“Mothers Who Drink Too Much”

This is a  very interesting article from Keeping This Real.

Thank you AGAIN for this vital information!

I wish Mommy had read this and taken it seriously.

I know I will.

Peace, Jen

Mothers Who Drink Too Much

 JULY 27, 2009 ⋅

By Colin Gilbert

According to a 2008 report from the National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse (NIAAA), an estimated 5.3 million American women consume alcohol in a way that endangers their health or happiness. Needless to say, many of those women are mothers—a 2008 U.S. Census report suggests that more than half of American women have at least one child). In other words, there are millions of mothers in the United States who have serious problems with alcohol.

Like the people suffering from it, alcoholism comes in all shapes and sizes. While some people are utterly consumed by the disease and are rendered dysfunctional, others find ways to hide their dependency and carry on a fairly normal life. Many alcoholic moms manage to conceal the problem from their children and even spouses. They competently get their kids to and from school, get their work done at home or in the office, and spend time with their family.

Unfortunately, though, such basic tasks do not fully satisfy the unique and dynamic demands of motherhood. Even if a mom succeeds in providing for the family, the psychological and emotional needs of her children and partner can remain unmet. Constantly agitated by the desire for her next drink, she is likely to be impatient, short-tempered, and forgetful. When intoxicated, she may be more agreeable in disposition, but then clumsy, unmotivated, and unpredictable.

It is often a confusing, troubling world for the children of alcoholic moms. Besides being needy and impressionable, kids tend to be extremely perceptive, and they always view their parents as role models. They carefully observe their caregivers’ behavioral patterns, especially at an early age. They notice when mom is tired, confused, or upset, even if they don’t understand the source of what they see.

Sadly, the kids often blame themselves when their parents seem distressed. Living with an alcoholic mother, they are likely to grow up feeling guilty, inadequate, and alone, and they may also turn to drugs and alcohol as a way of coping with their own unhappiness.

Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACA) is an organization similar to Alcoholics Anonymous but with the sole purpose of helping people recover from the pain of growing up with alcoholic parents. According to ACA, there are certain identifiable trends in the lives of those who have been raised by an alcoholic. The children often end up with psychological and emotional problems. They frequently become alcoholics themselves and marry other alcoholics. Terrified of abandonment, they stay in dysfunctional relationships, believing that is where they belong. They think of themselves as victims, distrust authority, and sacrifice their real needs in a desperate, fruitless search to please everyone else.

Some alcoholic moms try to justify their addiction, reasoning that their drinking habits are their own business, unrelated to the welfare of their children. They might even think that they deserve to drink as much as they want because of all the hard work they do for their family. But the damage done by alcoholic parents to their children is undeniable, and many mothers who drink too much feel that what they are doing is wrong. Their children should be their highest priority, but the incessant distraction of alcoholic addiction dominates their thoughts and feelings.

The NIAAA has reported that less than one percent of alcoholic women in the United States receive treatment for their dependency, with men being at least twice as likely to seek help. It would seem that a cultural stigma plays a part in holding women back. The alcoholic stereotype is of a man, not a woman, so women may feel especially guilty or embarrassed about their addiction. Also, some recovery programs aren’t geared toward clients with children, so moms might worry about not fitting in.

However, none of these factors should keep an alcoholic mother from getting the necessary treatment. Organizations like Alcoholics Anonymous are eager to help women in any circumstances, and the sooner an alcoholic mom gets help, the sooner she can experience the joy of properly fulfilling her role as a mother. After all, not only her own health and happiness are at stake, but that of her whole family.

SO TRUE!  

Too many of us can attest to the veracity of this article;

WAY too many of us…

Peace,  Jen

~ by Step On a Crack on February 21, 2012.

13 Responses to ““Mothers Who Drink Too Much””

  1. I watched the video. It is amazing. A great collection of viewpoints. Still didn’t get as Down and Dirty as i would have liked. But an excellent job, and not a Man in sight. OK … now i’m gonna get it from gay dads. Geesh. It’s Women we’re talking about here!!! Can we have 5 seconds of undivided attention, PLEASE??? xoxo mel

    Like

    • YES! In the article I posted today, it mentions that men are more likely to get help and admit they have a drinking problem than women are. I think, from where I sit now as a stay at home mom, that it is REALLY hard for moms to find time to take care of ourselves. I know finding time to write is hard. Women are balancing too many things. We also tend to not be overtly ‘drunk’ and the problem of our addiction is not as obvious.

