Here are three photos, the two on the left were taken a few years ago, the one on the right was in December 2017. In all three photos I am smiling and happy, of course I am I’ve got the arms of my children around me! Anyone who knows me knows that my girls are my world and for those who don’t know me, I am hoping you’ve picked that up from my blog and Instagram! Like most of us out there I have always tried to be a good mum, I have tried my best to do the right thing for my girls and that has always been the same, if I was drinking or not. But there are a lot of ways that I now feel like I am giving my girls the best version of me and the best mum that I can be!
A lot of alcohol free experts state that if you are trying to give up alcohol for someone else then you won’t succeed, and I’m not sure I fully agree with that? I know for a fact that my girls are my motivation to stop drinking. I want to be the best mum that I can be for them, I want to feel good all of the time,be healthy and full of energy for them, especially at the weekends when we have time to spend together.
The main thing for me is that they have my full attention whan they want it, well most of the time anyway! We’ve all been there, a few glasses of wine down on a Friday evening and your ready to relax, your maybe trying to get the children to bed earlier or rushing their bedtime story to get down stairs to your next glass. This doesn’t make you a bad parent it just means that you associate your down time and relaxation with a glass of wine, and that is easier to do when the kids are in bed.
It’s exactly the same when friends used to come around, I felt as though I would just go into wine world and leave the kids to it watching a dvd or playing. This didn’t make me a bad mum, it’s just that after 2-3 glasses the next glass became my priority.
My eldest, who was ten when I stopped drinking had definitely started to notice these times, when my attention was focused on the wine. There are a few occasions that I will never forget and I honestly still feel bad about, when she said I hadn’t tucked her into bed properly or on a camping trip when she had been trying to get to sleep and I was cackling away taking rubbish outside of the tent! OMG cringe! It was these times, that thankfully were few and far between, that I felt so so bad because I had upset her without realising it at the time. She was growing up and starting to take notice, and I was noticing that she was noticing! This definitely made me want to change.
Now I feel fully present for my kids, I am trying to give them the best version of me. We all know that being a parent is bloody hard work, sober or drinking but I definitely find that quitting the booze has helped me a lot.
I feel calmer, with no hangovers or feeling desperate to get a wine down me in the evenings at the weekends, I feel more chilled and patient with them (not all the time obviously!) I have energy to keep up with them and do what they want to do, most importantly I feel on their level of excitement, so for example at Christmas, Birthdays, or holidays, anything really that they are excited about, I am on that level with them. Children don’t need alcohol to have a good time, they are genuinely excited about what they are doing not where the next drink is coming from. The beauty of being sober is that I can now relate to that, I am with them on that level of pure joy and excitement for whats ahead!
I read a post on Instagram last week from a sober site that said sober parents are giving their children another option in life, and that is so true. My girls can see that you don’t have to drink, there is an option to go out, have a life, celebrate Christmas, Birthdays etc and be sober.
So if you have got children just think they may be taking in more than you realise with regards to your drinking patterns, and if you change how you are after a few drinks they will possibly pick up on that. Both my girls have told me that they prefer me not drinking, they say I am more “mummy like” at the weekends! And although I wont be turning into Mary Poppins anytime soon, I am so happy I have made the change when I did, whilst they are still young enough to want the more “mummy like” me tucking them in every night and not rushing downstairs for her next glass of wine!