Archive | booze RSS feed for this section

Milk retrospective: Alcoholic mother in training

10 Oct

One of my very first posts, just to tickle your fancy while I continue my unplanned break from writing anything new. Not that i’m fuzzy headed or incapacitated or anything…..

****

When I first saw these on bottles I had just given birth to my second son. Second time round it had been hard. I had found pregnancy pretty miserable – struggling 40 miles into work each day, coping with a demanding toddler, trying to stay balanced. Yes, I had enjoyed a couple of drinks here and there just to keep me feeling “normal”, less fed up about all the things i couldn’t or wasn’t allowed to do.

As far as i knew that wasn’t illegal…..in fact, I had pretty much followed the UK guidelines to the letter. (no more than one or two units a couple of times a week.) So when i saw this new labelling I was pretty annoyed. How patronising, condescending, sexist. Were women incapable of making their own informed, sensible decisions? Apparently not. Perhaps all those pregnancy hormones running around our bodies do turn previously well-adjusted, sensible women into irresponsible nutcases? In any case, surely it’s a question of closing the stable door after the horse has bolted? Presumably by the time women see this label they’ll have already purchased the bottle, and as they say, once purchased always consumed. (or is that what i say?)

As far as i know under 18s still can’t buy alchohol, and it’s definitely illegal to give any to the under 5s, so where are the symbols of small kids with a line through them? And what about the fat-arsed, beer- bellied men who regularly put themselves at risk of heart attacks? Perhaps they couldn’t fit those on the label.

Apparently staying at home can make mothers drink. According to Dr Toni Galardi we are most likely to turn to alchohol to cope with the demands of children if we have previously had a successful career. Weary, dejected, we turn to alcohol to dull the boredom. No hope for me then.

So perhaps this drinking lark during pregnancy is beneficial after all. It must be good practise to have a few just to get into the swing of things for what’s to come.

Click here for referenced article.

In all honesty it is a pretty interesting article, and probably quite truthful, if only we had the time or energy to put the wine glass down and read it.

Amy Winehouse and a foolish disregard for life

1 Aug

Image courtesy of whatculture.com

So we’re still waiting to hear what caused the death of the very troubled Amy Winehouse. Was it drugs, drink, a last ditch attempt to give them up? Somewhere in there I’m guessing was addiction, no doubt fuelled by low self esteem, maybe even depression. A tragic loss of life. But should we have sympathy for her? Or did she bring it all on herself, and so deserve none of our pity?

Quite a few people were quite scathing about her in the aftermath, some even cracking jokes as the news came in. “I don’t have any sympathy for her”, “Like, finally! Been waiting for this to happen for ages”, ” Should have gone to rehab!”, “She had money, why didn’t she just buy herself out of addiction?”.  I was quite taken aback actually. I’m always sad whenever a life is lost early, whether it’s through illness or something (arguably) of their own making – addiction, suicide etc  (Actually i don’t think addiction is anything of the sort, far from it actually). In any case it seems a lot of people don’t agree with me.

One of my friends was quite harsh, and initially it surprised me. But then I got it. She had survived cancer. Twice. She had fought so hard for her life, battled her way through harsh and sickening courses of treatment. Clung on to life, hoped for, cried for it at her lowest, and there was someone who seemingly, churlishly had just thrown it away.

I can understand that.

Like I can understand the pain and anger for someone suffering infertility of watching tens and hundreds of people around them terminating their own pregnancies. Or for someone with an hereditary liver disease watching another drink themselves into oblivion.

It must be so hard to watch something you have agonised over yourself, something elusive and yearned-for being mistreated by someone else.

I still think Amy Winehouse is deserving of our full sympathy, just as I feel for any addict, or mentally ill person who takes their life, or any victim of a lifestyle-related illness.  I also believe that life is sacred and should be cherished every moment of every day.  Life is full of these dichotomies, complications and hypocrisy. The best we can do is try not to judge others too harshly.

What can bring one person pain and heartache, can be the solution to another one’s dreams.

Diet drinks make you fat!

4 Jul

According to a study published last week diet drinks make you fat. Apparently results showed fairly conclusively that those that drank diet drinks over a period of 10 years put on considerably more weight than those that preferred their full fat counterparts.

