Alcohol and Women – a Social Issue

So it has been a week since we started our #GSUwhyshedrinks class and I am already blown away by how deep the subject of women and drinking is in our society. Before starting the class, I did see women drinking as a social issue. However, by the end of the class, I think I may change my viewpoint. That is why they say information is power, right?

One of the topics that really intrigued me is how drinking is on the rise especially for women.  Researchers are calling the rise “a public health crisis” and are concerned at the narrowing of the gender gap in drinking disorders between men and women. This data was very alarming to me. I was not aware statistically at how many women were turning to alcohol to solve their problems. Moreover, we talked about how this rise is being fueled by media and marketing ads targeted at women.  It seems like alcohol companies are taking advantage of this crisis and using it to increase sales. 

I decided after class to look more into how marketing companies were targeting women. I was amazed at how many advertisements played off of the nurturing aspect of women.  I also found hundreds of memes that promoted women having there daily sip of “Mommy Juice”.  Furthermore, there is a huge market for mommy juice merchandise that ranges from $3 – $30 dollars. If I was a stressed-out mother I would surely find solace online from all the mommy juice memes. 

Recently, I came across a blog by a mom who I believe hit the nail on the head. She wrote, “I don’t blame memes for my alcohol addiction, but I do believe they play a part in desensitization. They made me feel like it was normal. They made it much easier to rationalize. I deserved those drinks because I was a mom and, gosh darn it, I work hard to be a good mom. I felt like I was fitting in where I never really felt that way in real life.“According to her, you cannot get away from the “mommy juice” memes. They are on every social media site and as a mom who follows motherhood pages, you will surely be influenced in some way by these wine promoting memes. 

How ‘Mommy Juice’ Memes Normalized My Alcoholism

Another thing I noticed, even before starting the class, is how many ads are targeted at young (18-34) single women. Many of these liquor ads glamorize women having a drink with friends out on the town. Like the author of the blog noted, drinking is promoted as a way to fit in with the “cool” people. In fact, drinking is so normalized that if you do not drink, you are seen as weird. 

As someone who does not drink, I can say that when you stop drinking, it does seem like you cannot have as much fun because drinking is so closely tied to the idea of being a young happy millennial. I am excited about this class, because I will be able to dissect some of these ideas around drinking. I am learning that the media plays a huge role in why I used to feel “left out” when I stopped drinking. 

I started to think about many of the shows I watched that have female leads. Most of the characters use alcohol as part of there coping method. In fact, I do not think I have seen an American TV show or movie that did not promote drinking alcohol. Again, drinking alcohol has been normalized in every genre and it almost seems weird if you do not drink. 

In conclusion, alcohol use among women is on the rise. More and more women are turning to alcohol to help decrease stress. As a future dietitian and health professional, I hope to learn about the tools I need to help address this growing problem in women.  I believe this class will provide me with a framework to help solve this developing social issue. 


I Need Juice…I Need Mommy Juice!


Last night, while sipping on my “mommy juice,” I read an article regarding “mommy juice” and the message that it potentially sends to young children when they see their mothers reaching for their glass of “mommy juice.”

Disclaimer: I do not have kids yet, but I do have a new puppy that stresses me out. Therefore, I do understand that sometimes, “mama needs her glass of wine.”

While reading the article, I suddenly remembered a TV show that I previously watched named Being Mary Jane that showed a very successful single woman socially drinking with their friends and drinking home alone around her newborn niece. Suddenly I realized that today’s society is slowly normalizing alcoholism, alcohol culture, and “mommy juice” to cope with stress, anxiety, depression, and loneliness. Mary Jane, for example, was a successful woman, but she was lonely, and she desperately wanted a child. Mary Jane’s binge drinking and her multiple glasses of wine were ways for her to cope with the harsh reality of her life, as with “mommy juice.”

Today, “mommy juice” seems to have become a trend. Mothers are often seen with cups and t-shirts that allude to drinking being a way to solve all of their problems when in fact the normalization of drinking in response to things happening in life, such as having children, depression, anxiety, can be unhealthy for them and their children. Studies show that women that drink excessively are more susceptible to liver disease, certain cancers, heart disease, and it can also speed up the aging process— who doesn’t want to look young forever (CDC 2016). Children that often observe their mother drinking excessively often deal with emotional problems such as guilt, anxiety, depression, and they are more likely to begin drinking at an earlier age.
Don’t get me wrong moms, I am “pro-mommy juice,” in moderation of course, but we all should be conscious of the adverse effects that could come with it for ourselves, our children, and our puppies.


