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    1. #1
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      Are We Having Fun Yet? The joys and stresses of parenting

      Hey Everyone,
      I'm new here, and haven't posted much. I've been trying to figure out where I might fit in, and I keep coming back to parenting. There was a great thread going when I first joined, called "Why so many moms in this situation?" Clearly there are a lot of us! I'd like to see a thread devoted primarily to that....dealing with being a "stressed mom" without abusing alcohol.

      Briefly, here's my story. I'm 44, and the mother of three adorable little boys, ages 5, 6 and 9. I work part time. My husband works long hours. My boys, I am thankful to say, are healthy, smart kids. I adore them! But they also drive me mad sometimes...Fighting, rough-housing, and just needing the way kids do.

      I was smitten with the relaxing effects of wine when I was in high school. It gave me the courage for my first kiss. It helped me relax with other teenagers, and lose some of my shyness. I drank through college, though I think not a lot more than most of the other women I knew. I drank into my twenties...Sometimes regretting having had too much, determining to get it under control, and doing so for periods of time.

      I was drunk the night I met my now husband of 12 years. Drinking wine together continued to be a pleasure and a vice for me. He's never been apt to drink more than one or two drinks in a day. I found myself tempted by a third, fourth or fifth glass of wine.

      When we got married, and I got pregnant, I gave it up, for the pregnancy, and the nursing. I started to drink a little wine again after I gave up nursing, at about 15 months. Then I had a second and a third pregnancy, and didn't drink during those, either. I did allow myself a little wine while nursing the third baby.

      Wine has always been my relaxant...and drinking it to excess has always left me feeling guilty, embarrassed and ashamed. I've tried over and over again to limit and control it. Often, I succeeded at that...But then, some craving would kick in and I'd over-do it again. I've never had the really dramatic, outward signs of a problem. No DUIs, no job loss, no arrests, no hospital visits. I've never even vomited from drinking too much. I don't think I ever drank more than one bottle of wine in a night. I always waited until 5:00 to drink.

      But the problem has been here for a long time. In the last two or three years, I started thinking more about drinking...anticipating it and feeling relieved when 5:00 hit. Sometimes I'd really get bombed. Once I fell down in front of my then eight year old. Once my then 5 year old asked me, "mommy, what was wrong with you last night? You kept saying the same things over and over." More and more often I could hear my slurred speech when I read to the kids at bedtime. It had to stop.

      So I read "My Way Out", and tried the supps and kudzu, and the cds. It seemed to help for a while. But eventually I missed the "buzz" and stopped taking the kudzu. I got tired of the cds...I felt stressed and anxious, and the kids could just drive me crazy sometimes. I'd pour myself wine. Sometimes I'd even tell myself "I should have a glass of wine...I'm a better mother when I'm more relaxed."

      In July I joined SMART recovery on line. It's been very helpful. I've learned a lot, and I think I have gotten much better at dealing with stress in new ways. I've had some good AF stretches, the longest being 60 days. I learned to treasure sobriety.

      But here I am now, wanting to be able to have a glass or two of wine with Thanksgiving dinner. Wanting to have a drink with my husband once in a while. But also wanting, most of all, to be a good mom. A sober mom. I think I may be ready to do it now...To drink a little, but not when I'm tense or frustrated with my kids. To spend most days alcohol free, and every day hang-over free. I'd like a place to come to with the stress that accumulates through days of caring for kids, and I'd like to hear from other moms who are in the same boat. Any takers?

    2. #2
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      Are We Having Fun Yet? The joys and stresses of parenting

      Woke up with no anxiety for about 10 minutes as I lay in bed...Then it started to creep in....Volunteering at the kids' school all morning...got to finish cleaning the house for Thanksgiving...Have I bought absolutely everything we'll need...what about my nine year old and the babysitter he had while I was at work last night...my husband tells me he got mad at her and she was upset...I've got to talk with him about it...

      Well, I'm going to breathe deep, focus on what's important (my kids, my husband, my own sobriety) and not on making my house look perfect before my mom gets here. Have a good day everyone...I hope to hear from some other moms and dads soon.

    3. #3
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      Are We Having Fun Yet? The joys and stresses of parenting

      Getting Better,

      Your story could be my story...I'm sure it could be many of our stories.

      I don't think my drinking habits would have been any better without kids though. I was well on the "drinking too much" path before they arrived. The only thing new was that I could say at the end (or middle) of the day, "I deserve a drink (of course never one drink) as a stressed out mom." If I never have children, it would have been "I deserve a drink because [fill in the blank]."

