Recent studies have shown that drinking is becoming more of a problem for stay at home moms who are escaping their stress through alcohol. The notion of an alcoholic mother remains so taboo that many of these stay at home moms are hiding their issues with drinking excessively from family and friends.
Among other moms with the same issues, however, it is becoming common for them to share their drinking experience and combine happy hour with play dates. Many moms are reaching for an afternoon cocktail to take the edge off of a hard day running their household, working from home and taking care of the kids.
A few drinks may be all right for some moms to ease some of their stress but for those who are predisposed to alcoholism they could run into problems with addiction. While they may be able to still function and handle their role as a mother, drinking can eventually take its toll on their mental and physical health.
Reasons for an Increased Risk
The fact that a growing number of moms are turning to alcohol to ease the difficulty of running a home is due to a few different factors. Related studies have shown that stay at home moms tend to be more depressed than moms that have either full-time or part-time employment.
Moms with some sort of work outside the house, no matter how many hours, tend to be happier and healthier overall. Moms who spend all their time at home are not only stressed out from their work with the kids but they also tend to be more socially isolated which increases their chances of being depressed.
The depression and stress that tend to be associated with moms at home plays a major role in the risk of them developing an addiction to alcohol. Moms that begin to drink feel that they are less irritable and agitated around their kids and they even become more loving and patient with them as well.
The reality is that a parent with a drinking habit can negatively affect a relationship with a child and it can have an impact on them later in life.
Alcoholism's Effect on Children
Even though stay at home moms may think that they can handle their drinking and remain functional parents, the truth is that children can sense when something is wrong. Even a young child can feel when their mom is not fully present and that they are numbing their feelings when they are drunk.
No matter how well a mother may feel that she can hide her substance abuse from her kids, most children are aware that something is not right even if they cannot put it into words or fully grasp what is happening. High functioning moms with a regular wine habit may not believe that they are causing any harm but their drinking affects the children and their need to escape and numb their feelings is often a symptom of deeper problems.
Moms that are drinking because they are unhappy, stressed out or bored with their role as a stay at home mother are avoiding facing their problems and using alcohol as a crutch instead of resolving emotional issues.
While even working moms may have a tendency to drink, stay at home moms seem to suffer more from depression and addiction because of the pressure and social isolation that they experience. Stress, boredom and at times the feeling that they are "stuck" in their role as a mother at home can all contribute to a problem with alcohol.
Moms that frequently drink need to seek help and address the issues that are causing them to use alcohol so that their habits do not affect their children in the future. There have been fewer studies done about stay at home dads and their alcohol use/risk for alcoholism.