Apparently the scientists aren’t entirely sure why this happens, but it may be something to do with tricking your body into expecting a large sugar boost and then not delivering it. Sorry, but D-U-H! Do you ever listen to reports like this and think “ummm, save those pennies Mr Medical Minister I know the answer to this one”?

If you’ve ever read my post The difference between thinnies and fatties you’ll see I’ve already got this one sussed. Diet drinks don’t make you fat any more than people tub up from too many ryvitas, just that only fatties drink them. Thinnies drink full fat coke, fatties drink diet coke. Simple. Look at any supermarket trolley on a Saturday morning and my hypothesis will be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. It’s only overweight people that have low fat yoghurts, ryvita minis, diet colas, sweetener etc riding their belt at the shops. Anyone remotely sane (i.e thinnies) wouldn’t go near this sorry stuff. They eat exactly what they want, when they want, but the difference is they will stop when they’re full.  So of course they choose the stuff that tastes the best.

Fatties on the other hand, will stockpile these cardboard delights in the vain hope yet again of regulating their eating that week, only to send hubby out at unsociable hours on a chocolate run after a few wines have robbed them of their self-control. (That or raid their children’s biscuit tin of course). And they’ll eat these chocolate delights way past fullness, and right on into sickiness. And the diet drinks? Easy – only fatties will walk into a Macdonalds, order a big mac extra meal with quadruple size chips, and request a diet coke on the side. Why? Because we don’t want to waste the calories on a drink. There’s simply not enough fun in a 200 calorie drink to make the subsequent guilt and self-loathing worthwhile.

So why do diet drinks make people fat? They don’t. We just get fat eating all the other rubbish we get to go with them. (My pleasure Mr Medical Minister, I’ll take doughnuts for payment.)

Blogging in the Dark

21 Jun

Blogging is a bit like Dating in the Dark. You do quite a bit of anonymous flirting on twitter, make a few risque comments to make yourself stand out , act a lot more confident and easy-going than you really are.  You choose which other bloggers you like the best based on banter and their 20 character bio, make snap decisions about those don’t light your fire because they don’t *phnar phnar* at your lewd jokes, or join in with the “is it too early to have wine?” banter (or use too many exlamation marks in their tweets of course.)

Which makes next weekend’s Cybermummy a bit  like the big reveal. The moment the lights come on and you get to see who you’ve been cyber-snogging for the past 6 months.  It’s really intriguing and scary all at the same time.  Will I like the same people I think I like? Will people find me as sensitive, sharp, sassy as my Milk persona? (my careful emarketing strategy has worked hasn’t it?)  Or will I be a big fat disappointment? A squat, courdroy- wearing, egg- sandwich-munching brunette, to their imagined willowy, classic-champagne-cocktail-sipping, poached-salmon-with-dill munching, tousled blonde.  Will anyone even like me?

I’m sure I’ll get myself packaged up okay. Wipe the snot trails off my shoulders in time. (If I even make it out of the house alive that is.) I’m just not sure what might happen after those first few wines. Then again,  that doesn’t sound too much different from your average tipsy night on twitter now, does it?

A booze filled hole

23 Dec

A while ago i caught a documentary that looked at each stage in a woman’s life from “underage” through “student” to “mother” and even on to “grannies” and reflected on their relationship to alcohol. Yes it was a rehash of a lot of what we’ve seen before about the booze culture that pervades these shores. Yes there was vomiting and drunken girl on girl snogging (yawn) and the drunken female equivalent of “winding” (ewww).  Yet, for some reason this one was even more depressing than usual. It managed to portray an even bleaker, more tragic picture.  Why?  Because you got to know the people as individuals, and started to see that, pretty much, they all drank due to some deap-seated psychological issue. Usually because they hated themselves.

I’m not even talking hopeless drunks, though there were some of those of course. I’m talking people who just enjoyed a drink, most days, a laugh with their friends, you know not much different from me and you. But watching from the outside in, it was obvious. Issues of loneliness, worthlessness pervaded.

