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More Moms Are Binge Drinking and the CDC Is Worried

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More Moms Are Binge Drinking and the CDC Is Worried

by Lindsay Ferrier 

FlickrPlenty of moms out there rely on a glass or two of wine a few nights a week to take the edge off of a long day. But according to the CDC, a growing number of moms are taking their drinking habit too far.

A recent report shows that binge drinking is on the rise, not just in teens and college-age women, but among moms who use alcohol to relieve the stress of their day.

So how do you know if you're a binge drinker?

Binge drinking is defined as having four or more drinks in one night. A recent CDC study showed that one in eight women binge drink about three times a month, and most of those women have an average of six drinks per binge.

You may think that doesn't sound like you -- but the FOX affiliate in Atlanta recently profiled a mom who's a recovering alcoholic, and what she had to say may hit home with you.

"I was drinking home alone," Stephanie Hazard told the reporter. "I was drinking to the point where I was almost finishing a bottle of wine a night. Not every night but every other night," she said.

Stephanie knew she had a problem when she realized that she felt like she couldn't go without a drink.

Among moms, binge drinking isn't happening at bars and restaurants (other than the occasional girls' night out). It's happening at home, often alone after the kids have gone to bed.

CDC statistics show that binge drinking is most common among women ages 18-34, whites and Hispanics, and women with an income greater than $75,000. Not only can it damage relationships and the family dynamic, it can also damage your health.

Binge drinking puts you at greater risk of breast cancer and heart disease. The CDC says that drinking too much causes the deaths of about 23,000 women and girls every year.

Whoa.

If you're worried that you have a problem with alcohol, you can get help by calling 1-800-662-HELP.

Do you think binge drinking among moms is a bigger problem than most people thought?

by on Aug. 28, 2013 at 8:47 AM
Replies (31-40):
heresjohnny
by Bronze Member on Aug. 28, 2013 at 11:25 PM

I didn't say it was attractive, I said it was socially acceptable. My DH is a good man with a good paying job. He's never had a DUI, he's not abusive, he plays an active role with our children, and he treats me like a queen. He's the breadwinner of the family and he does a damn fine job of it. I love him to death and I honestly couldn't have picked a better husband and father of my children. He's not an alcoholic, but he does like to drink on his days off. Going by the definition of the posted article, my DH would be considered a binge drinker. But the article didn't mention men or fathers. It specifically targeted mothers. I'm guessing the reason is because no one would have taken the author seriously if women and mothers had been replaced with men and fathers. Why? Because a man who drinks a beer at the end of the day isn't nearly as gasp-worthy as a mother who drinks a glass of wine.


Quoting alc4evermom:


I don't find men who drink six packs and twelve packs over the weekend attractive at all.  I want a healthy man with a good head on his shoulders.  Just because its socially acceptable for men to do that, doesn't actually make it attractive.

Quoting Sisteract:


Quoting heresjohnny:

So let me get this straight - I, a "mother" have an alcohol problem if I drink a bottle of wine (aprox 4 glasses) on a friday night. BUT, men (fathers) don't have a problem if they drink a 12 pack over the weekend? I don't normally scream sexism, but here it is in all it's glory. Sure, they didn't come right out and say it's ok for men to drink and not ok for women, but those are the vibes I'm getting. How many men polish off a 6 pack while watching the game? .......Oh, but they don't have a drinking problem if it isn't an everyday thing and they don't get passed out drunk. WTF? Why are women held to higher standards than men?

It's sexist because it implies that mothers' behaviors count more than fathers' behaviors.





Sisteract
by Whoopie on Aug. 28, 2013 at 11:34 PM

How about bottles of fine, expensive wine? or scotch? Lots- I mean lots, of high paid execs drink these things at a very good clip-

Quoting alc4evermom:


I don't find men who drink six packs and twelve packs over the weekend attractive at all.  I want a healthy man with a good head on his shoulders.  Just because its socially acceptable for men to do that, doesn't actually make it attractive.