Mommy Drinks Because of Me: Memes and Mommy Juice Products

Have you ever heard of something called a mommy sippy cup or mommy juice? No? Neither did I, until I signed up for a class all about it. After my first day in class, I have seen so many mommy sippy cups and things related to moms drinking. “The tumbler of mommy juice became the signal of the end of a day of parenting—a hard-earned reward, an escape form the difficulty of the day” (Ravishly). Take a look at this cup!

Isn’t it SO cute! Okay okay, but actually though, you might be wondering if that product is real. Check out this link to go buy one for yourself (Just kidding. I don’t endorse that):

Here are a few questions to ask yourself before you continue reading:

  • Have you ever seen your mom, or a mom you know, drink?
  • Does that mom have children?
  • Does that mom have young children?
  • Have you ever been stressed about something, and taken a drink because of it?

If the answers to these questions were yes, you should probably keep reading.

As you know, the internet, texts, fliers, and social media are full of something called memes. According to, a meme is “a humorous image, video, piece of text that is copied (often with slight variations) and spread rapidly by Internet users.” Pay attention to the word in red. Humorous. That’s important. Memes are supposed to be funny. Memes are supposed to be spread from people to people. Platform to platform. But where is the line of something being funny and something being dangerous and wrong? Below I discuss a few memes that have come to my attention.This one is just sad. This meme makes it appear as if mothers only drink because of their children, as if their children cause so much pain and stress in their lives. People who are not mothers view this as funny. They view this as reality. They view this as….well, “if this is true, do I really want to have children?” The next meme (below) shows the same concept. “Make sure you get your mom a bottle of wine for Mother’s Day. After all, you are the reason she drinks.” If I heard someone tell me this, I’d be so offended. Unfortunately, sometimes this is true. People drink to forget. The consequences of memes like this are that some women will believe them, and some mom’s will think it’s okay to drink all the time just to take the edge off of being a mother. Let’s not forget most meme users are younger. Just imagine for a second: all these young girls seeing these memes and wondering if they are true.


Please tell me how the below meme is okay. What if it is true? There has to be some truth to this in some cases. Props to stay at home mothers. That is a full time job and some say the hardest job of all. However, if you are a daytime drinking, stay at home mom, looking after a child, isn’t that a contradiction? How can you be looking after a child and also drinking? Not all of your focus will be on that child. According to Women’s Health Magazine, daytime drinking can lead to:

  1. It becoming a habit
  2. Getting dehydrated
  3. Drinking way more than you expect to 


And, just imagine if your babysitter did that while watching your child.


What my point is…..

These mommy memes are not cool or funny. They shouldn’t exist, and they should not be spreading across the Internet like wildfire. Young girls and boys are on the internet everyday. Their lives revolve around it. They want to share things they think are funny- including these mommy memes. Some consequences of these memes and mommy sippy cup products are that some of these young girls are going to think that it is okay to drink. And, with the increasing amount of women drinking these days, this is even worse. The earlier people are introduced to the concept of drinking, the worse it is.

Lastly, here’s a mother’s point about these memes:

She believes that these mommy memes and quotes are not “message(s) I’m comfortable with my kids seeing as normal or usual. I don’t want my kids to think that I’m counting the minutes until it’s 5pm somewhere” (Ravishly). She believes that alcohol use should not be normalized, and that it harms families and kids who grow up in an environment where it is in use and where they feel unwanted.

Here are the biggest consequences of these memes:

  1. Mom’s start believing them and thinking it is normal to drink everyday
  2. Increasing the likelihood of alcohol dependence
  3. Children thinking they can drink because their mom drinks
  4. Children thinking their parents do not love them


Websites used:

“Mommy Juice”: The Kool-Aid in The Cult of Perfection

The NIAAA describes the differences in impact faced by men and women who drink alcohol. While mostly biological, the NIAAA mentions in passing that women “are more vulnerable than men to alcohol-related… interpersonal difficulties.”

“Interpersonal difficulties? I thought my friends and I gathering around with our “mommy juice” in our very own “sippy cups” was considered a social victory! I get to unwind with my friends after an insane day of parenting small children and/or working and speak to someone who understands English at a level that exceeds that of a toddler. What could be so bad about that interpersonal climate?”


