There’s no doubt that I love to de-stress from the rigors of motherhood and the weekly routine with a glass in hand on a Friday night. As well, I live on coffee. It seems I’m painting myself quite the self-confessed mombie.


Tell us about your wine obsession. Do you think moms drink too much? Do you think you have a problem?

If you think you might need to get help, check out Rethinking Drinking and Women and Drinking.

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