Breaking Free from Mommy Wine Culture with Celeste Yvonne

Episode 129 September 06, 2023 00:47:40
 Breaking Free from Mommy Wine Culture with Celeste Yvonne
Alcohol Tipping Point
Breaking Free from Mommy Wine Culture with Celeste Yvonne

Sep 06 2023 | 00:47:40

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Hosted By

Deb Masner

Show Notes

My guest today is Celeste Yvonne. Celeste is a writer and certified sober coach. You may know her from The Ultimate Mom Challenge and as one of the founding hosts of The Sober Mom Squad. Her essays on parenting, the mental load of motherhood, mommy wine culture, and sobriety have been featured in the Washington Post, Good Morning America, Today Show, and the Wall Street Journal. She is the author of the new book It’s Not About the Wine: The Loaded Truth Behind Mommy Wine Culture and she’s here to talk about why moms use alcohol to manage burnout and how to break free. 

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Episode Transcript

Pod celeste yvonne Thanks for tuning in to this episode of the alcohol tipping point today, my guest today is Celeste. Yvonne Celeste is a writer and certified sober coach. You may know her from the ultimate mom project, and she's also one of the founders of the sober mom squad. Her essays on parenting, the mental load of motherhood, mommy, wine, culture, and sobriety have been featured in the Washington post. Good morning, America on the today show and also in the wall street journal among many others. She is the author of a new book coming out. The books called it's not about the wine, the loaded truth behind mommy wine culture. And she's here to talk about why moms use alcohol to manage burnout and how to break free. I think you will enjoy this episode, even if you're not a mom or a parent. But especially if you are a parent, I think this will be a very helpful episode for you. And I think it will help you just kind of shine the light into mommy, wine culture and just culture in general and why we drink Deb: , thanks for coming on the show. Celeste. I was really excited to see that you have a book out because I've been following you for years and I was excited to be able to read your book. It's not about the wine. The loaded truth behind mommy wine culture actually read it in one sitting. Oh, wow. Yeah, well, it was so like readable and relatable. And, you know, I'm a mom, I was thick in mommy wine culture. And actually it's Been a while. I, I feel like I haven't talked about mommy wine culture for a while. I know that that's probably all you're talking about right now, but I, I'm glad that we're having this conversation again and again, and you had mentioned even before we started recording, like more and more information is coming out in the news about women and drinking. So it's an important conversation to just keep having for the world to hear and get. So welcome to the show. Thank Celeste: you. Thank you, Debbie. It's so good to be here. And I'm so glad you had a chance to read the book. It is it's, I love that you could read it in one sitting. Just, it's, it's short and I feel like hopefully it's right to the point. Deb: Yeah, I would love for people who aren't familiar with you just to give a background about who you are and what you do and then how this journey experience with drinking started for you. Celeste: Yeah, absolutely. So my name is Celeste Yvonne. I'm 44 years old. I live in Reno, Nevada. I've got a husband, two boys ages seven and nine, and I'm five and a half years sober. I grew up with a alcoholic father. So I always thought that, number one, I would never Do that to myself but also number two, I had a leg up on others because I saw firsthand how bad that could get what that looked like. And I would know how to avoid it in my own life. So I was able to kind of fool myself for a very long time to think I would live my own life. I'm not my father's daughter. I can do this my own way and. Work around some of the problematic drinking, even as I started drinking more problematically over time and I think I really was a moderate, if not sometimes binge drinker, but it felt like a moderate drinker. Because it, by today's cultural standards, binge drinking does feel so normalized. It does feel almost, it's a rite of passage in college. It's something that 20 somethings do. And then when I got into my thirties, it felt like just something everybody does every now and then. And as long as I could moderate it most days. I could binge every once in a while and it'd be fine. I'm fine. I'm not my dad. But then I became a mom and what I quickly realized is not only was binge drinking extremely hard, very dangerous, and Unsustainable as a mother with two little kids that you just can't, I mean, parenting with a hangover is perhaps the most impossible thing I've ever tried to do. But on top of that, moderate drinking wasn't sustainable. As I got older, my, my tolerance was growing, but my ability to wake up in the morning feeling fresh became less than less so. And. I kind of reached this critical point in my life where I realized if I wanted to keep drinking the way I drank, I couldn't parent the way I wanted to parent. And I would have to make a choice. And based on what I saw with my own father and the choices he made that led to the life he lived, I knew what I had to do. And that was, I had to quit drinking. So that was five and a half years ago. My kids were very little at the time, but I had had enough experience as a mom trying to navigate my drinking style and being a mom to realize that long term this just wasn't going to fly. Yeah, well, Deb: congratulations on figuring that out and figuring it out early when your kids were young. I mean, I quit drinking when my kids were like 10 and 13. So all through their toddler years, their little year, the hard years, the hardest years. I thought that like drinking was making it easier and it was making it so much harder. Celeste: That's