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 email@example.com.
The world is changing, slowly....
Love SM x