What is it about the Brits that drives us to fill a hole with booze, a hole that should rightly be filled with self-belief?  Why do we forever feel we need “dutch courage”, “one for luck”, “one for the road”  just to get up and on with our lives? To have the confidence to do stuff we don’t, soberly, believe we can do.  Is drinking for confidence as normalised for children growing up as the idea that a good night out must always involve copious amounts of it? Are we a nation of tattered egos, broken spirits, lost souls desparately on the search for something to fill that hole, whether it be alcohol or armfuls of big macs? Or are we simply complicating it. It’s a good laugh, freely available, and quite frankly we’re all just a little bit addicted…. (including those MPs pussy footing around the issue because they’re too scared of having their own crutch taken away).

It’s all a bit depressing really, and nothing more than having to watch those girls again with their pants around their ankles. Girl power? Makes you wonder what my heros The Spice Girls fought so hard for.

Better go drown my sorrows…..

Have you ever?

18 Jul
  • Gone to leave for nursery / the childminder / the grandparents and noticed rather an obvious smell coming from your littlest’s nappy, but muttered under your breath that you if you stop to change it now you’ll be horribly late, and in any case it’s probably just a very potent fart.
  • Thought to yourself that your son/daughter feels a trifle hot / is producing quite a lot of snot / generally not themselves this morning, but packed them off to school anyway, not because you have an important deadline to hit at work, but because you’ve been looking forward to this day to yourself for ages. If you don’t get this time to yourself your own mental health might be at risk, and just who on God’s earth would look after the children then?
  • Noticed a brown mark on some bedclothes where you last changed your littlest, and quickly turned over the pillow / pulled up the duvet telling yourself it was probably chocolate. You purposefully don’t check because if you did confirm it as poo you’d either have to change them (and you just don’t think you can bear to change them a-g-a-i-n, they were clean on a week ago) or if you left them, you’d be knowingly acting like an unsavoury fishwife and you just don’t think you can face having that on your conscious today.
  • Gone to heat up the leftover lasagne/mashed potato / a.n.other food stuff, noticed it smelt a bit funny (i.e. off) but told yourself you were probably mistaken, because if you have to cook another dinner from scratch the kids will certainly melt down this time, and you don’t think you can take anymore today.
  • Gone to stop yourself from flying off the hook at bedtime, and then secretly thought “Actually, if i do get angry about this now, i could use it as an excuse for no books /tv before bedtime which would mean they’d be safely tucked up in bed in under 10 minutes and i’ll be sat drinking a glass of wine within 15. “

You haven’t?

LIAR.

is it acceptable to get pissed as a fart?

20 Jun

The other day a friend recounted a story about her neighbour. She had been at home one evening when she heard her neighbour’s burglar alarm go off. Seeing her front door was wide open she decided to dial 999. But something caught her eye and on peering through the front door she saw her neighbour, pissed as a fart, struggling to switch her alarm off. Her neighbour was paralytic. She couldn’t remember her alarm code.

As this woman swayed, fell over, got up, fell over again, another neighbour turned up asking what was wrong. And then another. And another. By the time she had decided, in her drunken state, that the only solution was to dramatically rip the burglar alarm from the wall, about 10 or so neighbours had congregated in her hallway.

My friend hadn’t seen her since.

Now this woman’s children were staying with her ex-husband. So really she was perfectly entitled to get into whatever state she saw fit. Or was she?

I’m no teetotaler, but even I have to admit to being mildly surprised that a mum would indulge to quite this level.

Perhaps my reaction was a bit more justified when attending a friend’s wedding and seeing a mother and father of two young children becaming more and more sozzled. This lot weren’t falling down drunk, but they were at the swaying, stuttering stage. They did have their children with them, and were doing a pretty poor job of pretending to look after them.

And surely it must be cut and dried when you hear about people that are still indulging in the harder stuff when given the least opportunity.

Putting aside the questions of dignity and maturity that accompany any discussion about enthusiastic inebriation, is it ever morally acceptable to get pissed as a fart when you’re a parent? Can you ever really be “off duty”?

Sure you can leave the children with the grandparents and go away for the weekend. But can you ever really switch off? Turn your phone off and answer only to yourselves?

I’m not going to take this to the extreme my husband once did when he asked me whether we should both be drinking at the same time, lest we needed to drive to A & E unexpectedly (we were paranoid first time parents after all). But surely there is a line? Somewhere between being over the limit to drive and needing someone else to do your walking for you?

