I have had nothing but JOMO this Labor Day.
The Joy Of Missing Out.
JOMO is new to me and I am still a bit shocked at just how much JOMO I have.
This makes me question my past decisions, but anyway...I am here now.
Please do not confuse me with being a bore, or a prude, or a homebody.
Actually, I am those things too, but still...
I am an extrovert.
A party girl.
I am someone up for adventure.
Most of the time, I still party sober.
I go to lakes, pools, boats, and bbq’s on summer holiday weekends.
However, I did none of that this Labor Day weekend and I absolutely loved it.
When I was in my first few weeks, (and even months) sober I tucked in early and a lot.
Staying sober was my priority so I avoided anything that triggered me.
This was nearly everything.
I was also boring myself to death.
As a girl with an edge, I wondered how I was ever going to keep up this Puritan-type lifestyle.
I like to...
Shame on you Big Alcohol.
How dare you market your poison to Mothers.
You are selling us a carefree afternoon with a crisp chardonnay in the sun.
You are selling us a sip to take the edge off a long day.
You are selling us relief from the high stress of parenting.
You are selling us deeper connections with our spouses.
You are selling us empowerment with each other.
You are selling us glamour, luxury, and a vacation from the daily grind.
These are all the things we desire and none of it comes from alcohol.
You know that.
You know that you are selling lies.
Your lies take away our power and hurt our future generations.
It’s the worst thing you can do.
I don’t know how you sleep at night.
You suggest we need wine to help us parent.
You tell our kids we are drinking because of them.
I was sold, hook, line and sinker on your promises that never delivered.
I was duped.
I drank your wine.
I sucked down that elixir and waited for the magic to happen.
Change of Season
The cooler weather and shorter days are calling to wrap yourself in cozy solitude. This sweater weather reminds us to tuck in early, be introspective, and self soothe with quiet comforts. One main concern for people taking a break from alcohol is their social life. As the buzz of a social summer winds down, September is the perfect time to ditch the drink. The hygge lifestyle of fall encompasses a feeling of wellness and contentment. Being alcohol free aligns with wellbeing. As the weather changes, so can we. We look to nature to guide us. It’s a season of letting go. Like the leaves of a tree, we can release the things, like alcohol, that no longer serve us. We see the beauty in transformation of trees and serves as a reminder to us. Transformation is welcome. It’s ok to try something new. Let nature be your guide and try a break from booze.
The Real New Year
The start of a school year is an invitation to get organized, start...
Will I lose weight if I quit drinking?
This is one of my most asked questions.
I can’t guarantee anything about the scale, but I can share my experience.
When I quit drinking, I let myself eat whatever I wanted, with abandon.
I didn’t have a sweet tooth until I gave up alcohol.
Without wine, my body craved sugar and I indulged.
Alcohol had a hold on my brain and giving it up was hard.
I let myself consume whatever I wanted, craved, and needed.
I only had one exception: no alcohol.
That was the only simple rule imposed.
For me, this was the only way to make it through the first hours, days, weeks and months.
Giving up alcohol was enough.
More than enough.
This was my life’s work.
To grab a Twizzler instead of a drink.
This simple type of transformation is profound.
If you know, you know.
I went out for coffee and dessert instead of drinks.
I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted.
Whatever tasted good and whatever comforted me.
I allowed it.
Growing up in Wisconsin, alcohol was omnipresent.
My parents met in a beer tent.
I met my husband in a bar.
I had a lot of fun drinking days with just a few embarrassing moments and a couple of painstaking hangovers sprinkled in between.
Just like everyone else.
When I became a Mom, I was adamant in keeping my party girl identity shining through.
Lucky for me, Mommy Juice Wine Culture was on the rise.
My drinking was totally normalized.
I brought my breast pump to happy hours in bars.
You do what you gotta do.
Mom’s are people too.
Make no mistake, I love my kids beyond measure.
Their health and safety is my top priority.
I never drove after drinking.
I have lost friends from my hometown that way.
I wasn’t reckless, careless, or stupid.
Neither were they.
