I made it. I have (mostly) adhered to my new drinking rules since Christmas Eve. Yay me! Here’s what I learned…
1. If you replace alcohol with ice cream you will not lose any weight.
2. Not drinking alcohol on school nights makes getting up the next morning easier.
3. Total abstinence won’t work for me.
4. I still love wine.
5. I miss blogging with wine.
6. I can not drink for days and days and it’s totally fine.
7. You can break your own rules a few times. Really, it’s fine.
8. Not drinking alcohol every day saves money.
9. Drinking every day was completely habitual and did not add anything positive to my life.
10. This is a totally lazy post.
This was a great experiment, long overdue and I enjoyed doing it. I am planning on changing my drinking rules permanently. No more drinking every day. Very little or no drinking in front of the kids. Very infrequent or no drinking at the family dinner table. Pretty much no drinking on school nights. All rules subject to bending when needed.
I’m an introvert and a feminist. Hooray!
Why am I an introvert? Because Myers and Briggs say so. And because I know that spending time alone, really really alone, isn’t just a luxury for me, it’s a necessity. It is absolutely therapeutic and I will guard that time fiercely. Please don’t ever be offended if I decline to spend time with you because I am relishing a long planned and long anticipated day alone. Being alone makes me a better mother, a nicer friend and a cooler wife. Being alone gives me ideas, it allows me time to choose good ones and identify bad ones. Being alone gives me a moment to stop the constant noise in my head.
Why am I a feminist? And what kind of feminist am I? Well, I want to define it for myself, without reading anyone else’s ideas about what it should mean for me and who and what I need to believe in. I’m a feminist because I want the world to expect me to contribute richly in ways other than raising my children. I also I want to be able to go running at night without fear. I want to move in public space without thinking that I must act, speak, walk or dress carefully so as to avoid unsavoury, unwanted attention. I want to live my whole life without thinking that at some point, I may be attacked and raped. I want girls to stop dreaming about marriage and start dreaming about personal and community achievement. I want the daughters of my friends to grow up without having to look at images of women and parts of women that aren’t real, pictures that tell them over and over that they’ll never be thin/sexy/beautiful enough. I want the tomboyish girls and the princessy girls to learn from each other. I want parents to stop dressing their girls in ridiculous outfits for rough and tumble play in the local park such that she either curbs her play or shows her knickers to the world. I want men to get over the obsession with boobs. I want us to be able to have women in very high office and there not to be commentary about her arse, her clothes or her hair. I do not want words such as bitch, witch, dog and crone to be used about these women. I do not want words like c**t and slut to be used ever, ever again. I want a new acquaintance to ask me what are you interested in? instead of are you married with kids? I also don’t want as much of the traditional domestic role as I have taken on. Defaulted into. I also want to be able to declare my feminism without a (but I don’t hate men). Just like I want to be able to say that motherhood is boring and hard (but of course I love my kids). Blue Milk said it brilliantly last week on ABC612 (paraphrasing) – parenting is moments of wonderful and the rest is tedious.
It’s not a new year’s resolution. It is not a Dry January nor a detox nor a diet. It’s no post-40 turning of a new leaf. I simply need to know that I can. I have been drinking a glass or two of wine every day of my life for several years running. Mr 6 recently drew a picture of me with my female friends and we were all sitting around a table with glasses of wine. Clearly, it’s time to scale it back. My inner critic has been whispering furiously all this while. Am I…? Inspired in part by fear and in part by my brother-in-law who has had a month long medically induced alcohol ban and has lost 6 kg in the blink of an eye, I have set about a radical overhaul of my drinking habits. I absolutely love wine and wine loves me so I will not be going fully dry. Life is far too short and I’d become an insufferable bore. I’ve set myself two rules to follow until at least the 31st of January. Rule number 1: I can only drink at social events outside my house. Rule number two: I cannot drink two nights in a row. Given the critical blow that young children have inflicted upon my social life, I don’t think there’ll be much drinking.
We (mothers of the young) are the new face of alcoholism. We are the “Oblivion Drinkers” – mums who also work outside the home (or don’t) and self medicate with a glass or two of wine to help the stress of the day get sorted. Google mothers and alcohol and you’ll disappear into a worm hole of writings about how we’re all getting mildly or madly juiced up in the evening day after day and not noticing a habit creeping up on us. We pour with automaticity while chopping the carrots, with dinner and again once the little darlings are finally quiet, having fallen into sleep at last. We sigh and collapse, we deserve this. I could be the poster girl for a generation of Sauv Blanc Mums.
I don’t have a drinking problem. I’m also pretty keen not to get one. I want to continue my love affair with wine for joy, not for survival. So I am just over a week into my new rules. This first week included New Year’s Eve, which was of course an exception. One night of wine consumption though (as opposed to seven or eight) is a win in my view. I’m giddy to report that apart from self congratulatory day counting, I haven’t missed it. My skin in clearer (related?) and so is my head. Wish me luck!