      I am Delighted that Keeping This Real is finding so many resources about Women and Drinking. It is along the lines of medical testing: most testing is done with males; not 50/50. We ARE different than men! Women need support and we need to be called out the same way a man who needs help would be.

      If I was trying to get sober now with a child, I would need to find a sitter or a meeting (few of them out there) with child care. What if that meeting is not MY meeting? I just would not go back.

      OK RANT done

      for now anyway…

      XO Jen

      Like

      • Keeping it real is doing great research. Fiona at faithandmeow is a miracle worker! She has found all sorts of resources, articles, movies, you name it on ED’s. She’s a whiz. or wizzard (she likes Harry Potter). Shit, no spell check at “work”.

        So true about women not being skunk drunk. It’s just not that way. Dukakis’s (sp) wife in Boston (when he was running for prez, was it) in the WAY BACK … she looked fine, albeit sedate … but the woman tried to drink Rubbing Alcohol when the brilliant Dukakis decided to hide booze from his (shhhhhhhhhhhhh, alcoholic wife). Bullshit all around. I think Betty Ford finally got help because she fell down and broke a tooth or something ????? Damn is that the only reason women should get help.

        AND yes, more daycare. And YES it is hard to find “your meeting”. I still VERY much struggle with that … and it’s the same with paid groups. You can’t be sure that the paid groups are any good for you either.

        Damn, seems like everything is about making a buck. I was in a group with ONE other woman (we lost a few to “decided to just be sick”) and the group leaders continued to the group “for us”.

        OK, i’m ranting … as you can tell i’m WOUND up … see “i’m drowning”. I BET you can relate.

        xoxoxox melis

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      • I am with you Sister!!

        (as usual!!)

        XO Jen

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      • Yup.

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  2. Great, sad article, Jen. How ironic is it, that men, who can’t even swallow their pride long enough to ask for directions and frankly are rarely excellent at identifying emotional needs, are the ones who will admit they have a problem and will seek help.
    You make and Colin Gilbert and mel make such great points. Drinking Moms can spread their drinking out over the course of a day and continue to ‘function’. Finding ‘your meeting’ where the chemistry is right that also offers child care is… well actually, I’ve never lived anywhere where child care was provided at any AA meetings – only at Alanon.
    Debbie

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    • I am very grateful for the blog Keeping This Real! She is doing a ton of excellent research and finding these articles.

      You make some very interesting points: Men, generally speaking, are less in tune with their emotions and less likely to ask for help with most stuff BUT when it comes to addiction they are called out more often.

      I know moms who drink at lunch or drink in the afternoon on a regular basis and no one (but me) thinks twice about it. It is scary to consider that the drinking continues on into the evening.

      RIGHT! now that I think about it, only Alanon has child care! Most of the meetings I attended (I am in ACA now) were primarily Womens meetings. It was not stated that way, it just ended up being that way. AA was primarily men. NO child care.

      It is a sad article and it is a sad truth!

      Like

  3. […] Source: https://steponacrack.wordpress.com/2012/02/21/mothers-who-drink-too-much/ […]

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  4. Jen, thank you for posting this important information. It’s difficult to hear, but is an important part of taking the conversation out of the box.

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    • Yep! It seems to me we need to address these issues head on. I can only imagine what will become of these women. I wonder about my mom and her drinking. She was, on the outside, highly functioning. Not so much after dark.

      I see it in my world and often wonder how many ‘highly functioning’ drinkers really are.

      Out of the Box I like that….

      Peace, Jen

      Like

      • Yea, drinking out of the box, (or am i missing something)? There are SO SO SO many high-functioning alcoholics out there. My brother rakes in money (if that’s called success) and he’s a straight-up, 175 ml vodka drinker per night … and more. But he’s a guy … so he probably gets a chuckle and a “haha, overdid it, huh”, no raised eyebrows.

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  5. I mean boxed wine. SHIT!

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  6. […] Source: https://steponacrack.wordpress.com/2012/02/21/mothers-who-drink-too-much/ […]

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