During my final drinking days, I started to notice that my kids were noticing, and it completely tore my heart apart.
When my husband was on the road, I’d drink any given night of the week. “Mommy’s juice” was my stress reliever. It gave me energy to deal with my lil crazies after a long day of work, and it numbed my mind to the never-ending to-do list.
After I’d (quickly) down my first drink, I would become “Super Mom!” I’d handle meltdowns with ease, be sillier than silly, and sing my heart out. The kids loved it! But by the time I’d put them down for bed, I was also putting down an empty bottle of wine. Sometimes I’d call it a night so I could attempt a 4 a.m. workout. Sometimes I’d open another bottle.
On weekends in single-mom-mode, my “wine o’clock” crept earlier and earlier into the day, and my kids would notice a huge change in my behavior. Tired, quiet, emotional.
The mornings would come, and my daughter would notice I wasn’t as chipper. She would ask if I was sick, if I had the stomach bug? “No, my love. It’s the wine bug, and it’s leeching the life out of me,” is what I’d think to myself.
There were also a lot of weekends when my husband was home that my drinking forced me to lock myself in the bedroom to handle a hangover. It broke my heart hearing my children’s giggles and cries through the wall. But I felt helpless. I felt sick. I felt trapped.
Enough of those moments can really tug at your conscious and spark a high desire for change.
Thankfully, my lifestyle change comes at the point where my kids are really locking in memories (and boy, do they remember!). It’s my hope that my kids, especially my daughter, will never recall a time where I’m not the person I am today— a bright-eyed, attentive, slightly impatient, but loving mom.
It’s also my hope that they continue to see (and more so mimic) the healthy choices I make. Smoothies, “Like yours, Mommy!” have been in high demand lately. The benefits of vegetables has been a child-led dinnertime discussion on more than one occasion. Drinking cups of water without being prompted has made me do double-takes. And my favorite— watching them fight for my attention to show me their newest exercise move!
My little eyes are watching. So I must seize the honest, happy, and healthy habits that sobriety has gifted me!