Parenting with booze

Friday is coming around quick smart and we’re off to Beni with the diva, on her first abroad holiday. I’m already dreading the plane journey, I know a potty accident or a tantrum is bound to occur.

But whilst I moan and await my child’s drama to unfold, I got thinking about the ‘booze Britain’ culture and whether or not I’ll indulge in a cocktail or several poolside.

I have a bit of a hang up about drinking booze around Ciara. I promise you this is a non judgemental post so if that’s your thing I am definitely not judging, but I remember how I perceived drunk people as a kid and I didn’t like it, so for me I tend to avoid booze when she’s in our presence. Let’s be clear here that Ciara is only three, she isn’t quite self sufficient yet and therefore it’s always in my mind she may wake up in the night and I’d be too pissed to hear her, or too comatose to get up and change her bed after an accident.

That said, I know plenty of people, friends and family who do like a drink or two with their kids and they are still great parents.

I just don’t personally feel I’m at my best when I’ve had a few jars, and if you know drunk Steph you’ll probably understand why. My language is atrocious!

The honest truth of it is: I don’t like the restricted feeling I get with booze when Ciara’s with us. It’s a high alert feeling and I tend not to be able to relax fully.

Some people use alcohol to relax but I use it to get in the mood to party.

To me 1 or 2 beers is as interesting as a cup of tea.

It’s gotta be 5 or 6 or I’ll give it a miss.

I’m aware this makes me what people like to call a ‘binge drinker’ but it seems to be where my relationship with alcohol is at.

I avoid it at all times accept in social situations and then I have a no restriction approach. I say no restrictions loosely, it still means I need to be responsible enough to know my own limits, sometimes that’s the case, sometimes not so much. When I do overdo it. I pay for it. Not just with a headache but mentally too and I can become anxious and depressed. Therefore even with the occasional binge, I do try to know my limits.

I know all the info about binge drinking and it’s dangers and implications, but I still choose to be able to have a bigger booze once in a while, over a few drinks often.

That’s not to say I won’t have a couple on holiday, maybe I will, it’ll ultimately depend on my ability to relax. What I do know is I won’t be getting steaming like I am in the below picture – main reason is: The hangover is sure to make me feel like the worst mother in the world.

I love nothing more than knowing Ciara is well looked after at Nanny’s when I’ve got a bad head from too much booze. That way, I know she’s safe and I don’t feel guilty for being too lazy to do anything with her. Just as I wouldn’t feel guilty for leaving her to go to the spa or for afternoon tea. I know grandparents and babysitters are a luxury some people aren’t afforded, and I’ve been lucky that when I do need a night out Mum is on hand to save me from mum guilt the next day!

Bottom line is, happy kids usually means happy parents and vice versa, so I think if you know your own limits and your kids are well looked after, it’s ultimately up to you what they’re exposed to, or not.

I can still relate to the mum’s who post pics of their wine at the end of a long day as easily as I can, the ones who post about drinking a hot cuppa, and even the ones who get wrecked on a night out, because I’m a mum and we all have vices to get us through the tough days.

I know not everyone will agree with occasional blow out culture, and that’s fine, because as mum’s we all have our own way of doing things, we all parent differently and each of our children will be different in different scenarios.

Maybe if Ciara didn’t wake in the night I might feel more able to relax, or maybe when she’s older I’ll indulge a bit more in her presence, but for now my relationship with booze is more like an occasional booty call you can enjoy every so often, as opposed to a marriage.

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