I can almost hear the bank vault filling up in the fancy headquarters of the Mommy Juice brand(s). As a woman, I do understand the expectation to join what my favorite author, podcaster and television writer, Karen Kilgariff, describes as “The Cult of Perfection.” I can sympathize with the stress that mothers must be enduring. The cult has strict rules and is quick to ostracize, and, in true cult fashion, demands that women prioritize following the rules over acknowledging the possible detriment to their own children.

According to Dr. Koob, NIAAA Director, women are motivated to drink alcohol by negative reinforcement (removing something negative to strengthen a behavior, such as the stress of being a perfect mother), while men are motivated by positive reinforcement (adding something positive to strengthen a behavior- read “sporting event”).

Prioritizing this stress relief means that, whether or not they know it, women may be friendly with justifying their drinking despite its impact on their children. There is always the possibility that they will become an alcohol-dependent mother, a serious consequence for their child. Children of alcoholic mothers face a barrage of emotional trauma, can feel isolated, and, as Ann Dowsett Johnston describes in her book “Drink,” can feel unprepared for life without the support of a non-alcoholic mother. These children may even turn to alcohol to calm these traumas later in life, possibly repeating their mothers’ patterns.

In the case that the mother does not become dependent on alcohol as a result of too-regular Mommy Juice break, there are other consequences for children of mothers who drink. DrinkAware of the UK published an article about the effects on children when parents drink. “DrinkAware’s new research suggests a strong link between the frequency of young people’s underage drinking and their exposure to drinking at home.” Sue Atkins, parenting expert, writer, speaker, broadcaster, coach and author, suggests that “parents should hide their own alcohol consumption from their kids,” and try to set a good example of moderate drinking behavior for their children.

While Atkins’s advice is sound, perceptions of “moderate” drinking have been altered by commercial and lifestyle advertising from what I like to call “Big Alcohol”, an industry that capitalizes on women as nothing more than an untapped market. Memes, influencers, and bottle packaging are the insidious advertisements that encroach on mothers’ senses of “moderate” drinking, glamorizing a standing playdate with Mommy Juice. Moms on social media end up doing some of the industry’s best advertising at little to no cost.

As a world full of social media content develops before us, I wonder how future children will feel about the “vintage” 2010s memes about Mommy Juice.

Guilty that they were so difficult to parent that their mothers spent years in rehab? Comfortable with the idea that drinking is for parents, perpetuating the cycle of parental alcohol use disorders? Confused about why the 2010s was a decade full of mothers turning to alcohol in a comfortably sassy advertising climate? This future holds a whole new host of adolescent trauma.

At face value, the memes we see daily about drinking the Mommy Juice, the Kool-Aid for moms trying to keep up with the Cult of Perfection, are simply funny. However, housed forever on the Internet will be a Mommy Juice museum for future generations to examine their role as mommy’s reason to turn to irregular drinking.

Parenting is Hard – Moms are Finding Refuge in “Mommy Juice”

Image result for mommy juice meme

You’ve probably heard the term “mommy juice” a time or two. The term has likely come up on your social media timelines recently. The popularity of the not-so-cute, cute phrase is having a negative effect on our brains and we don’t even realize it.

The term “mommy juice” usually refers to wine and taps into the self-care needs of stressed-out moms who seek some refuge – finding it at the bottom of a bottle of wine. There are wine glasses everywhere that don the popular phrase and there is even a brand of wine by the same name. But what is this doing to our minds and why are we okay with the normalization of increasing alcohol use in women?

What many don’t realize is that the rate of alcohol abuse and addiction in women has been on a steady rise in recent years. Results from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions showed that high-risk drinking among women has risen 58% in the last decade. Part of the reason for this is that drinking culture has changed. Women are more liberated to engage in activities that may have been taboo in the past – including overindulging in alcohol. This practice, however, is leading to some unexpected consequences. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Fact Sheet, 10% of pregnant women reported using alcohol in the previous 30 days. This is a shocking statistic that often leads to long-term intellectual and physical disabilities in the child exposed to alcohol in utero.

