After an anxious relationship with booze left her confused about its merits, mum-of-one Jacintha Akkerman, quit drinking and got to know herself a whole lot better.
My little monkey 🐒Thank you for choosing me as your mumma 🤗
Letting off steam
Jacintha – who blogs at House of Mouse – is mum to 2-year-old Axel. Before becoming a mum, she’d been doing her best to subscribe to the sort of fun-loving YOLO attitude that sees many of us chugging back (possibly) a few too many drinks, more often than not.
The oft-touted “I’m here for a good time, not a long time” philosophy grew increasingly hollow for this now mum, and letting off steam via drinking was making her feel pretty terrible about herself, instead.
Those promised good times were few and far between, and the “social lubricant” which had previously given her confidence and helped her fit in, was quickly losing its appeal.
After a celebratory evening, a confused and exhausted Jacintha would find herself anxious, regret-filled and utterly miserable.
“I would wake up, extremely hungover, wanting a better life for myself, but I just didn’t know how to get there. This wasn’t the life I envisioned. This was not who I wanted to be.”
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“Here for a good time”
Of course, Jacintha didn’t drink during her pregnancy with Axel, but she says generally she was prone to excess and did not know when to stop.
“I was an extremist. I was either drunk or sober – I didn’t have an off switch. I drank to get drunk,” she explained, on her blog.
After a few particularly bracing nights out – and the painful, guilt-filled mornings that followed, Jacintha realised something really had to give.
“When I became pregnant with Axel (now almost three), I truly believed this was the blessing I had been asking for. How many signs was the universe sending to me!? I had a vision to live an authentic, happy life and this was the perfect time to make the leap. Although for years previously I did start to settle down my drinking ways, I knew I needed to make a major lifestyle change, and becoming pregnant (therefore stopping drinking altogether) was just the motivation I needed,” she writes.
Her pregnancy really helped put things in perspective and gave her the motivation she needed to make a lasting change.
What followed was the decision to stop drinking – at least for now – and take a step way from the confusing and often physically debilitating affects alcohol can have.
Now two years sober, she says that dealing with other people’s suspicious and negative attitudes to non-drinkers – in an overwhelmingly drinking-focused society – has been a challenge. Jacintha says people are usually pretty horrified to hear she’s avoiding booze.
Although she often feels like an outsider at social events, she’s convinced she made the right decision and is so much the better for it.
“The thought of waking up with a hangover, with a 2-year-old that does not sit still for a minute, gives me anxiety. Being alcohol-free, my mind is clearer. I make better life choices. I eat better. I nourish my body and mind daily. My life simply flows better,” Jacintha says.
It seems she’s made the perfect choice for her, for now at least, and that’s inspiring to see.
Do you ever feel conflicted about combining drinking and parenting?