Drinking to cope with motherhood

I often work with women who are struggling with how to manage the stress that comes with being a mom, partner, employee, friend and much more.  Today women juggle more responsibilities and have more stress than any other generation before them. They feel pressure to be the perfect parent, bring in an income that allows for a nice house and to pay for their kids soccer and ballet lessons.  When at work they feel pressure to be home, when home they feel pressure to be the fun and sexy wife, when with their children they are worried about work. It feels that life is always moving, they are never where they “should” be, they are never doing enough and never feeling successful.  With all of this pressure it can be easy to turn to drinking as one tool to shut down the constant pressure that many women are feeling today.

It is possible for people to have a healthy relationship with alcohol and you might just be one of those people.  But for some women, drinking is becoming a normal tool to manage the stress that often comes along with raising children and trying to have a happy marriage.  Below is a short checklist of signs that you may be relying on drinking in order to manage stress.

__You drink more or for longer periods than you intended to.

__You have tried to stop drinking before but couldn’t.

__Drinking is starting to interfere with taking care of your family.

__Drinking more to get the desired effect (decreased stress, feeling relaxed, etc)

These are just a couple of signs that drinking may be becoming a problem.  

If you think you may be drinking to much try and stop for a week, see what happens and how you feel about your alcohol intake.  Notice what comes up for you during that week, was it hard? Easy? Did you enjoy more time with your kids or notice less arguing with your husband?  Or maybe you fought more with your husband and were on edge with the kids all week.

If you noticed that it was hard to give up drinking, therapy may be able to help.  Depending on your needs therapy may be able to help you manage your stress, decrease anxiety and depression, improve your relationship with your partner, family and friends, and to decrease your alcohol use.  

I would love to help you on your path towards feeling better.  To schedule an appointment call (619) 383-1900 or email gwendolyn@gwendolynnelsonterry.com

Gwendolyn Nelson-Terry is a licensed marriage and family therapist located in the Hillcrest neighborhood of San Diego, CA.