Or can a parent do what the hell they like once their children are in the safe hands of a trusted relative or friend?

For once, i think i’m sitting on the fence on this one. I’m going out on Saturday and i wouldn’t want it to come back and haunt me.

wine o’clock

19 May

Someone once said to me “With my first child i had a glass of wine every evening at 8. With my second i had a glass of wine at 7, and with my 3rd i had a whiskey at 6”.

Now i can assume there was some poetic license being employed here. However, the idea of a “rule” to dictate what is and is not acceptable drinking behaviour does seem to be quite commonly employed by us SAHM, although what that actual time is varies considerably.

There are many that would never consider having a glass until after the kids are in bed (actually i sit in this category, unless i have had a particularly traumatic day).

There are those that draw the line at the kid’s dinnertime (after all it’s hugely irresponsible to drink on an empty stomach isn’t it? Oh it’s the kids eating, what the hell, the same rule applies).

There are those that allow themselves one glass with their own dinner.

(And of course there are those that don’t drink at all but i don’t actually know any of those, do you?)

Now there are certain contingencies written into this rule.

By day of the week (e.g. Friday = usual wine o’clock minus 1 hr, Saturday = minus 2 hrs and so on).

By daily “stress rating”. So really quite stressful = wine o’clock minus 1 hr. And so on.

You get the picture.

It might seem a little complicated, but actually it’s quite a crafty way of making our behaviour really quite acceptable. After all, we’re totally in control, just look how rigidly we can stick to “the rules”.

I’m not branding all stay at home mums alcohol dependent (although of course some of us probably are after all that antenatal boozing Alcoholic mother in training).

It’s just that in our culture a drink is (ok wrongly) usually seen as a treat. As a bonus for getting through something difficult. And surely there’s nothing more difficult than a bad day with children?

Having said all this, I can probably count on one hand the number of times i’ve had a daytime drink with another stay at home mum.

Now if men were more often the principal caregivers would the world be a very different place?

Might all pubs have creches, and Friday afternoons be set around a bbq and a bucket of small french ales?

Whenever i’ve said this to my husband he’s got uncharacteristingly cross. Ok writing it down now it does seem unforgiveably sexist.

But i remember times when it wasn’t unheard of for dads to leave their kids in the car outside the pub while they had a few. At least in my version they take them inside the pub.

Christ, I can also remember a time when…..

Gosh, is that the time? It’s half past wine o’clock and i’ve been too busy writing this to notice.

What a waste. Better fly. Turrah!

Alcoholic mother in training

18 Mar

When I first saw these on bottles I had just given birth to my second son. Second time round it had been hard. I had found pregnancy pretty miserable – struggling 40 miles into work each day, coping with a demanding toddler, trying to stay balanced. Yes, I had enjoyed a couple of drinks here and there just to keep me feeling “normal”, less fed up about all the things i couldn’t or wasn’t allowed to do.

As far as i knew that wasn’t illegal…..in fact, I had pretty much followed the UK guidelines to the letter. (no more than one or two units a couple of times a week.) So when i saw this new labelling I was pretty annoyed. How patronising, condescending, sexist. Were women incapable of making their own informed, sensible decisions? Apparently not. Perhaps all those pregnancy hormones running around our bodies do turn previously well-adjusted, sensible women into irresponsible nutcases? In any case, surely it’s a question of closing the stable door after the horse has bolted? Presumably by the time women see this label they’ll have already purchased the bottle, and as they say, once purchased always consumed. (or is that what i say?)

As far as i know under 18s still can’t buy alchohol, and it’s definitely illegal to give any to the under 5s, so where are the symbols of small kids with a line through them? And what about the fat-arsed, beer- bellied men who regularly put themselves at risk of heart attacks? Perhaps they couldn’t fit those on the label.

Apparently staying at home can make mothers drink. According to Dr Toni Galardi we are most likely to turn to alchohol to cope with the demands of children if we have previously had a successful career. Weary, dejected, we turn to alcohol to dull the boredom. No hope for me then.

So perhaps this drinking lark during pregnancy is beneficial after all. It must be good practise to have a few just to get into the swing of things for what’s to come.

Click here for referenced article.

In all honesty it is a pretty interesting article, and probably quite truthful, if only we had the time or energy to put the wine glass down and read it.