the, that's the, the trick we play on women. I feel like with Mommy Wine Culture, we tease them with this concept that alcohol will help, alcohol will free you, alcohol can be the crutch you can lean on during those early hard years. But it's, It does the opposite, right? It makes us less present. It makes us less capable of parenting, less emotionally regulated. And it leaves us feeling really crappy at the, at the beginning of every day when we need to be on top of things. And that I saw it firsthand and I realized, you know, mommy wine culture, that narrative and alcohol in general, it's a lie. You know, it's a lie. We're selling each other. That only benefits the alcohol industry. It certainly isn't benefiting mothers. Yeah. Deb: I mean, I was in it, all the memes and everything. It, it was like, it gave us permission Celeste: to check out it gave us permission. It gave us. Justification and it validated our concerns and just how hard we realized this was, but really in a backwards way, you know, what we really needed probably, and what we still need. Mothers everywhere need validation that yes, this is really hard and here's some real tools to cope. Mommy wine culture and just this whole like. Alcohol is what's going to save you, isn't it? And it never will be. And I, I think until I realized that firsthand, I, I was like you, I was not only in on the joke, I was, I was writing the memes. I was an active participant in that side of it, that aspect, because I was so desperate to feel seen and heard and validated. Because this shit was really hard and I didn't know how else to kind of raise the white flag and say, I need help. This is, am I doing this wrong? This feels unsustainable. I didn't know how else to say that, but kind of masking it under this guise of, I can't tell you how much wine I'm going to drink tonight because it's been that kind of day felt less vulnerable. And it felt like something that might. not perceive me as a bad mom in the same way that I was afraid actively saying I need more help would. Deb: Yeah. I mean, and at the time you were writing parenting blogs and very public and It still calling attention to how hard motherhood was, Celeste: I was yeah, I started out as a motherhood blogger. It was on the side. I, I worked in corporate America doing marketing and communications, but after my after I got pregnant with my 2nd child, I started writing a parenthood blog just as a way of. Just kind of debriefing and I was saying a lot of these things that I didn't feel like it was safe to say to friends and family not sure how people would react. So I just started talking about the unexpected, a parenting, the joys, but also the challenges and, the message that also kind of got ingrained into that was, yeah, I need alcohol to cope with this. You know, I even wrote a post like I self medicate with alcohol and I'm a little bit worried, you know, something to that effect. So, I mean, this, the signs were in place that this was going to become a bigger problem over time. But when I was in the thick of it, I just didn't see another way. Deb: That makes so much sense, and I appreciate you sharing about your dad, too, because I feel like there's two components to that. One was the comparison kept you stuck in the cycle, like, well, at least I'm not my dad. I'm not that bad. And you could also see the trajectory of, well, I could be, I could turn, you know, that also became a catalyst for you to stop. Would that be correct? Celeste: I really... I really credit my dad's story with saving me in so many ways because when I did reach that tipping point no pun intended it was realizing that if I kept going the direction I was going, that is exactly where I'd wind up. And I saw firsthand what that looked like. I saw what that looked like for him. I saw that, what that looked like for us as the children. I saw what that looked like for my mom and That is not the direction I wanted to take this so that gave me the confidence in a decision to stop drinking that I might not have had otherwise. I mean, I don't know how long I could have kept going under this guise of yes, but wine is helping. Yes, but wine is helping. I could have probably convinced that. To myself, the rest of my life, if I hadn't had that firsthand experience of seeing where that takes it. Deb: And then how did you quit drinking? Celeste: Yeah, I, I laugh because I probably quit the, the opposite way that I would recommend anybody quit, which is the, I just, I had a scare, which was a panic attack and. After that panic attack, I just quit cold turkey. I think Annie Grace would call it spontaneous, spontaneous sobriety. I think, I think that would be the closest you could the, the best expression I found to describe the way I did it, but I did not call a doctor. I did not go to a meeting. I did not read a book. I just said, I have to stop this and I have to stop it right now. And so. I quit. I told only two people, my husband and my mom, and I white knuckled it. Like my life depended on it. And I did that for weeks, if not months before then I started to kind of lean into this recovery side of it. Like what that could look like. I met with somebody who was. In a program, I started to read the books. I started to listen to the podcast, and it took me a good year of really leaning in to this aspect of it to stop white knuckling it and to start embracing it, and then to kind of get excited and joyful about it, and finally, you know, at one year, literally, to the day, is the day that I finally started writing about it. I think Deb: a lot of people keep it a secret for a while because they're not sure if it's gonna stick and they don't want to like tell everybody and then have to go back and was that part of your journey? Celeste: Absolutely, absolutely and you know I also think because I get so sad because I didn't write anything about it for the first year not even in my journals. And I, I'm so sad about that