Thursday, 17 September 2015

Blog in the News

Mr SM took one look at me when he got back from work on Tuesday night and said "Uh oh. What's up, SM?"

(There is obviously no mystery left in our marriage)

I confessed that I'd been interviewed by the Times for an article about mothers drinking. He looked a little stunned, but quickly rallied, saying "fret not. It's in the Times2 section. No-one will notice it. No-one ever gets past page ten."

He left for work, as usual, at the crack of dawn, so by the time my alarm went off, at 6.30am, he'd already e-mailed me a copy of the front cover which featured a prominent banner reading THE SECRET SCHOOL RUN DRINKERS.

Not so obscure then.

Luckily, the journalist kept her word and changed a few key details (She gave me four children, for example, rather than three. Easiest childbirth ever), to ensure that it couldn't be obviously recognised as me.

The article was based on some new research by Alcohol Concern which shows that mothers are increasingly likely to crack open a bottle of wine after the school run, rather than making a cup of tea.

Parents are twice as likely to be 'dependant' drinkers than non parents, and half of 'dependant' drinkers are educated to degree level.

Having had a glass or two to 'wind down', these mothers then continue drinking with the husband when he gets home, which all adds up to rather more daily units than the government recommended guidelines.

The Daily Mail article on the same research quotes a doctor from The Priory who says that they are seeing more and more mothers drinking heavily, and that it's probable that many of them are still over the limit when they're doing the morning school run.

Is all of this ringing any bells? It certainly was for me. My teapot was totally covered in cobwebs. Why fanny around trying to relax with a cup of tea when a glass of wine hit the spot far more effectively? It'd be like trying to use a toothpick instead of a sledgehammer.

What I find ironic, though, is that women round the country are happy to confess to relying on a glass or three of wine to get through the evening. There's no stigma attached to pouring a large glass of 'mummy juice,' on your own, at wine 'o' clock (which creeps earlier and earlier), or to sharing a bottle with friends after the school run while the kids play.

And yet, as soon as you admit to yourself that it's becoming a bit of a problem and quit altogether, you have to skulk around anonymously, telling friends that you're on antibiotics.

WHY? Why am I the one feeling ashamed?

I happily confess to having been a terrible nicotine addict. I brag about how bad I was. I used to smoke in the morning before I even got out of bed! Ha ha. And if I woke up in the night! And I ALWAYS lit up after sex. But then 12 years ago stopped. Totally. Aren't I clever?! Best thing I ever did!

I tell that story over and over again - with pride.

So, I may not yet be brave enough to stick my name to my interview, but at least I did it. And since it ran 3,000 more people have found there way here. (And no trolls. Yet).

If you're one of them, then WELCOME! And feel free to mail me privately on

The world is changing, slowly....

Love SM x


  1. Exactly! When I read about all these yummy mummies and wine o'clock I want to be in that club!!! And I was but it's sooooo hard to get out when you realise it's not such a good thing. All over daily mail online too ( which I just read to stop me buying crap magazines and I like the celeb gossip...) but I really feel these stories promote wine drinking and portray it as totally fine and normal. No mention of what happens when suddenly it's not ok! Well done you on speaking up!!!!

  2. Very proud of you for speaking up. I am sure that out of 3000 people some will stick around to read and get inspired and motivated to quit. You did the right thing by letting them to interview you.

  3. We must be living in each other's heads, I just wrote a very similar article about why we feel the need to make up excuses. It's ridiculous, no one tells a smoker who is trying to quit, "Oh come on, have one more, you're no fun when you're not drinking." It's time we become proud of the fact that we're quitting. No more antibiotic excuses or allergies, instead use an excuse that will make the other person squirm a little. "My children like me better when I don't drink, and since I only have a few years with them, I'm going to make the most of it. How about you?" or "My orgasms are so much better when I'm not drinking that I'm making up for all the substandard ones I experienced while drinking and I just don't have time for drinking." Then give them lurid details.
    Proud of you. Proud of all of us.

    1. That is just brilliant KM! Am definitely going to adopt it xx

  4. Replies
    1. Annoyingly The Times don't publish freely online. You have to be a subscriber to access any of their material. That's why you couldn't find it. Sorry!

  5. Oh kindred spirits! Congratulations SM on your fantastic achievement and thank you for your inspirational blog!

    I am in the early stages (very early) of.. this process and thought I would share what I’ve recently found to be helpful in my battles with the Wine Witch - regular meditation. As I see you have posted on this topic before, here is my experience: I dabbled in learning about meditation a couple of years ago and found it to be really beneficial generally, however my practice dwindled (laziness) and ended up being sporadic at best. Recently, as part of an attempt to cut down (the vino not meditation) I decided to commit to a daily practice as I have read that this is how you gain the most value. What I have found most unexpected is that as a result the Wine Witch can currently barely be arsed to harass me when wine o’clock strikes! Previously, I have tried giving myself endless stern talking tos, yoga/exercise, reading about the topic, discussing with friends, adopting an otherwise healthly lifestle bla bla but the WW would still steer me like a zombie out of the door to the shop to get my/her fix. I should add that I mainly have ‘unsuccessful’ (apparently there is no such thing) thought filled meditation sessions but the subsequent WW silencing effect still happens to my big surprise.

    WW might just be temporarily dazed and confused of course and this is very early days but still this is huge progress for me as previously an alcohol free day was an extreme rarity achieved only through gritted teeth. My routine is 20 mins twice a day as I vaguely know what to expect (although def no expert). Less is also good - consistent daily practice I think is the key to this tool being of help. I would really recommend the comprehensive online course by Charlie Knoles on Mind Body Green - he is modern/not airy fairy and explains different techniques in a straightforward but in-depth way (don’t be distracted by is haircut like I was). Also good of course, and free for the beginner module, is the Headspace app. X

    1. Thanks so much! Really inspiring!

    2. Meditation has been my saving grace too. In fact the only time the wine witch bit me was when I had stopped for a couple of weeks. It's been amazing to almost be a bystander watching the urge come then go without feeling the need to react to it. I would never have thought this possible a few months ago. You don't sound te gek at all!

  6. Well done SM! I'd have read that article and known I was one of those people, knowing I needed to do something; a seed would have been sewn. 'Wine o'clock' (detestable phrase) is is so acceptable now that I'm not sure what can be done to stop it. More and more people, yes particularly middle class mothers are drinking too much (it's fun until you are surveying the wreckage a bit too often whilst waiting for the run down of what you / did/ said/ who you upset with dread). The more we drink, the more we want to drink!
    For some it's fine,for some like me who did end up in the afore mentioned Priory it's really not. I was lucky, got the help, been sober for 3 and a half years, didn't lose my marriage or family but came close. And to prove your point, very very few of my friends know what happened with me. I just say I don't drink these days. I let people draw their own conclusions. But I recognise those that know they've got a problem because they're the ones most incredulous and fascinated that I can live without it because I was the incredulous one when I met people who didn't drink!Xx

  7. Go girl !! Well done SM so very proud of you