“Mommy juice” and the Potential Consequences when Moms Drink

What is it?

“Mommy’s juice” refers to a beer or liquor for a mom who is tired of dealing with her screaming kids. There have been memes, jokes between friends, movies, and ads dedicated to women and their love for alcohol. Sometimes it can feel like there’s no escaping the “mommy juice” joke. I personally came across a meme with a picture of a woman drinking wine captioned “Never give up on something you can not go a day without thinking about”. They are considered “Funny” but they have a considerable impact on alcohol and its use. Another example is the commercial advertisement reported by the New York Times in the spring of 2019, a liquor company that produces a Mad housewife wine offered a Mother’s Day promotion: a six-pack of wine called Mommy’s Little Helper.

                picture by google


The biggest switch

  The biggest recent change in alcohol commercial advertisement and memes is that its target has been women. With the aim of normalizing very high-risk alcohol drinking through the internet.  Liquor companies and internet users share memes and advertisements that sadly become viral and embed messages. 

                picture by google

Taking more than 1 drink a day is a high risk for women and cause a lot of health problems attributable to alcohol. Women metabolize alcohol differently from men. Therefore, women are more likely to become drunk quickly than men and health problems often progress more quickly in women than in men. 

Potential consequences.

These memes and commercial products related to alcohol drinking have contributed to a startling increase in the number of women who drink in the US. The increased alcohol consumption pattern in women is no laughing matter.

Another noticeable effect of “mommy juice” is the increase of Alcohol-related deaths among women in the United States (Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) 2017). The study found that from the year 2007 to 2017, the number of alcohol-related deaths in the U.S. increased by 85% among women while deaths attributable to alcohol among men rose by 35%. That’s about 50% difference!

A study by Agbio, R et al (2017)  found that women are more likely to turn to alcohol for a negative reinforcement effect like to decrease feeling bad, and temporary melt away some anxiety and stress, while men tend to use alcohol for its positive reinforcement — they drink to party, “get wasted,” and have fun. The alcohol companies use this weakness to push their product by convincing women that their products can fix their problems.

Lastly, women need to be aware that the alcohol industry is targeting them deliberately and they aim at encouraging high-risk drinking by using themes like “Mommy juice”, “mommy burnout”, “mommy needs her wine”  in order to sell these products. A call for action by local and federal authorities to combat this problem before it’s too late is needed. I think this is not given much attention by the media and public health as it should. Just like the tobacco industry, I would like to suggest that serious action be taken against the advertising strategies. 


  1. Agabio, R., Pisanu, C., Gessa, G. L., & Franconi, F. (2017). Sex Differences in Alcohol Use Disorder. Current Medicinal Chemistry, 24(24). doi:10.2174/0929867323666161202092908 
  2. Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) 2017, Alcohol-related deaths Retrieved from  http://www.healthdata.org/policy-report/findings-global-burden-disease-study-2017  


Changing Cultural Norms on Women and Alcohol

“Wanna get drinks” “I had a bad day, I need a drink” “What restaurant has the best drink specials” “I need a drink so I can relax” WOW, realizing how I have used drinking as a gateway brings up the concern, where did these habits originate?  Now, I would never say that I have, or had, a drinking problem. Instead, I would classify it as being conditioned to think that drinking equates to happiness or bliss. Once I have a drink, all my worries will disappear for the moment, I will start to have fun, or I will begin to loosen up a little. I, along with many other women have started to not only drink for pleasure but also as a quick solution to everyday life challenges.  

Women drinking alcohol was once a cultural taboo. Now, it is almost expected for women to drink until intoxication. According to The Center for Disease Control and Prevention,excessive drinking by women includes binge drinking (four or more drinks within a two-hour period), heavy drinking (more than one drink per day), any drinking by pregnant women, and drinking by women under 21 years. As women become more progressive and independent, their responsibilities of handling career pressures, raising kids, and financial obligations can become overwhelming. Since alcohol is a depressant, studies show women are using alcohol to relax and alleviate their anxiety.

Alcohol companies have caught up with this trend of women drinking to cope with stress whereas men drink for pleasure. These companies have started using marketing strategies to encourage women to keep drinking in excess. For example, the wine company, Skinny girl cocktail, whose target  audience is women, promises great tasting wine with less calories. They have several taglines including “Drink like a Lady” and “Every girl needs a great date night wine — even if that date night is with herself.” These taglines urge women to drink as much wine as possible even if it means drinking alone.

Not only has women drinking more alcohol changed the culturally dynamic but it has also raised awareness of the negative effects alcohol causes the body in comparison to men. The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism  states that women face higher risks of disease than men because women usually weigh less than men and women typically start to have alcohol-related problems at lower drinking levels than men. Excessive drinking by women causes a greater risk for breast cancer, liver cirrhosis and memory loss when compared to men. In addition, women who drink alcohol while pregnant are more likely to have a baby die from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

It was not until recently that drinking dependence amongst women have become so normalized. Social media, entertainers and performers are used to promote alcohol products targeting women. Alcohol companies are making us believe that there is no problem with drinking excessively, and this is why so many women are unaware of their addiction or or alcohol harm. Society has replaced the view of “drinking in excess” with “mommy time”, “having fun” or “self care” There’s is still more research to be done to understand how alcohol use can impact women in the future.


Reflections on Mommy Juice

While I was looking at memes for our class on Alcohol and Women, I was shocked by how many memes reference “mommy juice”. This was a new concept to me. “Mommy juice” is the reference to mother’s drinking alcohol to get through their busy days being a mom. It is used as a coping mechanism for their stress. It is frustrating to see how common “mommy juice” is because this is making it acceptable and even may be persuading mothers to drink when they otherwise would not. Deidra Roach, medical project officer for the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, explains “that up until the mid-20th century, it was considered socially unacceptable for women to drink in public, especially to the point of intoxication. So, women were simply less likely to do so”.  Now, with the changing social norms, drinking in public at all different events such as “girl’s wine nights” has become not only acceptable but the norm. Since it is the norm to drink on more occasions and more frequently, it is becoming harder and harder for people to avoid alcohol at any event.

I also find it very interesting that I did not notice these ads and memes before we discussed the idea of “mommy juice” during class. I think part of the reason I was not aware of this concept was because I am not a mother, so I did not notice these ads when I came across them. Also, since these ads are not geared towards me and they also do not catch my attention when I come across them, I am more likely to just keep scrolling or keep shopping instead of paying attention to these ads or items. Also, something I have found frightening about our online environment is that ads will display based on other items you have previously searched for, or clicked on. As an example, when I search for alcohol memes for this class and then later scroll on my Instagram, I now see more alcohol related ads. This shows that ads and memes sometimes display on your feed based on our previous individual searches or posts. Since I am not searching on baby websites or typical mother websites, they are not popping up on my screen. This is a great concern that advertisers pick their audience and prey on their vulnerabilities.

I think we should educate vulnerably populations on “mommy juice” and all the negative consequences that arise when we normalize drinking. Some consequences may be fatigue, and therefore moms may be unable to take care of  the child. It is important that mothers are not encouraged to drink and this can be avoided by not displaying numerous advertisements persuading mothers to drink or making mothers feel like drinking is okay, especially when taking care of their children. Alcohol is never a good coping mechanism and if mothers are educated on the negative effect, then they may be less likely to use alcohol to cope. Also, if these “mommy juice” memes, in ads, on clothing and other products were not displayed everywhere, it would prevent mothers who do not drink from starting to use alcohol to cope.

(Somewhere in, 2013).