When I drank, I binge drank.
Binge drinking is defined as four or more drinks on one occasion for women and five or more for men. I pretty much always drank four or more drinks. Like most days of the week. The first time I read the normal drinking levels, I thought there was obviously a misprint or that someone had planted this information as a prank.
If I was drinking, I was DRINKING.
If I wasn’t drinking, I was working. I was at school or at a job. I was playing sports or volunteering somewhere. I was turned on and engaged and being responsible. I was achieving and pushing myself.
And then I was drinking again. As soon as possible in my day, I would switch to the drinking. I would turn off, loosen up, stop caring, tune out and generally seek oblivion.
Now I binge mom. I go through intense periods where I over-mom (don’t know how to write that) my children. I’m not sure I would call myself a helicopter parent but that doesn’t mean I’m not one. I feel pressure to entertain my children constantly and to be right next to them monitoring their actions and to set up stuff for them to do and to document their lives and to respond to all their needs. I mom hard AF.
And then I turn off and tune out. I put them in front of the television and I play on my phone or seek out “me time” which could just be staring at a blank wall in the quiet of my room. It’s either them or me. Either I’m giving 100% to them or I need 100% for me.
I was never able to moderate my drinking. I can’t drink like a normal person and I don’t want to waste my life trying.
But I think I can moderate my momming. My goal now is to mom at a level of intensity that doesn’t leave me feeling like I need to escape or put my kids in front of the television at the end of the day. For example, my twins were sick this week and they turned one. I didn’t get a good picture of them on their birthday because they weren’t into it and either was I. The world didn’t explode. I don’t think they are less loved than the first child who had the homemade birthday invitations. I just knew it would stress us all out and so I decided that it just wasn’t going to happen.
I’m entertaining my children less. They can play around me while I live my life – cooking (I don’t really do that), cleaning, writing, working, relaxing, etc. Tomorrow I am going to sit in the middle of the room after school and read a book and when they want to know what I’m doing I’m going to tell them I’m reading and when they tell me they are bored I’m going to tell them to find something to do. I might try to meditate too. And do some sun salutations. And write something.
I can’t do the all or nothing momming. I need balance. I need to not be as exhausted by my kids. The exhaustion comes from placing high expectations on myself of what they need from me… what they need me to be.
I can be myself. I can just be.