Being a mom is the toughest job in the world, and it has gotten even tougher in the past few decades, experts say. After World War II, more women entered the workforce but were still expected to be great mothers and wives. For many women, alcohol use has become a coping mechanism to help them deal with the pressures of modern life. Knowingly or unknowingly, they reach the stage where they need help from an alcohol rehab center while the other family members need to learn how to handle a parent struggling with addiction.
Some moms have left high-power, financially rewarding careers to care for their children full-time and feel a sense of loss or boredom in their new career as stay-at-home moms. Alcohol has been the drug of choice because it is readily available and is among the most socially acceptable drugs of abuse.
If they are not worrying about the health and well-being of their kids, many moms are critically evaluating their parenting or professional skills. Drawing comparisons to other parents, strained marital relationships, and the need to take the edge off the crying and screaming of toddlers or the constant negotiating with teens have all been cited as reasons moms turn to the bottle.
Dubbed by the media as “cocktail moms” or “happy hour moms,” alcoholic moms are typically high-functioning. Even though they may manage to hold down a job and tend to their family’s needs, it is only a matter of time until the consequences come to the surface, sometimes in the form of a deadly car accident or other tragedy. Mothers have driven their children home from school drunk – some get away with it, while others face dire consequences.
Although these behaviors are not unusual, they are a sign of alcoholism. Here are a few red flags that a woman in your life may be struggling with alcoholism:
- The ability to have many drinks without getting intoxicated
- Hiding alcohol or sneaking drinks (finding empty alcohol containers hidden in the home or in the trash)
- Binge drinking (consuming four or more drinks in a short period of time)
- Comments such as “I need a drink” in order to cope
- Preoccupation with drinking or attending events where alcohol will be available
- Drinking before social gatherings
- Job loss or complaints from employers or coworkers about work performance
- Concern from friends, teachers, or relatives about problem drinking behaviors
- Driving under the influence or drinking in public
- Inability to remember conversations or events because of alcohol
- Uncharacteristic behaviors such as angry outbursts, impulsive decision-making, or sexual promiscuity
- Feeling guilty after drinking and trying to “make it up” to others
- Changes in diet, sleep, dress, friends or self-care
- Family history of drug abuse or addiction
- Drinking frequently or in excessive amounts
- Getting into accidents or fights as a result of drinking
Few alcoholic moms reach out for help on their own, despite having much to lose, including their marriages, their children, and their lives. Ignoring these signs of alcoholism makes you part of the problem instead of the solution. You must not let your family be the next tragedy. With treatment at an alcohol rehab center, your entire family can get healthy again.