is having a problem with drink normal now?(78 Posts)
I aks because I think I do have a problem...for over a year drinking has been a serious issue, I've just admitted it to my family & while we were talking out solutions, I realised how socially accpetable it is for moms to drink. There's so many blogs and FB posts about gin and wine-o'clock, but nothing about what happens if you can leave it at that. Talking to family about why I drink, I can see there's a real culture around moms using drink to relax, which is fine if it's in control, but is actually really difficult if drink is hard to manage. I just wondered what others thought?
I agree that it is becoming very normalised in our society to use drink as an emotional crutch. It's very dangerous and encourages people to drink to excess.
I used to drink very heavily and stopped completely about 7 years ago. When I look back now I cringe at myself to be honest.
I think most people who talk about wine oclock etc are joking and dont have a problem.
If someone feels they have a problem they should get help.
But yes there is a big 'alcohol culture'thing which is odd
I lived in London for years and got in the habit of drinking a lot. Got pregnant and that's completely readjusted how I see alcohol.
Agree with Fairylea and a younger version of my self used to drink a lot, part of the work culture I was in plus duty free drink where I worked.
After a few years, had a light bulb moment and cut back big time.
What caused light bulb moment?
It was getting boring having a hangover and taking longer to recover after a good evening out, cost came into it plus the log term health issues.
I prefer going out, having a nice meal, conversation etc rather than getting hammered.
If people want to get hammered, who am I to pass judgement but the company I work for has a draconian drugs and alcohol policy for a very good reason, which I agree with.
Have seen people, who thought they knew better, come in the following morning after a heavy session, been asked to go and see the nice lady in a white coat and have been asked to collect their P45 on the way out.
Tad brutal, but they knew the policy when they accepted the job and signed on the dotted lines.
It is nice to have a drink after work and relax etc. but at what point does it become a must have?
All things in moderation as they say and each person should be adult enough to decide for them selves what they consider is acceptable.
I think you're right about how pervasive the idea of mums needing a drink to relax has become. So often I see posts on mumsnet and other websites where a mum asks for advice and the replies say "do xyz and then have a big glass of wine and relax, you've earned it" or something similar. I find it interesting that many people seem to equate relaxing with having an alcoholic drink, as though there aren't other ways to relax after a busy or stressful experience.
Well done for talking to your family about your concerns, I hope that you get any help you need to tackle the problem.
I think alcohol plays a big part in many cultures, including the British culture.
But thinking back to my childhood, I'm pretty sure it had a bit more to do with socialising than it does today.
Back then (70s/80s) I think more people mostly only drank when they went to the pubs/restaurants, and most pubs rang last orders around 10.30pm. If you wanted to drink at home, you'd make a special trip to the off license or pay through the nose for a 'take out' from the pub.
Whereas nowadays, booze is available in all supermarkets and many newsagents too, at a fairly cheap price (depending on what you buy), and high street pubs seem to be closing left, right and centre, meaning a lot more people seem to have got into the habit of drinking at home.
I think binge drinking has become totally normal esp in my age group (40)
At the theatre recently, went out for a breath of air and a friend, who I've long thought is a functioning alcoholic, pulled out a hip flask, saying "can't be arsed to queue for interval drinks".
Then I looked online and noticed how many of those are on sale which in turn made me wonder how common that is.
I've stopped going to work dos, Xmas or not. Some companies encourage drunkenness to a level that wasn't acceptable even ten years ago.
Yes, binge drinking and drunkenness has become normalised in Britain.
It's very refreshing to be alcohol free. I have had periods of my life without alcohol and life is much more enjoyable in many ways.
If you are able to self regulate the social pressure/normalisation is not a problem. If you have a problem with alcohol then society norms make it so much harder to tackle.
for you OP.
If you are able to self regulate the social pressure/normalisation is not a problem.
Also, I think it's important to remember where these posts started. Usually with someone wanting to sell someone something. I mean, if you were a drinks manufacturer, then parents would be a good group to market towards - they're at home, under stress, probably used to go out a lot: there's a vested interest in making 'sit down with a huge glass of wine at wine o'clock' an acceptable message.
I have drunk heavily all my life from age 16. Now I am pregnant, this is the first time i've been without alcohol for an extended period of time. I feel quite disgusted at the damage I did to my body, and the money I spent during that time. But I did feel it was ok because in my mind, everyone else was doing it.
I agree it has become completely normalised in UK and I think Ireland - I think it is the 40-60 age group that is getting hit hardest. It is getting there in the US too with loads of marketing toward the Mom market there is a wine label called Mommy Time or similar. That said, I have often been at dinner parties where only one person is having a glass of wine and no one comments at all- that has never happened me in Ireland.
My parents rarely if ever drank in the house. My father would have gone out for a pint once a week. When their friends came over, they didn't usually serve dinner but sandwiches/nibbles/cakes and usually tea and coffee. They'd offer a whisky or a beer or a sherry maybe but the constant flow of wine that is common now just wasn't there. I don't think it is an improvement to be honest. I think a lot of people who would never have had a problem before, have problems now because it is just so easy and normal to drink - and drink a lot.
OP, good luck to you. the Dry 16 thread in relationships is great. Also the Mummy was a secret drinker blog
Similar to a lot of posters - giving up drinking when I become pregnant was a revelation to me!
I work in a very boozy male dominated enviroment so getting drunk on a Friday night, then waking up hungover on a Saturday was the norm. I'd have a drink either socially or at home most weekdays as well.
I think admitting you are struggling is very brave.
