This year is the first time I remember going to a craft fair and feeling sad about what I was seeing. It was sweet to see home decor with Bible verses, encouragements to trust Jesus, and positive sayings about family. It was very sad to see some with off-color sayings, and the number of objects that encouraged depending on wine were sad, too.
For several years now, I have seen birthday cards and T-shirts and gift items that encouraged women to turn to wine to meet their emotional needs. The sayings that mix wine and mamahood are particularly distressing.
I remember the challenges of having babies and toddlers and little children. I found comfort in what my mother-in-law used to tell young mothers, including me: “When I had young children, I thought I would never be that tired—and I haven’t.”
I remember the challenges of juggling many responsibilities while homeschooling. I remember the fears that I wasn’t doing enough or doing it right. That’s why I write these posts for you.
After experiencing this avalanche of supposedly cute quotes and memes and products about wine and after hearing from a reader about alcoholism in her family, I knew it was time to open up my heart to you about this subject. I am a teetotaler by choice, not because I believe that every sip of wine is sin. I am a teetotaler because I have seen the destructive power of alcohol in the lives of people I love and the risk is too serious to me. I am afraid that the wine culture that surrounds us might tempt you and that you might be one of those who can’t survive it. That would be tragic, and I don’t want it to happen to you.
In spite of products and memes to the contrary: No, a mama doesn’t need wine to survive having toddlers. No, mamas mustn’t tell children that they are the reason they drink; and they mustn’t tell other mamas that their children make them drink.
Are mamas really having play dates so they can drink wine while their children play? Are mamas really calling wine “Mommy Juice”? How heartbreaking.
The danger I see in current wine culture is that it encourages women and mamas in particular to drink because of stress. That kind of drinking is an entryway to alcohol dependence. Alcohol dependence destroys mamas and their families. Dependence on alcohol is not funny—no matter what the memes say. It is not funny; it is tragic.
Please don’t believe the lies. I care. This warning in Ephesians 5 is very encouraging. While some women are complaining about the “horrors” of mamahood, other women are aching for a baby in their arms. Verse 20 encourages us to give thanks in all things. Let’s thank God for those precious children, those gifts from God that give us worries and to-do lists—and wonderful joy.
So then, be careful how you walk,
not as unwise people but as wise,
making the most of your time, because the days are evil.
Therefore do not be foolish,
but understand what the will of the Lord is.
And do not get drunk with wine, in which there is debauchery,
but be filled with the Spirit,
speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
singing and making melody with your hearts to the Lord;
always giving thanks for all things
in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to our God and Father;
and subject yourselves to one another in the fear of Christ.