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Viking Grumpa like a regular grandpa only grumpier shirt, hoodie
When I’d try to persuade myself of the good things I was so lucky to have, my mind devoured itself – the fact that I couldn’t seem to feel grateful was confirmation of what a shitty person I was. It was a toxic private life. I hoarded Valium and paid cash in pubs during the daytime so my husband couldn’t see the ‘cheeky’ (as I sold it to myself) lunchtime wines or » » afternoon G&Ts. I was committed to seeming fine and normal. I definitely didn’t mope. Instead I insisted on a punishing schedule – work, gym, running, more work, socialising – made all the more gruelling because of the sheer work my addiction was becoming. Viking Grumpa like a regular grandpa only grumpier shirt, hoodie
Being a new mum is f**king intense as it is: the entire terrain of your life is no longer recognisable. The first months were bleak. I was perched permanently on the precipice of completely losing it, knowing that tumbling off simply could not be an option: the baby needed feeding, changing, winding, rocking, soothing, everything. Everything. That’s an exhausting existence. Being so very, very frightened all the time is exhausting. Having a shower is exhausting. Having a tiny, dark-eyed stranger clung to you as the hands spin around the clock and the days last forever is exhausting. Trying to pretend not only that you are fine, but happy, truly thrilled and ecstatic, is exhausting.
Now add the hectic admin of alcoholism to that equation. Being an addict and keeping track of your shit is a goddamn full-time job. Between sterilising bottles and hiding bottles, the struggle is real, my pals. I’d boast about my powers of multi-tasking here if it wasn’t such a toxic brag.
Though in one way, alcoholism and early motherhood were strangely well-suited. I had no routine, no colleagues or friends around to notice any new, concerning behaviours. Also I soon found that there is barely any social cohort as welcoming and tolerant of alcoholic behaviours as the mums on the internet. The mummy wine memes were a balm to my soul every night as I’d hit the finish line of the day and open a bottle of wine.
The memes didn’t explicitly say ‘sure … Every “mama” downs the first glass in one, still standing at the counter in the kitchen while almost crying from relief’ but I could fill in the blanks. I deserved this. I needed it. All us ‘hero mamas’, as we are often called on social media, deserve it.
And it’s normal. Motherhood is hard. We deserve our glass of ‘mummy juice’.