because I would love to look back on that now, but I think in my heart, I was afraid I would convince myself through my writing that I didn't need to do this. So I think it really was a hard year because I couldn't. And I think this is part of the problem with addiction and what it does to us and, and this need to self sabotage, but I was afraid I, I didn't trust myself. I, I didn't trust my own thoughts, and I think that can be shown through the fact that I, I wasn't even willing to write down what was on my mind for the whole first year. Deb: And you're a writer. Yeah, Celeste: I'm a writer. So that speaks volumes and, you know, I've maintained my motherhood. writing. I still wrote about the motherhood side of it, but the idea of also opening up about the drinking one, you know, being afraid that what if I returned to drinking, then I look like a hypocrite, but to what would people think of me? What kind of mother do they think I'll be? You know, I could. I, I write all day about feeling like I'm failing as a mother and all the things I do that make me just a quote unquote bad mom, but the idea of getting that vulnerable with, I'm a mom with a drinking problem was just a line I was not ready to cross for a long time, and I know why. I mean, you, you see it everywhere. The judgment and shaming we do to moms is unreal. I, you know, I, the, the comments I get, even now, five and a half years sober are, they can be borderline horrifying. So it's out there, you know, when you get vulnerable, you are going to get pushed back. You are going to get called names and you're going to get told, you know, what kind of a bad mom you are. But the. The positive side of it outweighs it every time. I mean, I get messages from people all the time who, who, who say that I'm helping them see a different aspect of motherhood. I'm helping them see what life could look like sober. And these are the messages and the comments that make it all worth it. But you do have to kind of push aside some of. Your greatest fears that people might say about you because they do and they will Deb: well and I think you're and I just want to point out for the average listener. You have a big following right? How many followers do you have? Well, Celeste: I have I think Instagram's my biggest following. I have a little over 90, 000 followers. Deb: Yeah. Yeah. So I just wanted to point out, like, you're, you've kind of already been in this public persona, which makes you extra pick on able. Yeah. Yeah. I made up a word, but you know how you're a public person, let's say. And so people feel like they can attack you in a different way than if you're just suburban mom in Boise, Idaho, posting about sobriety to their friends and family, like, because you're in the public. And, but that's so unfortunate. And that's so Celeste: sad. Yeah, but I have friends who write about all different topics sometimes absolutely nothing about alcohol and it's just, it's everywhere. It's irrelevant to what specific topic you're speaking to. People just can be nasty. That's what I've learned. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I try, I try not to take it personally because it's not personal. Deb: And it's across the board. And obviously there's something that's going on with them. And I, I think that it really hits a button with women, especially and moms, like, don't take my drink away. It's like, absolutely. You could take my drink from my cold, dead hands. Celeste: And that's, and I get that because I used to be that person. Me too! I think about my, I was just thinking about this, like my account, to me, maybe six years ago, seven years ago, I would have been, not only would I have been like, Oh, look at that Look at that horrible person, but I would have been so angry with that message because I would have said the same thing. Like, don't, this is all I have. Don't take this from me too. So I see, I get that. And I try to be so understanding and forgiving when I get messages like that, because I've been there. I know that I know how that feels. And as mothers. When it does feel like we are being shit on from every direction to also feel like what the one luxury you have is now being, you're being told that you're wrong for saying what you're saying about it would be extremely frustrating. So I try to, when I, when I talk to people about when on my platforms, when I try to talk about mommy wine culture and whatnot, I try to be very clear that the problem isn't about. Someone who happens to be a mom drinking wine, and no one is trying to take your wine glass away from you that when I talk about the problems with mommy wine culture, I'm really speaking to this social narrative that implies and jokes that mothers need alcohol to cope with raising their children. That's the problematic messaging. That's what I get. Really outspoken about but it's not about a mother who happens to be drinking a glass of wine after a long day. Yeah, I mean, the Deb: subtitle of your book, well, your book is, it's not about the wine. And the loaded truth behind mommy wine culture and then you have another tagline, which I was almost like, I wonder if this was the alternative subtitle, why moms use alcohol to manage burnout and how to break free. Celeste: No, it wasn't, but I will tell you originally the title of the book was going to be mommy needs wine and our public, our publishing house said absolutely not for a couple of reasons, because number one, they were afraid people would think it was part of mommy wine culture that it was a joke or playful message that, mothers need wine and here's all the reasons why there is, I suppose, I, I guess in the United Kingdom, there is a book by that same name, which is a joke book about all the reasons moms need wine. So we had to step away from that title for those reasons. And I totally get that, but that was originally where, you know, I thought. We would start because that is such an important