Quoting Sisteract:


Quoting heresjohnny:

So let me get this straight - I, a "mother" have an alcohol problem if I drink a bottle of wine (aprox 4 glasses) on a friday night. BUT, men (fathers) don't have a problem if they drink a 12 pack over the weekend? I don't normally scream sexism, but here it is in all it's glory. Sure, they didn't come right out and say it's ok for men to drink and not ok for women, but those are the vibes I'm getting. How many men polish off a 6 pack while watching the game? .......Oh, but they don't have a drinking problem if it isn't an everyday thing and they don't get passed out drunk. WTF? Why are women held to higher standards than men?

It's sexist because it implies that mothers' behaviors count more than fathers' behaviors.




Mrs.Kubalabuku
by on Aug. 29, 2013 at 12:02 AM

I can tell you the temptation has been there for me.  I'm a SAHM, and I'm at that point where I'm dying a little inside, longing for a self-identity and some respect from the people we know.

So many things contribute to this feeling, and it's hard to describe.  Sometimes I just want to drink because it's the only outlet I feel I have.  But, since I have some relatives who are alcoholics I force myself through to the next day.

1.  I never wanted to be a SAHM.  I got disabled while in the military and it is what it is.
2.  DH used to find me so interesting!  Now, he goes out with friends or has friends over when he's bored, but he and I do the same damned thing every date night:  Dinner out and a movie.  I want to maybe go downtown, go hiking, have an adventure like I used to, not just eat and go pay too much money for a crappy movie.  And while his friends like me well enough, they quickly move conversations forward and end up leaving me out, assuming I have nothing to say or don't know the topic.
3.  Every vacation we take is to MIL's house.  It saves us a lot of money, but then I end up the odd one out as his family dotes on him and the children and shoves me to the corner all the time.  I've talked to DH about how the next vacation, I don't care if HE goes to MIL's, I'm going anywhere else!
4.  Most of my friends were relocated, and I'm having a super hard time finding new ones.
5.  I'm so tied down with children I can't seem to find a hobby.  I thought about taking up artwork again, but with an 18 month old getting into my supplies or demanding my attention, the canvas sits blank.
6.  By the time I have a minute to myself, it's too late at night for music, games, or many other activities that can get quite involved.  I either don't have enough time before bed to get real involved on something, or it would make too much noise or mess for that hour of night.  That is when the booze has a certain appeal.

So far, I've resisted giving in.  I drink when we have guests over for bar night and that is it.  I think having the bar helps.  You might think having a bar would hurt, but it is in the basement, out of site out of mind for most the liquor.  Plus, I don't feel like hanging out in the bar alone and it is freezing down there when there isn't a bunch of people.

I think the REAL problem behind this is how isolated we are becoming.  Most the people I meet and try to make friends with want to play an online game with me or FB, not meet up and DO anything.  Finding sitters is tough because nobody wants to have a change in their routine to help me with children.  (And that is their right, I won't argue that.  But I do remember a time when people happily traded kids for a chance to go out.)  With the economy the way it is, I imagine a lot of families can't afford to pay a sitter and go out too often. 

My Grandma said this isn't new.  The 1950's housewife used to do a lot of drinking in the afternoon while the children were at school or playing.  She said that back then the motivating factor was how un-appreciated the wives and mothers were.  They weren't their own person, they were simply an accessory to make the lives of other people easier.  Being social was hard sometimes then, too, because women were expected to fit into these perfect little molds.  EVERYBODY wanted to be the Mom from the sitcoms, that perfect woman.

A common problem in BOTH time periods is judging.  Back in Grandma's time, the women who stepped outside the perfect mold were considered wrong somehow.  Crazy, selfish, damaged, etc.  Now, judging is easier to come by thanks to social media.  A Mom might post how she treated the children to a Happy Meal and be told she should just kill herself for feeding them poison.  Mass marketing makes you feel like you are wrong to FF, but inappropriate and scandalous to BF.  Everywhere you go, there are eyes on you.  Any mistake you make could pop up on the internet.  Disciplining your child in a way another person doesn't approve of could result in visits from CPS.

