Passionate About San Diego
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Yep, That’s Me: The Mom that Doesn’t Drink

When I tell people that I don’t drink, and that I have never had a taste (or sip, or drop!) of alcohol in my entire life, it’s usually followed by a “you’re kidding, RIGHT?!” or “How do you survive?”  

I grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah. I was raised Mormon, or a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We are taught from a very young age to abstain from alcohol and drugs, coffee, smoking, etc. It’s something that I had to make choice about as a young girl, and something that I have had to recommit to at each stage of my life. For many, it’s not an easy choice to make, but for me it has always been an easy decision, and that I am grateful for. However, it hasn’t always been smooth sailing, especially in the adult scene and world of motherhood. I have found myself in many situations where I don’t feel like I fit in, and that I didn’t have anything in common with these other moms, even though we were alike in so many ways.

After I became pregnant with my first child, I longed for new mom friends who could walk through pregnancy and the newborn stages with me. I had just moved from Utah, from my family and friends who shared the same values as me and everything else that was comfortable. I was already feeling isolated, as sometimes a new mother does, with a tiny human with so much depending on you. My husband was working long hours, and I yearned for adult interaction. I remember meeting a mom at the park who had a little boy around the same age as mine. We had struck up a conversation and my new friend had suggested we get together again, for a playdate and a few beers at her place. Things were immediately awkward when I told her I would love to hang out, but that I didn’t drink. We never did exchange numbers and I left feeling sad and out of place. 

We have moved 4 times since we got married 10 years ago. Each time I have the same anxiety about making mom friends.

When is it going to come up?

Is someone going to pour me a drink and I am going to refuse it?

Will they judge me?

Will they think I am rude for saying no?

Will they think I am weird and not want to be my friend?

How do I avoid the inevitable conversation?

drink

I don’t mind when people drink around me. But, I have noticed over the years at several work parties when talking to the other people and moms who are drinking, my presence seems to make some of them uncomfortable. It can feel like you’re a parent breaking up a high-school party. Other times, you get the sense that they pity you or can’t quite figure out what to talk about. I try to avoid the awkwardness with people like that by saying how much I’m enjoying my Diet Coke if it comes up (because I REALLY have a soft spot for Diet Coke!). 

Being a mom of 3 crazy boys under the age of seven is of course no easy task. I have had several mom friends on many occasions ask me “How have you NOT started drinking? You have THREE boys?!” As if I can’t be a mom and a sober person at the same time. Surely there are ways to unwind after the kids go to bed besides drinking away your exhaustion, right? And there are. We all find different ways to deal with our happiness and our stresses.

I don’t judge anyone for their decisions. I am proud of who I am and the decisions I have made. I love being a mom and I don’t find it hard to unwind at night on my own. As I have gotten older I am finding it easier to make and keep mom friends, some who don’t drink, and of course some who do! I have learned to have a more open mind, and to recognize that everyone makes the best decisions for their own lives. But there’s one thing we all do have in common, and it’s that we are moms, and we are all more alike than we think.  

 

 

 

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6 Responses to Yep, That’s Me: The Mom that Doesn’t Drink

  1. Katelyn November 23, 2017 at 7:30 am #

    I can totally relate Ali, I don’t drink. It’s honestly cuz I don’t see the allure to it and therefore haven’t “acquired” the taste lol I would way rather have a coke or a Shirley temple or even a virgin pina colada which often gets weird awkward looks. Thankfully I have been pretty much been either nursing or pregnant the last ten years so that makes it less awkward but I am still “known” for being one that doesn’t drink and it seems to make some people feel awkward. I don’t judge anyone who does and honestly don’t care, I just don’t enjoy it or care to try to enjoy it which definitely gets weird looks in today’s “every mom needs wine” society lol Great post, I agree let’s all be who we are and get over it, and I’ll be over here drinking my coke in a fancy wine glass 😘 Cheers

  2. Jenna November 25, 2017 at 9:28 am #

    I’m glad to see another mama post about not drinking – whatever the reason! I was raised in a family that doesn’t drink alcohol. In college, I did what college students do but never made it much of a habit, usually opting to be the DD. And in the last few years for personal reasons I just choose not to have any alcohol and I don’t miss it or crave it. It’s just not a part of my life, and it’s not something I want my son to see me doing. It can be kinda weird when you tell people that you don’t really drink, but for the most part I have friends who are supportive or just don’t care either way whether I drink or not! I’ve never felt pressured by other moms to drink alcohol. That’s just silly.

  3. Emilee November 27, 2017 at 8:51 pm #

    Way to stay true to your convictions! Nothing but respect!

  4. Christie November 30, 2017 at 6:21 pm #

    I’m not a drinker either. I thoroughly enjoyed the scene in college, but over the last 8-10 years alcohol has lost its appeal to me. I’m perfectly capable of having a great time completely sober and I like having all of my faculties about me. I like a good top shelf Cosmo about once a year and that’s about it. All of my friends know I’m not a drinker and no-one hassles me about it. I think that if people are giving you looks or seem uncomfortable around you because you don’t drink it’s because you remind them that the whole “I must have wine to survive motherhood” is a myth.

  5. Taylor December 5, 2017 at 1:32 pm #

    Yay! My parents love wine and beer (and drink pretty responsibly), but I never saw the appeal, either. I guess I could’ve forced myself to like drinking…but why bother? Any benefits don’t outweigh the risks, especially since alcoholism runs in the family. Same with coffee. Definitely awkward with friends and sometimes family, but if I need to drink for them to feel comfortable with me, they’re probably not the best company anyway.

  6. Yuli Armstrong December 10, 2017 at 11:32 pm #

    We don’t drink alcohol either. Well since 2011… and I will certainly turn down a drink and not ever care about what anyone thinks 😋 love your post ♥️

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