How sobriety may change the way you drink in front of your kids
Updated: May 14, 2022
My daughter started wearing my perfume this week. She not only sneaks into my closet and tries on my shoes and all of my jewelry, but now she is starting to smell like me too. I love it.
She emulates everything I do, right down to the way I talk and walk. She wants to be just like her mama in every way. She is always watching my every move. The way I interact with other moms, the way I speak to her father and brothers, and the way I carry myself - she is always watching me. Observing. Absorbing every detail.
Knowing that Parker is so impressionable and taking in everything I do, I am glad that I am not getting drunk like I used to in front of her. I am glad that I am not making a fool of myself, slurring my words and acting sloppy like I would find myself doing at certain times in the past. I am happy not to be numbing myself anymore. I am proud to be showing my daughter that motherhood is a reward, not something to escape from.
Getting drunk in front of my kids wasn't a common occurrence, but it did happen. Every now and again, Parker would be there to witness the drunken debauchery amongst my friends. Our kids would be kept up way past their bedtime because mom and dad wanted to have one more drink at the fire pit or one more glass of wine at dinner.
I know now that the behavior I exhibited on those rare occasions were not the types of motherly behavior I wanted my daughter witnessing. That was not the mother I want to be or the person I wanted her to emulate. I was not proud of the mother I was back then. Even if I appeared to be laughing and having fun, I believe I was not my best self. Perhaps I was not my kindest to my children either. I didn't have as much patience back then, and even less the morning after a late night. I used to get easily frustrated and my mind was often distracted. I was not my happiest self either, my mind always clouded in a hungover fog most days.
When I used to drink in front of my daughter, at the time, I believed that what she saw was mom just having a good time. I used to tell myself that my kids were lucky that their mom used to know how to enjoy herself, kick back and relax. I wasn't uptight. I could hang out and let them do what they wanted. I was loose with the rules. But they did not benefit from this. They didn't need a mom who acted like a friend that had endless movie nights and threw dance parties. They just needed structure. They wanted a mom that would love them, care for them and tend to their needs. They needed consistent bedtimes and homemade pancakes every weekend. They wanted a mom who would read to them at night. Not a mother who was too busy to snuggle because she needed another glass of wine.
I am so very grateful that as my now seven year old daughter turns into a mini-me, I am sober. I can confidently allow her to follow in my footsteps, never once worrying again about the things she watches me do.