Terms like “mommy juice” desensitize us to alcoholism and almost excuse alcohol’s abuse for mothers because they’ve “earned it”. However, the abuse of alcohol can have detrimental emotional effects on children who witness the habit in their parents. In an article written by Buddy T. in VeryWell Mind that discusses the effects of parental alcoholism on children, the author points out several areas that are greatly influenced by being raised by alcoholics, including the normalization of alcoholism, trust in relationships, self-judgment, and the display of approval-seeking behaviors. 

Parents magazine recently surveyed over 1600 moms to get there take on their drinking habits and how they affect their parenting.  78% of those polled stated that they drink at least 1 alcoholic beverage every week and third of moms said that they consume 4 or more drinks a week. These numbers alone may not be too alarming but the survey also revealed that almost half the moms have tried to slow down their drink, a third say they might be drinking too much and over 10% said that they’re worried they may have a dependency problem. On top of that, almost half the moms say they’ve been tipsy or drunk around their kids. 

This is not to say that every time a mom is tipsy in front of their children that they are ruining them, but I think the key here is repeated exposure – that’s when there is likely to be some negative consequences. Research has already proven that children of alcoholics are more likely to become alcoholics themselves compared to their peers who were not raised by alcoholics. The fast-rising rate of alcohol dependence and addiction in women calls for a thorough look into the factors contributing to its growth and addressing those factors head-on – especially for those parents who are the primary caregivers of growing and impressionable children. 

“Mama Needs a Drink!”: The Mommy Juice Issue

One of the more disturbing trends in the recent shift in the culture of alcohol and women is the promotion of “Mommy Juice”. If you Google the term, you can find a plethora of paraphernalia emblazoned with these words – wine glasses, t-shirts, there’s even a brand of wine called “MommyJuice”. But behind this cutesy phrase is an epidemic of women who have lost control of their relationship with alcohol. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), over 5 million women aged 18 and older in the United States have an alcohol use disorder (AUD).  Women who drink alcohol, especially in excessive amounts, can develop chronic diseases, such as liver and breast cancer, are at a higher risk of sexual assault, and may even experience “memory loss and shrinkage of the brain”. When considering the physical consequences of alcohol use among women, it seems outrageous that it is being marketed as something so innocuous as “juice for mothers”. 

 Women are being encouraged to drink as a way to deal with the stress of their lives as wives and mothers. And women nowadays are experiencing stress, especially married women. The American Psychological Association reports that 28% of women experience a “great deal of stress” (33% of married women and 22% of single women). So, what’s wrong with a few glasses of wine at the end of the day to decompress? 

In addition to the higher risk of poor physical health, women who use alcohol to cope may actually increase their risk for major depression. But the consequences of alcohol use do not just affect the woman: children who observe their mother drinking may be at a higher risk of modeling the same behavior as they get older. This study concluded before the onslaught of “Mommy Juice”, so it’s yet to be determined if this new era will have an even greater impact on the drinking behaviors of children raised by wine-toting parents. 

Maybe there are ways to put a stop to the “Mommy Juice” phenomenon. There has already been backlash on popular websites accurately calling out “Mommy Juice” for what it is – an attempt to normalize alcohol consumption and sweep the issues related to unhealthy drinking behaviors under the rug. However, our society needs to find better ways to support stressed-out moms and dads, give them outlets for dealing with stress in healthy ways, and tone down the “you can have it all” mentality that is pervasive among women who want careers, families, friends, and lives outside of the home. 

If children grow up with parents who don’t have to turn to “Mommy Juice” in order to cope, we may be able to prevent another generational increase in rates of binge drinking. However, we all need to work together to find ways to combat the influence and power of a multi-billion dollar industry, that has spent an enormous amount of time and money targeting men, women, and children in order to sell them on a way of life that they argue can only be achieved through a nightly glass of wine/beer/liquor. We need to be vigilant in spreading the message that we know women are stressed, but there are ways to relax and enjoy life – even without “Mommy Juice”. 

My Thoughts on Why Women Drink & Drunkorexia

Alcohol use among women has been increasing at an alarming rate. In fact, according to the JAMA Psychiatry article published in September 2017, there was a 34% increase in high-risk women drinkers and alcohol use disorder (AUD) from 2002 to 2013 compared to a 13% increase in men. This demonstrates that alcohol use among women is a growing public health issue that needs to be addressed. However, with the media, marketing strategies employed by alcohol companies and the normalization of alcohol in our society, addressing this issue is becoming increasingly harder to do.

