Yesterday was my four month anniversary.
I’ve been booze-free for four months.
The days have been easy.
But sometimes the nights are hard.
Friday nights are rough. Cause that’s when all the moms start really using the wine glass emojis and making jokes about when it’s acceptable to start drinking. Jokes that, in the moment, are seemingly harmless.
But to moms like me, moms who are trying to do the right thing, and moms who are really missing those Friday night happy hours, those jokes aren’t funny.
And they remind you how prevalent drinking is in the mom culture.
I used to be that mom. The one jokingly shaming another mom for not drinking.
I didn’t mean anything by it, really. I certainly never thought that the mom I was telling to loosen up might have quit drinking because maybe alcohol caused her to loosen up too much one too many times.
It was my own discomfort with someone who didn’t immediately turn to alcohol the moment the opportunity presented itself, I suppose.
Halloween is another challenge.
Halloween has always been a big party for me. A holiday I looked forward to because I’d be pulling a wagon full of beer behind me, drinking Blue Moons and having my own treats while the kids ran up to peoples’ doors and had theirs.
This was my first sober Halloween in many years.
I went to a friend’s house, and I watched her drink wine. I smelled it.
Boy did it smell good.
I missed it pretty badly.
I missed it really badly.
But I just kept focusing on the next morning and how I wanted (or didn’t want) to feel.
And a funny thing happened.
Since I didn’t drink this Halloween, we got home at a reasonable hour. I didn’t keep the kids out later than necessary because I wanted to keep drinking with my friends.
We were home and everyone was in bed before 9:00.
That hasn’t happened in, well…
I didn’t realize this until the next morning. The next morning when I was clear-headed and not even a tiny bit hungover.
It was a concrete and crystal clear example for me.
I am a much more responsible parent when I don’t drink.
So in those moments when I am really struggling, I will do my best to remember this Halloween.
And remind myself that the biggest treat my family got this Halloween wasn’t a king size candy bar.
It was a present and sober mom.