Research has shown that although new moms tend to cut down on drinking, it’s a dry spell that is short-lived, and mothers everywhere with screaming toddlers running around in the background while reading this are like, “Ya think?”
We feel like there’s so much to unpack here. First of all, upon learning they’re pregnant, most women stop drinking cold turkey because of that little ol’ thing known as fetal alcohol syndrome. Then, after giving birth, many women choose to breastfeed for 6 months to 2 years, which means that drinking is limited even further.
Lead psychologist and author of the paper, Alcohol and parenthood: an integrative analysis of the effects of transition to parenthood in three Australasian cohorts, (man, that’s a mouthful) Dr Rohan Borschmann, said the aim of the study was “to investigate the extent that becoming a parent protects against heavy and problematic drinking in young men and women.”
There’s a new sort of “mom culture,” and it often includes drinking as a means to de-stress from the chaos of motherhood. This stereotype can be damaging, as we’re seeing with the recent announcement by Anne Hathaway while on the Ellen DeGeneres Show that she’s giving up alcohol for a while basically because she doesn’t love the way it plays into her role as a parent, among other things.
"The reasons why women increase their drinking over the first five years after childbirth need to be explored in future studies,” says lead author of the paper, psychologist Dr Rohan Borschmann. This sentence made us giggle, not even going to lie, simply because, have you met a toddler? The term “Terrible twos” is a thing for a reason. They are a handful, physically and mentally, for any parent. So, maybe, the reasons women increase their drinking when their children are ages 1-5 are pretty obvious.
"One of the important messages of our findings is that both men and women need to find different ways to put their brakes on their drinking during this time of life. Reducing parental drinking is likely to produce a double dividend that is both good for the parent and good for the child," Dr Rohan Borschmann said.
While we think drinking too much is absolutely harmful, and that alcoholism among parents is a subject that needs to be talked about more, if you’re a responsible drinker and the occasional margarita isn’t impairing your ability to parent, we don’t see nothin’ wrong with a little rum ‘n’ wine.
READ NEXT: Are Moms Drinking Too Much Wine?