'Parenting and alcohol don't mix': 7 reasons why you should try a dry lockdown

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Why not get sober curious and see this lockdown as a bit of an experiment.
Why not get sober curious and see this lockdown as a bit of an experiment.

It's been a number of weeks since President Ramaphosa banned alcohol and put us all back in lockdown.  

Reactions to the current hard lockdown may not be as shocking, however, since these days many South Africans have a "lockdown stash" to cope with ongoing alcohol bans. 

Still, how about dealing with the lockdown just a bit differently this time round? 

How about using this opportunity to actually take a break from alcohol instead of getting stuck into a drink to numb the anxiety.

Which of these two scenarios appeals to you the most?

a) Anxious and exhausted, carrying an extra kg or two and increasingly dependent on that daily glass or bottle of wine. 


b) Calmer, thinner and more energetic – as you begin to thrive in your alcohol-free life and even wonder if this could be the "answer" to all those niggling health worries.

Why not get sober curious and see this lockdown as a bit of an experiment – admittedly, it won't be easy if you have a serious wine habit, but why not give it a go.

Also read: Alcohol ban is a must says sobriety coach : 'Industries can be rebuilt, once a life is gone it's gone'

Here are seven reasons why parents should try a "dry lockdown":

1. Alcohol damages our immune system and compromises our gut health

We need a strong immune system to keep ourselves and our families healthy during these difficult times.  Our bodies treat alcohol as an infection, so daily drinking fires up our immune systems. Give your immune system a break, and it will have a fighting chance to protect you from Covid-19. 

2. Good quality sleep also boosts our immune system

A few glasses of wine may lull us off to sleep, but then we wake up at 3 am racked with anxiety – and of course, drinking alcohol is like "pouring gasoline on our anxiety"– and surely we are all anxious enough. 

3. We need to call time on the "mommy juice" culture 

The liquor industry has manipulated us for quite long enough.  The wine industry has been stunningly successful in targeting women (and moms), and it's time we started seeing alcohol for the harmful toxin that it really is. Let's get smart and start changing our mindset.

4. Parenting and alcohol don't mix

Whatever their age, our kids are well aware that Covid-19 is a crisis. If we ramp up our wine habit, we are messaging that drinking alcohol is how to deal with a crisis. Children may also sense that we need wine to cope with them, telling them they are annoying and need to be "numbed out".

5. Alcohol is sneaky

Up to 20% of social drinkers will become dependent over the years, so a dry lockdown is a great way to test your dependence.  If it's a breeze for you to get through a few weeks without a drink, then that means you have a very healthy relationship with alcohol.  If it's really hard, then you may need to make a few changes. 

6. The reality is that parenting is hard 

Alcohol isn't going to make it any easier.  Clare Pooley, author of the Sober Diaries found herself drinking red wine out of a mug one Sunday morning as she tried to cope with a crashing hangover – and three noisy children – ouch!

7. Our kids are watching us 

Just as our kids observe our drinking habits, they will also be our biggest supporters if we decide to take a break. They will be inspired and possibly relieved if they have been worried about you. Make your kids the "wine police", and they will be sure to keep you on your toes!

The "Sober Curious" movement has created a valuable "space" to consider our drinking.  Being Sober Curious simply means that you want to see "what your life would be like without alcohol."

One of the most difficult things to cope with when we give up drinking is socializing. Our president has conveniently granted us a few weeks break from social events, which means we could get a flying start to our sober curious life.


Share your stories and questions with us via email at chatback@parent24.com. Anonymous contributions are welcome.

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