      I too have always wanted to be normal and have just 1 or 2 glasses of wine. I have learned the hard way over many, many years that this is just not going to be the case for me. I have had periods of being AF before and then started to moderate. But, slowly, gradually, my drinking crept up on me to the point where I was back into my old ways. AF is the only way for me.

      Thanks for sharing your story. I like this thread.

      Mo3

    4. #4
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      Are We Having Fun Yet? The joys and stresses of parenting

      Hi GB,

      yip parenting aint easy! I have a 13 year old daughter who turns 14 next month and they say that it works in 7's -- so I am hoping that the next 7 years bring both of us some peace cause this last year or two has been just dreadful!!
      My biggest worry is not knowing whether the decisions I make now will affect her later in life -- I just want to be a good Mum... and a sober Mum!

      There are many special Mum's here at MWO whom I respect and have leaned on for experience and advice, I hope you will too.

    5. #5
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      Are We Having Fun Yet? The joys and stresses of parenting

      It doesn't get any better when they hit their 20's. My son-22, love him to pieces. He is very smart and talented. BUT...Will not return to college, does not like to help Mom around the house, and also does not like to pay his room and board. My Daughte-20, smart, beautiful, loving and giving; experimenting with all kinds of drugs, not coming home at night. On the upside-My son 28, lives out of state, very successful in his career. Won Mr. South Carolina, Middleweight. I am very proud of him.

    6. #6
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      Are We Having Fun Yet? The joys and stresses of parenting

      gb, our stories are very similar, i'm on board with the parenting thread.

      nat

    7. #7
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      Are We Having Fun Yet? The joys and stresses of parenting

      Showee Sea, you have got your hands full! It must give you sleepless nights when your daughter doesn't come home -- I can only imagine what my parents felt like when I pulled those stunts on them:-(

    8. #8
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      Are We Having Fun Yet? The joys and stresses of parenting

      Hooray! I'm so glad to get some great responses. We had a typical morning here, of struggling to get all kids dressed and organized for school, the little one inevitably neglecting to put on socks until we were on our way out the door, the oldest unable to find his homework from last night, because, no, he hadn't put it in his backpack when he finished it, and the middle child running around like a Banshee, firing the toy gun I never would have thought I'd let my children have.

      Now I'm off to help with the school Thanksgiving feast, and then they get out early today...One has a play date, the others will be home, and my plan is to try and get them to pretend we're a cleaning crew, leaving no mess unattended to. Think they'll buy it? I'm thinking there'll be a rewards for best effort, most cooperative, and so on...Of course, everyone will have to win something.

      Tonight I will not drink, because I want to be in great mental shape for Thanksgiving, and because I would like to have one glass of wine with dinner tomorrow, but don't want to start a trend for myself. I bet all you British and other non-American) folks are feeling pretty thankful not to be doing the Thanksgiving thing, no? It's a BIG deal here in the US of A. Sara

    9. #9
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      Are We Having Fun Yet? The joys and stresses of parenting

      I was sober MOST of the time when my kids were growing up and was very active in supporting their interests.I think that all people come to this planet to learn their own lessons.No matter how we try to keep them from hurting themselves, if that is what they want to do, that is what their gonna do.
      My son left MED. school, to join a CULT.It's a hard pill to swallow but I have to see it as his chosen path.

    10. #10
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      Are We Having Fun Yet? The joys and stresses of parenting

      I am a stressed out mom, too. I have a 15 year old and a 3.5 year old. Both at the ages where the words 'bossy, needy, and mouthy" come into play.

      Sometimes I think it would be such a relief to have a couple glasses of wine. Especially after a long week and we all come together for the weekend. The thing that sucks is that I can't stop after a couple. I need to drink the whole bottle. The next day I am more irritable than I was before drinking dealing with them.

      I am still learning how to cope with all of the pressures of working, my personal life and my children. Not to mention I have an aging grandparent that lives with us. I have no space, can't unwind, and never sit down. The 'romance' of drinking comes pounding on my head. Although I know that it is just a romantic thought.

      So many of us are parents on the board. We can relate to much of your post. There is just too much to do and no time to get it all done and look after ourselves in the process.

      I do enjoy being free and going out and about with my kids. I love the clarity and the lack of hangovers for sure. I can't wait until the snappyness and the irritability goes away. I caved twice since the end of August, which isn't really too bad, considering everything that is going on in my life. Although it was fun, the next day just brought on anxiety, anger and stress. Not worth it.

      The AF life is much better than my drinking life. Although I do miss unwinding with a few drinks, I can't go down that path ever again. There is too much time wasted feeling bad and trying to feel good again.

      You will find tons of support here. Whatever you decide to choose in regards to moderation or AF, you will have tons of people here to help you along the way.

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