There are several ways that women are targeted by both the media and marketing strategies which appeal to them to drink. One of the best-known examples of this is the wine company, “MommyJuice”. The marketing strategy behind this brand is that it is stressful to be a mother – to juggle taking care of yourself, your kids, and work – and that even moms need a way to unwind. And what a better way to de-stress than with a glass of MommyJuice? While moms do work incredibly hard (and absolutely need to take time for themselves), is encouraging them to relax with alcohol the best way? Especially when it’s branded in such an insidious way, it appears to be taking advantage of women and their situations.

It is common for kids to have playdates, and while the kids are playing so are the parents who use this as an excuse to socialize and drink. There are potential consequences that can result from an afternoon of drinking such as the safety of both the adults and children and the normalization of alcohol. After the play date, the mom might have to drive herself and her children home. If her inhibitions are impaired from the “mommyjuice”, the potential for car accidents increases. The act of moms drinking during a child’s playdate can also normalize alcohol for the child. If they are constantly around it as a child because their parents drink in front of them, they may be more likely to drink in adolescence and adulthood.

Another example is the Skinnygirl Cocktail line, with the advertising campaign of “Drink Like a Lady.” The marketing strategy here is that women can still drink but without the worry of extra calories. This will appeal to women because of the societal norms regarding appearance. The other day I saw an advertisement for spiked sparkling water – with only 100 calories, the can reads. I was shocked that an innocent beverage such as sparkling water now needs to be spiked to be enjoyed. Even beer companies have been marketing low-calorie options for women. The reaction the alcohol industry is hoping to elicit from women is, “What’s better than being able to indulge in an alcoholic beverage without the guilt from the empty calories that come with it?” The way these brands are being marketed towards women, many of whom are susceptible to succumbing to them because they address issues that affect women, is manipulative.  A quick google search for “low-calorie alcohol” will bring up several articles with suggestions on how to select drinks that will still get you drunk minus the extra calories. Other websites like beer100 offer charts with the caloric content of the different brands of beer. This information is easily accessible, and if the internet says it works, then people believe it.

This leads me into another drinking phenomenon to which I was completely unaware of until recently: Drunkorexia. The name is what it implies; it is a pattern of starvation, excessive exercise or binging and purging in order to consume multiple drinks. This pattern is often seen in women who are concerned about their calorie consumption and body image. Because there is no food in their system, the individual is more susceptible to the effects of alcohol. They will become drunk quicker and are at a higher risk of passing out and of alcohol poisoning. From basic human anatomy differences between women and men, we know that women are more vulnerable to alcohol’s effects. Women tend to have a higher body fat percentage and less body water. Because there is less water in body fat, alcohol is diluted in the blood at a slower rate. Women also have a lower level of alcohol dehydrogenase, which is an enzyme that assists in metabolizing and eliminating alcohol from the body. The bottom line is that women suffer from the effects of alcohol more than men, especially if they are drinking spirits in order to avoid extra calories.

In addition to alcohol companies marketing their products specifically to women, there are several other consumer products that use this as a way to sell products while contributing to the pattern of women and drinking. For example, wine glasses are sold with the mottos “MommyJuice” or “Surviving motherhood one glass at a time” written on them. Cup towels, aprons, magnets, and several other similar products are sold which perpetrate this increasing trend of women who drink. These novelty items are given as gifts, oftentimes as a joke, but they still carry that message that drinking for women is a necessity to cope with the stressors of daily life.


I understand that some people don’t necessarily see this as a problem – they think these products are funny and is meant to be taken as a light-hearted joke or that indulging in alcohol isn’t the worst thing they could be doing – but if they take the time to look at the national trend in high-risk drinking and AUD mentioned earlier, I would hope that they would change their minds. Alcohol companies have noticed this upward trend in the number of women who drink, and are using that information to exacerbate a public health issue. Because drinking is so normalized and engrained within our culture, it is not viewed as a problem and the alcohol industry, unfortunately, takes advantage of this. 

The Potential for “Mommy Juice”

In the past few years a phenomenon that has been dubbed “Mommy juice” has dominated a variety of social media platforms and marketing techniques. The term mommy juice was made to represent the drinks mothers may need in order to cope with a long day of parenting stress. In addition to dealing with the everyday stresses and anxieties, these women are facing additional pressures navigating through modern parenting. Unfortunately, the common consensus for dealing with these issue have seemed to turn towards drinking as a mechanism. Memes depicting this social structure are shared constantly on Twitter and Facebook.  Products such as Mommy juice wines and accompanying novelty glasses can be found at most retails store, and drinking now more frequently occurs at events where not previously found, such as children’s sporting events and play dates. The potentials for this increasingly popular behavior are dangerous on many levels.