As time went on, I was becoming more and more unhappy.
I was out of alignment with my career.
I experienced the tragic loss of 3 loved ones 3 years...
Kudos to all you parents who got a first day of school picture of your kids at 7 am, all dressed and sitting on your doorstep with their laptops ready for e-learning.
I commend you. I really do.
My perfectionist and competitive nature wants that picture, so I am a bit jealous.
In my quest for mental health and inner peace over perfectionism, we decided our schedule would work best to stay in our pj’s until around noon.
We plan to shower and get ready midday.
I am hoping to get a walk outside before then.
This is the routine today that works for me and my family.
I will take my kids back to school pictures before dinner tonight instead. It irks me a little because it won’t match all the other early morning back to school pictures I have saved up through the years, but it is what it is.
None of us wanted a picture of us right when we rolled out of bed this morning.
We had a mix of feelings...
Mama’s, I know you are stressed out.
School is starting and the kids aren’t going anywhere.
In addition to your job at home, as carpooler, housekeeper, chef, and CEO of family scheduling, you are now expected to also act as teacher’s support, tech support, early education childcare, and more.
Your multiple kids need to be logged into multiple meetings with hundreds of links, passwords, ID’s, and emails.
It’s a lot to keep up with and you likely have your own demanding job.
Many of you have kids who need special assistance in any number of ways.
It is overwhelming.
Your feelings of overwhelm, panic, anxiety, and exhaustion are valid.
If you feel like you are losing your mind, I don’t blame you one bit.
You need and deserve a break.
"Me Time", as they say.
You need time away, time alone, and time to focus on you.
This is often advertised as a woman in a bathtub with a glass of wine.
For a long while, I've struggled with drinking to have fun and drinking to relieve and escape some of the monotony and fatigue of the day-in, day-out routine of working full time as a database developer while also trying to be "everything" for my three young children.
Sometimes a glass of wine seems like the only way to get through a dinner with a screaming toddler who doesn't want to eat, homework with older kids, dinner, bathtime, storytime, etc. It exhausts me even thinking about it, but I knew the wine was also increasing my exhaustion, my anxiety, my daily internal struggle that I wasn't doing my best either at work or at home because of what I was holding onto: wine.
With my older kids now 9 and 7, they were beginning to see things in me that they hated when I was drinking, and my entire goal of being an amazing mother was falling away from me. I was putting so much pressure on myself to be perfect, using wine as an escape from that pressure, and then failing at the very...
A year ago I was between jobs.
I was interviewing at a few companies.
I was rising as the top candidate for a few positions.
The openings were for jobs that I was qualified for and that I had done before.
I was good enough at these jobs.
I visualized myself making a decision about these positions and my heart sunk.
I had a year of sobriety under my belt.
I made huge gains in my personal development.
The result of my efforts, was that I no longer fit into the corporate puzzle.
I couldn’t see myself going back to these jobs that, were never meant for me.
I wanted to do something that made my heart sing.
I wanted to go back to my social work roots.
I wanted to inspire and help others.
I wanted to share stories, connect, and create.
I wanted to work with people that share a passion for mental health.
I took a leap of faith.
I let go of a paycheck.
I decided to have relentless belief in myself.
Something I had never...
One of the greatest gifts of sobriety, for me, has been the ability to feel joy.
This may sound silly, as alcohol is sold as a rip roaring good time.
I had some good times in my drinking days.
The good times, however, were often clouded by my own shame and fear.
Now that I am sober, I have re-learned how to feel childlike joy in everyday moments.
While drinking, I grew to be afraid of joy.
It was like if I acknowledged feeling joy, then it would be taken away.
If I looked at my kids sleeping and felt overwhelming gratitude and love for them, it was immediately replaced with “what could go wrong?”
I was afraid to be ok, happy, content.
It was easier to complain, than to recognize that in this moment, all is well.
We aren’t supposed to feel happiness.
Who do we think we are?
It felt like bragging to say,
“things are good, I am happy, healthy, lucky...hashtag blessed!”
It was as if there is only so much of...