Bye bye wine time: 7 great things about being a non-drinking parent

Posted in Wellbeing.

If you’re starting to wonder whether those end-of-day glasses of wine are having some un-fun consequences, let us tell you a few of the good things that happen when you forgo the popular “wine time” routine.

1. More energy

While it’s so true that a glass or two of wine in the late afternoon can feel like a reward at the end of a day in the parenting trenches, it’s also true that it’s likely sapping your energy and (eventually) depressing your system.

Forgoing the loved-by-millions wine time might seem pretty boring in the short term, but in just a few days you’ll have more energy and possibly even stop falling asleep feeding your baby in front of the 6PM news. Win-win!

2. Less guilt

If you are anything like me, you might feel a bit guilty about drinking regularly or semi-regularly, because you know it’s not great for your physical and mental health.

Not only that, you might be aware of the fact that you’re a different parent after a couple of Proseccos. Yes, SO much funnier (obvs!) and less uptight, but ultimately not really responding in ways that are true to you or completely present.

These confusing feelings vanish into thin air when you shelve the booze for something lighter.

3. More money

Nice wine costs money. Heck, even not nice wine costs money. If you shelve the wine habit for a week you can buy a new book to read with the money you save, or a new lipstick, or a new set of screwdrivers. I mean, whatever floats your boat. Ka-ching!

Mother lying on couch playing with toddler boy in her arms

4. More spontaneity and availability

Nobody likes a drunk driver and of course you don’t get in the car after you’ve had your evening tipples. Good for you. While this is responsible, it’s kind of limiting at the same time. What if you have to rush your child to Casualty in the middle of the night? What if a friend has a crisis and needs to be collected from the pub?

Avoiding alcohol means logistics are much less complicated and you can be available when your friends and family need you most.

5. Better health

Alcohol has a whole bunch of terrible health implications and yet we still drink up. What are we like?! Common consequences of drinking include: high blood pressure, cognitive impairment, depression, anxiety, increased risk of stroke, heart problems and disease, cancer, decrease in bone mass and density, reproductive issues, stomach ulcers, gastritis, pancreatitis, dietary deficiencies and liver damage. Argh.

Mother pushing pram on footpath - feature

6. A clear head

It can be hard to gauge just how much alcohol affects our mood and how we cope with the world, but for many, many people its depressant reputation is well deserved.

Not only can alcohol give you a headache, make you feel truly bummed out and amplify all that is (allegedly) wrong in your life, it can also make you feel very foggy and move through the day feeling quite crap from the get-go.

Who wouldn’t want to avoid all that and simply have a giant cup of tea or icy glass of fancy cordial?!

7. More YOU!

The bolstering and/or numbing effect that alcohol has often masks the real and excellent you.

Choosing to take a break gives you time to notice when you most want to have a glass or three of wine – and a chance to unpack how you feel when you ride out those tricky situations without applying alcohol.

Identifying the triggers (kids driving you mad? time of day? stressful day at work? need for a sugar hit?) and finding alternative ways to cope with those challenges helps you get to know yourself better and gives the world a better glimpse at who you truly are.

Mother playing with kids in washing basket - feature

Stop running?

Some think this seemingly ubiquitous “wine time” routine is making something bigger.

“I think we have to look at why mothers end up relying on wine, and start creating lives for ourselves that we don’t feel the need to run away from,” author of The Sober Diaries, Claire Pooley, told The Daily Telegraph.

If you’re keen to shelve the wine time habit for a few days – or even for longer – there are lots of resources online to help you do that.

Apps like NoMo help you track the money you’re saving NOT buying booze, the productive time you’re gaining by not drinking and the number of days you’ve been a non-drinker.

Hello Sunday Morning is a brilliant website, supporting people who are keen to change the way they interact with alcohol.

If you or anyone you know needs advice about alcohol or drug use:


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