Children whose mothers regularly partake in their, perhaps nightly, indulgence of mommy juice can grow up with the unhealthy idea that alcohol is a safe coping outlet for dealing with stress, which could not be further from the truth. Children learn drinking habits from their parents and heavy drinking observed by children is a major indicator of how their relationship will be with alcohol in the future. The dangers of long term drinking are well known. If these children grow to adapt their mothers ideas of drinking to alleviate negative feelings, they are potentially at risk for the effects such as addiction, unhealthy coping tactics, and liver damage. Children are often observant to such behavior and it is entirely possible they pick up the habit of the necessity of mommy juice if exposed often enough.  Beyond that, these children can also grow up with a notion of normalized drinking in inappropriate places.

Small anecdote from my own life. My younger brother competes in baseball tournaments during the summers; they’re often all day events with multiple games spread out. I went to one Saturday tournament and as I watched I noticed so many of the moms never strayed far from their large colorful thermoses; at one point I leaned over to my own mother and naively asked if they were all that caffeine addicted to be drinking coffee in the middle of a summer day. My mom kinda laughed and told me they fill them up with wine in between games. Sure enough, at one point most of them huddled together and took turns filling up their thermoses. Little was done to hide this fact. I felt that it was somewhat shocking. I’m not unfamiliar with the idea of alcohol at sporting events, but for it to be a children’s game, in the middle of the day, it just seemed out of place. I didn’t attend every game, so I can’t say for certain whether this was a regular occurrence or not, but assuming so, these children can become confused with the social appropriateness of when and where alcohol is seen as acceptable. This concept is not an uncommon event. The following link (IDGAF Mama’s) shows a meme that was shared in a Facebook group titled “IDGAF Mama’s”. The meme encourages an undercover mommy juice blend that can be concealed to look like a Starbucks drink. The picture has been liked more then 3,000 times and shared almost 9,000 times. Moms are undoubtedly relating to it. 

On the other hand, in a point that was brought up both in class, and in Drink by Ann Johnston, it can seem somewhat sexist to question mothers and their drinking habits. Men have been enjoying happy hour drinks for decades, and the post-work beers have never been questioned for them. This could be because of the traditional notion that women are mostly responsible for activities related to raising children. If parental drinking is a concern in raising healthy children, and it is, then both parents should be aware of the dangers related to the situation. However, because women are currently being targeted by the alcohol industry in the form of these mommy juice advertisements, products, and memes they should be more attentive and aware than their male counterparts. There is something inciting in being told you deserve a break, you deserve to reward yourself, and you deserve to indulge a little; the alcohol industry knows this and is throwing everything they can into this marketing scheme. I’m sure a lot of the mothers that relate to the promises of “mommy juice” absolutely do deserve the breaks these companies promote at the bottoms of their bottles, but for the sake of their health and their children’s, alcohol is likely not the outlet to turn to. 


#BoozyMomNation: The Culture Surrounding Moms and Their Drinking Habits

The term “mommy juice” may appear innocent and lighthearted, however, taking a further look into the expression, one can see it being quite problematic. “Mommy juice” refers to an alcoholic drink that a mother consumes to cope with her daily tasks of motherhood. We understand, being a mom is hard. Mothers have sacrificed so much for their children and are deserving of mental and physical breaks. But, when did the dependence of wine consumption become the standard idea of motherhood time outs?


Cultural norms and generational trends can contribute to the hype of the mommy juice movement. You can walk into almost any department store’s home decor section and find paraphernalia relating to this culture. I searched “mommy juice” on and approximately 140 related items came up for purchase. As for the e-commerce website,, approximately 700 items. This advertisement is just an example of how easy it is to find alcoholic beverages and glassware marketed directly to mothers. The Boozy Mom Nation is even easier to find on Facebook. With a simple query, I found groups named “Moms Gone Wine” “Moms Deserve to Wine” and “Mom Hard, Wine Harder”. The normalization of the mommy juice movement desensitizes the consequences of this harmful behavior and increases the potential for binge drinking and the effects it may have on both the mother and her child(ren).



