The “wine mom” is a term being increasingly used on social media and in the media.

The wine mom culture is about the idea that moms are normalizing potentially problematic alcohol use. Many moms share memes and social media posts about using alcohol as a coping mechanism to get through their days and deal with their children. It’s viewed casually and as something that nearly all moms participate in.

Researchers have been looking at the short and long-term effects of the wine mom culture. There have been everything from op-eds to formalized studies examining how the pervasive use of alcohol and the normalization of alcohol abuse among mothers could impact families and children now and in the future.

The idea of the wine mom comes primarily from social media, where the concept was born and where it continues to thrive. There are even massive Facebook groups like “Moms Who Need Wine.”

One Mom’s Viral Journey to Say “No”

Recently, Celeste Yvonne, a blogger and mother, shared her experience of no longer drinking, and it went viral. Celeste wrote a Facebook post about interactions she’s faced since she decided to stop drinking more than a year ago.

Celeste’s viral post details one specific interaction. She went to a playdate at someone else’s house, and she was immediately offered a mimosa by the mother. Celeste said she felt unprepared to deal with the offer, whereas in other situations where she usually expected alcohol would be served, she could be prepared to say “no.”

Celeste initially turned the mimosa down but said the mother hosting the playdate continued to insist she have a drink. Celeste talks about not wanting to tell her she didn’t drink because she was afraid the mother would see her as boring and not want to schedule future playdates.

Her thoughts as a now-sober mom are that it can feel lonely to be a mom who doesn’t drink, but she wants to push to change the narrative surrounding an alcohol-free life. Since writing her post and hashtagging it #ChangeTheNarrative, she’s received tens of thousands of shares.

Is the Wine Mommy Culture Harmful?

A study on the “wine mommy culture” from TODAY.com found nearly 40% of respondents reported drinking helps them cope with the stress of being a parent. More than one-third said they have other friends who are moms who believe they have a problem with alcohol abuse. Over half of the survey respondents said wine is their preferred drink of choice.

Many companies are cashing in on the phenomenon and creating wine brands, glasses and other gear targeted specifically toward moms. Meanwhile, pop culture glorifies the wine mommy culture with movies like “Bad Moms.” Amid this pressure, it’s easy for an overwhelmed mom to see drinking alcohol not only as normal but as the optimal way to deal with the stress of parenthood. There’s a sense that alcohol abuse is reinforced by the concept of it being something you deserve and a way to reward yourself.  

The Centers for Disease Control says approximately 12% of women aged 25 to 34 binge drink three times a month. Binge drinking is defined as having four or more drinks at one time.

Some moms say they didn’t realize they had a problem with alcohol until they did things like drinking and driving with their children in the car. It wasn’t until their children were in harm’s way that many now-sober moms decided to quit drinking or found they had reasons to quit drinking.

If you’re struggling with alcohol or any substance, please contact The Recovery Village. Our compassionate staff can help you find a treatment option that will fit your needs.