I think this about programmes like geordie shore-would we watch a group of heroin addicts getting totally out of it and laugh away? Or a group of stoners? Why do we watch people, essentially poisoning themselves, and class it as entertainment? I drink a lot compared to my friends -I grew up in north Scotland where it's even more engrained (might have changed now).
The culture of drinking at home has moved it away from social settings like pubs, and allowed it to become routine rather than a treat. It is easy for "normal" drinking behaviour to be well in excess of NHS guidelines, and if measuring by units, it's very easy to underestimate how much alcohol is being consumed.
The modern pressures of professions like teaching encourage the development of frequent alcohol consumption as when sitting down in the evening after a formal day's work, then having another pile of work to do, having some wine gives a sense of relaxation and clawing back "me time" while actually working long hours. I used teaching as an example because it is recognised as a profession with a particularly high rate of alcohol consumption- it's certainly not a phenomenon unique to that profession.
As a society we have sleep walked and encouraged ourselves into increased alcohol consumption, and it's not problem free. It affects our sleep, our weight, our livers etc etc. A lot of people have lost sight on how to unwind or enjoy themselves without using alcohol as a prop.
Somewhat - interesting comment about the pub. My dad was a regular pub drinker. Don't get me wrong there were alchoholics there but everyone knew each other and quite often if he'd had a pint too many the landlord would tell him to take it easy and go home.
They all looked out for each other. Might be romanticising pub culture but for my dad and his friends getting drunk alone at home would a bizarre concept. Different generations.
London is terrible I met a friend in London for a meal and drinks and by the end of the meal we'd had two HUGE glasses of wine before the main meal. She ordered another drink with dessert, then said 'now we can start the evening' ..people around were all tanking it; and a lot of them seemed both in their 20s and their 40s at the same time..thick skin, red cheeks, etc. I was quite shocked having considered myself a reasinably hwavy drinker.
then she wanted to go to a craft market! i was faced! then to a 'nice' pub for two more beers (i had one) and god i had to just go home early. i was both angry and confused.. she was 'woah this is a normal night'
All of this at London drinks prices..it was soo. odd to see hiw much people in lomdon drink...it must druve the whole london bubble!
How did I stop drinking? Short answer is I just stopped completely.
Long answer is that I had spent my entire adulthood around drink - working in bars and pubs and being around my mum who drank heavily. I just thought it was completely normal to get stressed and then reach for a drink. I would think nothing of drinking about 3-4 pints a night (ridiculous for anyone but especially when you're a 19 year old woman who is a size 8-10) and at a weekend I would finish this off with endless shots at the bar - at that time I was life and soul of it all, this was London too.
When I got older and went into marketing it continued to cope with stress from work and I wouldn't have considered going out at the weekend without getting drunk. When my now ex dh left me at 28 (he also drank exactly the same way, everyone we knew did) I went hell for leather drinking and did some very stupid things. Low point for me was falling on my hands and knees outside the train station unable to get up again and tearing my tights into massive holes.
(During the week I had a very good job as a senior marketing manager).
Being drunk made me feel invincible, I didn't care about anything. But of course it didn't change anything either and I became gradually more and more depressed - and broke. Drinking like that is expensive.
Sometime around then I met my now dh and he was a revelation to me. He never drank. Ever. Neither did his family. And I wanted to be like that. I knew he wouldn't put up with me drinking and for my own health I needed to stop anyway so I did. Just like that. Been together 7 years now, married and kids etc and I've not drunk since.
Something just clicked. I feel so much better for not drinking. But there's still huge pressure to keep drinking from society and from my mum. She thinks we are "odd", we don't even have alcohol at Christmas or ever. I have a teenage dd and I'm very conscious of not normalising drinking the way my mum etc did for me.
Peach that's interesting. My dad went to the pub a lot, and at weekends mum went too but at home it was a bottle of sherry at Christmas. Wine wasn't a thing in the UK in the 60s/70s and I think spirits were probably quite expensive.
We were discussing this the other day. I couldn't believe how many professionals (30-50 year olds) in the discussion happily admitted that most weekends they end up throwing up and pissing the bed! They thought it was normal. I do worry about the effect that will have on their children
I know a few people who I would consider to have a drinking problem who rarely actually get drunk but regularly drink most of a bottle of wine a night and really feel like they need it to relax. Often it is socially acceptable, especially if you never seem more than tipsy.
The Mommy blogs are a bit wierd about alcohol. The message is "you need to be slightly buzzed just to cope"
I think Hurrah for Gin is hilarious, and have the book and all. But can't really understand why spirits have to be part of the deal. This week she's giving away a hamper with her book and shit loads of Hendricks gin. Parenting = booze to cope.
Personally I don't know how people can have hangovers with kids. The horror! It's bad enough as it is! The thoughts of the kids bouncing up and down on me at 6am with 2 bottles of red wine in my stomach is enough to turn said stomach.
In my circles the "mum" gin or wine is one drink. So yes it not ideal to drink most nights but if you have one drink (2units) a night that's 14 a week which is unlikely to harm health.
People need to be sensible and realise a g&t to relax is not 4 g&ts and getting wankered.
I think the point it changed is when wine started to be heavily marketed to women in the UK. When I was a child in the 70s people only drank wine on special occasions. Or if they were a bit posh and went to France on holiday they might bring a few bottles back to drink on a Sunday. These few bottles would last til next holiday, so only one bottle a week would be consumed at most.
Pints were only drunk by men - women had halfs. And usually only in the pub. Spirits again usually seen as a Christmas drink.
Some people still drank heavily, but it wasn't seen as socially acceptable. Drinking at home alone was looked down on.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.