Functioning Alcoholic

Women are often found drinking alcohol to celebrate happy events, decompress from a stressful day, or cope with sadness. Mommy juice consumption can consist of one maybe two, glasses of wine. To some, this may not seem harmful, but using alcohol as a coping device can lead to further consumption of stronger alcoholic drinks and binge drinking.

Here are a few harmful behavioral habits that can be a sign for alcohol use disorder (AUD).

Drinking to cope with pain or sadness– motherhood is tough, and adding other work and life stresses, doesn’t make it any easier. Women must find healthier coping mechanisms and outlets for their mommy “time-outs”.

Drinking more often- For women, binge drinking is defined as 4 or more drinks during a single occasion or more than 7 drinks in a week (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism). When one mommy juice drink becomes two or three more, that harmful habit may be out of control. 

Drinking and driving (with and without passengers)- Although the legal blood alcohol content amount is 0.08 g/dl, drinking and driving is never the answer. Once drinking interferes with your ability to function during the day and take care of your child(ren), it’s a sign that your drinking habits have become a problem.  

If the negative consequences to an individual isn’t enough to take control of their drinking habits, then they should consider the effects it may have on their children. Children are often compared to a sponge; they absorb anything around them. A child may one day adopt the same behaviors they’ve seen their parents perform. If a child grows up in a household with a heavy drinking culture, that drinking behavior becomes normalized. Their coping mechanisms to stress and sadness becomes directly attached to alcohol. Furthermore, when alcohol gets in the way of normal parenting activities, the relationship between a mother and child cannot grow to its fullest potential in the most important times of child development. For example, after one too many glasses of wine, a mom may feel frustrated or not be as attentive to what their child is doing or needing at that moment.

Future of Mommy Juice

So, what should moms do instead of drinking their mommy juice? Let’s start by reducing the negative connotation around women seeking help and wanting to take breaks from motherhood. Let’s provide alternative outlets and support groups for mommy self-care time. Building connections and receiving support from others are important ways to ensure moms and their children can develop a safe and healthy relationship. We should also pay close attention to marketing tactics and be aware of the dangers unhealthy drinking habits have on people and their social networks.  




National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). NIAAA Council Approves Definition of Binge Drinking. NIAAA Newsletter, No. 3, Winter 2004. Available at:

What is the Cost of an Alcohol Meme?

“A day without wine is like…just kidding I have no idea”, “Clear alcohol is for women on diets”, “Gone are the days women cooked like their mothers, now they drink like their fathers” and I could go on and on.

Or maybe you’ve even seen one like the one, which seems to be saying motherhood is synonymous with drinking wine. And drinking a lot of it. We’ve all seen them, and probably even chuckled at them. It seems you can’t log onto Facebook, or Instagram or whatever your social media platform of choice is these days without seeing some meme referring to women and alcohol. You’ve probably just kept on scrolling or maybe gave it a quick “like” or perhaps even shared it with the thought that your friends or family would get a kick out of it. But what effect is this having on us? Most 14-year-olds these days are on social media, what message is this sending to them?

I’ve seen memes featuring beautiful actresses, the women that pop culture tells us we should emulate. Jennifer Lawrence talking about how she took a shot just before taking the stage to accept her Oscar for “Best Actress”. To an impressionable 13-year-old girl who isn’t quite sure who she is and how she should act but has a deep desire to appear “cool” and funny like J-Law, the message is clear: If Jennifer Lawrence and Kim Kardashian are drinking, she should be too.

The sheer prevalence of these memes alone can give us the impression that everyone is drinking. Every mom is finding relief from her busy schedule with a large glass of red wine. It makes it socially acceptable to rely on alcohol to unwind at the end of a long day. Maybe at first, this is true, but as numerous studies have shown, prolonged alcohol use and abuse has a depressant effect and increases risk of, not only liver disease, but even breast cancer as stated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (

In addition to these risks, many women admit they use alcohol to avoid confronting underlying psychological stresses and illness. But alcohol is not a cure, it only delays these feelings and often when the morning light comes, brings along feelings of deep shame and failure. How many of you have ever woken up after a night of heavy drinking and felt better for it? Memes, advertisements, and making jokes about women drinking only serves to normalize binge drinking and desensitize us to its constant presence in our lives. Maybe it’s time we ask ourselves whether hitting share to get a few likes or laughs is worth our health and our lives.