part of the book that why, you know, I really wanted to get to the bottom of why do moms need wine? Like it's, and it's not specifically about the wine, like alcohol does play a huge part of this and this message, but mothers are in this place where. We are so overburdened and so unfulfilled and so pressured to constantly be telling everybody we are so fulfilled. It's just this vicious cycle. You know, I think about all the things that lead to. mothers drinking in the first place. And we have seen a huge rise in this over the years, especially since the pandemic. But you think about the lack of postpartum support and maternal healthcare we have for mothers right now the cost of childcare and it's so unaffordable, which leaves a lot of mothers in a position where regardless of whether they want to stay home or return to work, they're often not given a choice. Based on the cost of child care itself. Then you look at the lack of benefits and flexibility in the corporate world. United States is 1 of the only countries where 1 of. There's only 6 other countries in the world that don't offer a federal paid maternity leave. And then when you go back to the household front, this was another piece of this that I feel like so many other books I've read on the topics. Around women's rise in drinking was missing, which is the lack of equal distribution of household labor. Women are still doing twice as much household labor and twice as much child care as their male equivalents in the household. Even now in 2023, so it has gotten better than it did than it was 50 years ago. There's still such a long ways to go. And then the last part. That really resonated with me and resonates with so many other mothers I talked to in our sober communities is the mental load of motherhood, you know, that 24 7 ticker of all the things you're supposed to be doing and who's doing what and the decision making responsibilities that fall so heavily on moms and the emotional labor of mothers set the tone in the house so often. And, you know, I think about in my own life, if I. I'm setting an emotional tone of being frustrated and dysregulated and off killed my kids feel it and they start acting like that. And I can't, I can't have them going to school. So emotionally dysregulated. So I have to be that calm. Physical presence around them at home, so they're emotionally regulated going into whatever they're doing for the day, and that's heavy, you know, that is a heavy weight to carry, but it's also invisible. Nobody sees that. Nobody recognizes that and it's hard to even describe unless you unless you're a mom and know what I'm talking about. Totally, Deb: yeah. Well, what are some practical ways that, because, you know, culturally. And, and you talked about just the, the parental leave and just culturally how we're set up for it, but if you're just a mom and you're listening to this while you're doing laundry and your kids are napping or whatever, like, what are some practical ways that we can help moms? Celeste: Yeah. And I think if you, obviously we can't change the corporate structures or the legislative structures overnight, but there are. Lobby lobbying teams and lobbyists who are working towards this and we can support them. So that is 1 way to start. There's also thinking about the unequal distribution of labor at home. There's things we can do about that, too, and it will probably start with a conversation. If you have a partner to say, here's all the things I do. I mean, you have to list them out. These are all the things I do. These are all the things you do. We need to rearrange this. So it's more balanced and it's a hard conversation to have. No doubt. You know, I've had it probably 100 times with my partner. And it keeps changing as time goes on because life changes. But to redistribute all of these household tasks, it will require a conversation. It will require drilling down into specifics. And then the other thing people need to understand. I think a lot of a lot of people. Don't consider this when you're even listing this out. And oftentimes our male counterparts don't even realize this, but there's two parts to every task, which is the planning part and the execution part. And the best example I can think of this is if you put a husband In charge of cooking dinner that includes everything from the planning stage through the execution of it. That means you have the ingredients you need to cook that dinner beforehand. That's not the partner's responsibility. That would be the person who's in charge of cooking dinners responsibility. And when we can. Incorporate that into this list, I think a lot of people, a lot of couples realize just how massive this list just got for the person who generally carries the large extent of the mental load because they're the ones who are responsible for most of the planning on a lot of these tasks. Does that Deb: make sense? Yeah. Yeah. And, and just communication in general. Well, yeah, Celeste: that always helps. I was going to say in motherhood, you know, I think about my early motherhood experience. And I had this idea that I was going to be this independent kick ass mom who goes back to work, but she also handles it at home and she does it all and she does it well. And I tried to take it all on. My husband probably wanted to be more involved, but I pushed him away for every piece of it because I didn't, I criticized the way he did things. I, I told him I had it covered. I wanted to be in charge of all of it. And that came crashing down on me pretty early in the motherhood experience to the point where I had to have, I had to have that conversation with him because I was falling apart. And, it was a hard conversation to have, but it was also a game changer. And what I realized after I had it was he, he wanted to be more involved from the get go, but I had constantly pushed back on him for weeks and months to the point where he just tried to stay out of the