Just Call Me Dionysus – Finding a Healthy Balance in Mom Wine Culture



#nationaldrinkwinedayMy 6th grader is learning about Greek gods at school right now. He told my husband and me that while they were learning about Dionysus, the god of wine, winemaking, grape cultivation. . . and a few other things, he commented to those around him in his class that Dionysus and I must be related. Boy, did that stop and give me pause. 

The internal conversation in my head went something like this:

I am almost 46 years old, and if I want to have a glass of wine, then I have earned it.

It helps me unwind at night.

I went for years not drinking because we couldn’t afford it, and then I had mommy brain and I forgot I was old enough to drink.

Umm . . . What else is my son telling others about me?

Alcoholism is a part of our family. I am aware of that, and I have many healthy coping strategies to turn to when I need them. I would like to think that I have also coached my teens to develop their own. But should I be allowing myself a glass of wine at the end of the day (almost every day)? Consciously, or subconsciously, that becomes something my children see — that mom has a glass of wine at night to unwind.  

What if it was Mom goes for a walk every night to unwind?  

What if Mom reads every night to unwind?  

What if Mom does yoga every night to unwind?  

Yes, I may have earned the right to have a drink, and I still will. But maybe now, not as often. Maybe now NOT on the evenings when the day has been super stressful. Maybe just on special occasions. I love that we live so close to wine country and we will continue to visit wineries, enjoy a tasting, and bring home a bottle. I will certainly be more aware of my choice of coping strategies and I will certainly not be as glib about drinking. My children see me as the example, and I want to be setting the right one.



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Tracy owns Safe Spaces, a consulting and training firm that focuses on building resilient families, communities and organizations (www.sfspcs.com). She is also an Authorized Facilitator and Certified Instructor with Darkness to Light, www.d2l.org, a child sexual abuse prevention organization. Tracy has taught pre kindergarten, kindergarten and first grade and has served as a Site Administrator for an elementary school. Currently, she is a Teacher-in-Residence with Prezi and also a college and career advisor for Students Rising Above. Tracy grew up in northeast Ohio, and has lived in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Arizona, and Northern Virginia and has worked in the arts, in education and child abuse prevention. Her husband's job brought them to the Bay Area and there's no looking back! Tracy is mom to a 16-year-old daughter and 14-year-old son. Self-care includes getting to know her new community, having lunch with friends, pedicures, reading, cooking, crafting, and just being with her family.


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