We're not allowed to be ourselves.  We're not allowed to make our own decisions without being labled.  And we're not reaching out to get to know people anymore.  I've been trying to work with DH on these issues, but he thinks that because I'm home all day I MUST be happy, because it's better than working.  But at work you TALK TO ADULTS.  You interact and use your brain.  At home I have to schedule time to talk to an adult or exercise my brain.  I've gotten to the point where I tune out squeals and toys and basically lack stimulation in my environment.  And it's a battle to find new things to keep my interest.

Even if I go out with the children, I can't very well take them to the things that interest ME.  I can take them to the musuem and let them experience science, but it's all things I've known for over 20 years on display.  Yes, I get a joy from watching my children experience it, but it doesn't challenge me.  I can get the same joy from watching their faces light up doing projects at home.  I know it enriches THEIR lives, but aside from seeing them happy I'm still bored to tears.

So far I've been able to stay away from the booze.  But I have a new understanding of how so many women in my family ended up at the bottom of one too many bottles.  And I've been seeking some alternative.  Hopefully DH and I can work something out to get me some time to be ME again, because I think that really is the only solution.

Honestly, I think I could love being a SAHM if I was allowed to be ME once in a while.  I love many things about it.  But I can't get past this feeling that I'm in the background all the time.  I can't get past knowing how many things and opportunities I passed up to put my family first.  I think that if I put them first all the time, it might actually be harmful to them.  I don't get recharged, I'm not as happy, I carry too much stress.

sugareemommee
by Bronze Member on Aug. 29, 2013 at 12:07 AM
1 mom liked this
I can't wait to have a beer after this baby is born. 🍻
1Giovanni
by Becca on Aug. 29, 2013 at 12:09 AM

My grandma loved the cooking sherry...My mother was a binge drinker too... I think i am the only woman in the family that don't drink. At least it skipped me.

I think this has been going for a very long time, it isn't really new.

ExecutiveChick
by Bronze Member on Aug. 29, 2013 at 12:18 AM

I would add to this statement in the post,

"Among moms, binge drinking isn't happening at bars and restaurants (other than the occasional girls' night out). It's happening at home, often alone after the kids have gone to bed." (my add) Posting on Cafe Mom

:)

JackandJayne
by on Aug. 29, 2013 at 1:01 AM

CNS depressant... Not like 'clinically depressed'. Many people actually feel quite good mentally speaking after a few drinks. And many people handle their mommy 'de-stress' drinks fine. In fact, for some women, pouring that glass of wine stops them from overreacting and doing something stupid.

But, good for you for deciding alcohol wasn't for you.

Quoting alc4evermom:

I'm sober two years.  I have alcohol dependance and always drank alone.  I've never had a DUI or been in trouble with the law but I missed out on some things, and I'm glad that I am strong enough to end my stressful days without drinking or drugging.  People can joke, but suppressing your problems with substances is pretty lame.  Drinking at home alone is isolating, and alcohol is a depressant.  So don't cry about how depressed you are and then have a drink.  


snowflower902
by Member on Aug. 29, 2013 at 1:10 AM
Oh my......
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
pj2becca21
by Bronze Member on Aug. 29, 2013 at 1:15 AM

I just turn 21, and I was drink long before my daughter but i stopped after her. On my 21 birthday I made a promise to my dad that I would not drink when she is in my house.  this week i had her, but on friday she goes home, So friday is a big day for me. I will be celebrating that my baby starts school for the first time!

Shoota
by Lauren on Aug. 29, 2013 at 2:50 AM

I think this has always been happening. If its not drinking, then a Valium, or some moms smoke some pot. I like to have a glass of wine when my DD goes to bed. But, why do we feel the need to? Maybe moms just stressed themselves out. We feel the need to take care of everything and everyone.

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