This weekend was my first born daughter’s high school graduation.
My sobriety made everything so much better.
In some ways it felt like a stress test:
Host a party for 50 people.
Pray for good weather.
Introduce people to each other.
Lose sleep for 3 nights in a row.
Get the cake out at the right time.
Whoops you’re too late.
Host my family for 6 days.
There’s light bulbs out in the basement.
We need more coffee.
Host a houseful of in laws for a day.
The kids like root beer and Cherry 7 Up.
Oh we already had it.
Father in law, Pops likes Diet Pepsi.
Bottles, not cans.
The kid is gluten free.
Remember both corn and flour tortillas.
Get the surprises for Lily out.
Do it now.
Don’t do it.
Do it now.
Is everyone here?
Don’t get sucked into other people’s emotions or stories.
Don’t control what you don’t control.
Woah a blast from the past comes out of nowhere.
I have feelings about that....
I am in a season of extreme emotions right now.
My oldest daughter is graduating high school in just a few weeks. She will be moving 6 hours away to go to school (MIZ-ZOU!) in early August. I feel like we are still connected via umbilical cord, so as much as I want her to spread her wings and fly…I also want to swaddle her in a blanket and hold her in my arms from now until the end of time.
Saturday was her last prom. I watched her in her gorgeous gown donning fancy hair and flawless make up. I was absolutely stunned by her beauty, maturity, and confidence. I am so proud of the woman she has become. She is better than my wildest dreams. We all know I have too high expectations for everything. Lily is everything and then some.
Since birth she has flipped me upside down and shook me around until I was dizzy. Somehow, in between cleaning up after her, and keeping her safe and fed, she grew into her own being. She is so much more than even I...
On my vacation we did so much lazing around.
Just napping, sitting, lying, being.
So much nothing.
It was the perfect place to do it.
We were always poolside, with a view of the ocean waves.
Some days we were under the shade of a cabana.
I would read and sleep and swim and read and sleep and swim.
Eating tacos at regular intervals.
Laughing with my kids.
We were all so relaxed.
It was a beautiful escape from the busy hustle of our regular lives.
We had a beautiful soaking tub on our balcony.
Every afternoon my oldest would go enjoy a bath in solitude.
I would get up early each morning for coffee and reflection with the ocean alone.
My youngest joined in on the games and my husband golfed a few times.
I did yoga and had a spa day.
We all had the right mix of togetherness and alone time too.
We only left our resort one day.
We were there for a week.
We could have stayed...
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.
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...