Parenting Without the Wine: Can it Be Done?


Yes, it can be!

Reading this post the other day by Laura McKowen left me yelling YES! after every single sentence at my computer screen. The title of it, I’m Sorry, But What the Fuck is Going On? are literal words that I have spoken about this same topic but never dared to bring up to anyone but my best friend and husband for fear of being called the dreaded term…..a MOM SHAMER.

I am not a mom shamer, but you guys, we need to talk about something important.

The topic at hand: Motherhood Wine Culture.

Image from Pinterest

You see it everywhere: The “funny” memes, t-shirts, mugs, the branding on wine bottles (Mommy Time Out), the news articles, the Facebook Groups. Wine and yoga. Wine and painting. Wine flavored ice cream. Wine clothing. Wine and wine and wine and wine. It is IN YOUR FACE, everywhere, all day long. And it bugs me.

Now, you might be thinking I’m some kind of prude, out of touch human, or that I think I’m better than you. I don’t. I drank my way through college and continued to drink up until about a few years ago. Until one day I realized how awful it was making me feel and so I decided to stop.

Image from Pinterest

Why Don’t I Drink?

No, I am not an alcoholic, and yes I choose to not drink. Whenever people find this out, they take the next few moments searching my face for a reason why. Then they spot the baby and say “Ohhhh, because you’re breastfeeding”. I just let it go and wonder what will happen when I have a 4 year old?

  • In a nutshell, alcohol makes me feel like shit. I am a stay at home mama to 2 super active boys. That is my main job and I need to be on my game and feeling good to be the kind of mother I want to be. Alcohol prevents me from doing that. After a drink or two, I feel lethargic, tired and easily upset the next day. I want to wake up feeling as fresh as possible each morning. Having a drink doesn’t feel worth compromising that to me.


  • I struggle with feelings of depression sometimes. Adding a depressant to someone who is already battling depression is like strapping cinderblocks to your ankles before hiking up a mountain. Why would you do that to yourself? 

I get that parenting is hard, for real. It’s the most stressful thing you will ever do in your life and it’s non-stop. Someone is always needing you and/or touching you. You are responsible for someone else’e life. That’s big, heavy stuff sometimes and that’s why self care is so important for your wellbeing.

I fully understand the need to check out for the sake of sanity, but, do we have to use substances to do this, or might there be a different way we could unwind? (If I were a PR firm I would have written unWINEd, ha) 

Sure, choose wine because it pairs nicely with your dinner. But don’t choose wine because you feel like you NEED it to get through life. I think that’s the makings of a problem.

What Can We Do Instead?

  • Get lost in a movie or a television series on Netflix with your partner.
  • Get physical! Releasing your mental and physical stressors by sweating, flowing or punching work wonders.
  • Check IN to your own needs. What are your hobbies that sometimes get forgotten about in the midst of motherhood? Find some time for yourself to get back to them and your happiness level will rise.
  • Friend time. Sometimes a morning walk with friends (without the kiddos) can help you reset.

I am worried that an entire group of people are falling victim to this powerful substance and passing it off as funny because it’s socially acceptable.

Us Moms have some serious superpowers and are the strongest people I know. Don’t let advertising companies convince you that you NEED wine to survive. You don’t. You’ve got this, Mama.


*This post was originally posted on Sarah Kurliand’s Blog

Sarah Kurliand is a Wife/Mama/Yogi/Writer who spends her days adventuring through Southern California with her boys. She is the co-founder of The Nature School of Philadelphia and is passionate about living a healthy lifestyle, discovering new places & living a life that leaves the world better than the way she found it.

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1 Comment
  • November 2, 2017

    I love the perspective you share. I particularly like the comment about choosing to drink wine because it goes with your meal instead of because you need it. It is dangerous to lean on a substance for help. I also appreciate the fact that you mention some very good alternatives to drinking wine. This could be said of overeating or anything that serves as a crutch.

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