way. Deb: Yeah. I think a lot of us do that. What about for the single moms? Celeste: Yeah, and one of the hardest parts for single moms is the mental load has nowhere else to go, you know, unfortunately, single mothers have to carry the mental load because there's nobody else. But, you know, when you look around at the things we can be doing at work or at home around. What needs to get done? What can we outsource? There are, I mean, we, we do have technology on our side when it comes to some of the, the various ways that we can support single mothers. I think about. using Instacart for grocery shopping, using a meal prep plan for dinners. And then, you know, from a social and community standpoint, there are community support systems in place for single mothers that offer free and accessible resources. And even if you're comfortable, local churches offer the same things. So, if you go out there and Ask the questions and, and are willing to get help. There are communities and organizations that support single mothers because that is, it's an impossible task and really hard standards to meet and you don't have a partner to push back on. Deb: Well, I think some of what you said, what stuck out and just want to reiterate is like, letting go of some of your expectations and especially being that quote unquote perfect mom. I have, I wish I was drinking out of it now. I have a favorite coffee cup and it says, I'm proud to be a remarkably average parent. I love that. I love it too, because it just lets go of like, okay, like, it can be enough. And just one of my other favorite sayings is like, done is better than perfect. And it's enough. And you haven't even written. Oh, go ahead. Celeste: I was going to say, I think the parental standards we put on ourselves and each other is they're impossible. And social media is not your friend on this. Like you, nobody's going to social media to feel validated that they're doing a pretty good job in parenting because if anything, it just makes you feel worse. So staying away from things like that can make all the difference for our mental health. But also when you think about the. Self care narrative and how we are redefining that as we go that self care is not about bubble baths. It's about boundaries, you know, it's about saying no, and it is it's about taking like if you've got a heavy mental load, taking more things off your plate. I mean, the amount of extracurriculars we feel oftentimes pressure to put our kids in. Can be completely unsustainable in and of itself. And that's not particularly necessary, nor do studies show it's all that good for our children. So what are things we can be taking off our plate that we have on there in the first place, because we thought it was the right thing to do, or because we are just trying to please everybody and setting a little bit more. Engrain boundaries around here's what I am willing to do or spend money on and here's what I'm not and helping that kind of set this precedent for eliminating or at least reducing your own personal burnout. Deb: The other mindset thing that I'm thinking about now, because I'm a mother of teenagers, and I'm reminded, now I have perspective, and I was, I was thinking about this before our interview, about the whole cliche, like, the days are long, but the years are short. And I'm just like, wow, that's so true. I'm thinking my kids are going to be graduating high school soon. And at the time when you're in it, especially when they're little babies, it feels like. That's your life forever and it's just a reminder like this is temporary and you only get so much time with your children out of their whole lives and especially at these young ages because even now that they're teenagers, one is driving and they're spending time with their friends like I've already you. Kind of transitioned out of always having to be there and I almost just wish I could go back and be there with them. I, I was watching another that it was some real or something and this really struck a chord with me, but there was a, a woman who was saying she was a mother of, she was pushing a stroller and she had a little toddler running by and she said, sometimes I imagine that I'm a grandma. I'm an older woman and I've just like transported into this young mother's body and I'm just spending the day with these children that are mine. It was just like this mindset thing where you could like really appreciate it. I'm sure a young mom who's in it and listening to this is like, Oh, shut the fuck up. But I think I love the reframe. Yeah. Celeste: Yeah. No, I think that perspective. Can be helpful to some people sometimes, but like you said to like, when you're in it, honestly, like, I, I'm still a little bit in it. I've got a seven and a nine year old, but the worst, the hardest for me is over because when they were babies, that was the absolute hardest for me. And. I think about the one of the mess, you know, the reels or the messages that is going so viral lately is this you only have 18 summers, which honestly rose me such the wrong way because it feels like it's adding guilt to motherhood that if you're not appreciate appreciating this, then shame on you. And I, I feel like that's. That wasn't the message I needed when my kids were babies because I did appreciate some parts of it, but it's not it's not even realistic to think that we're going to appreciate all of it. Like, you know, the. All of the messy, the grueling, the exhaustion, nobody appreciates that and you're not supposed to and I feel like that's the other important message. Mothers need to understand. I love the reframe concept of appreciate those little blips of moments where everything feels beautiful or, you know, when you, when you put the child down for the nap and it went smoothly, you know, little things like that. They add up during the day. But not all of it and not all the time. And that's okay. That doesn't mean you're doing motherhood wrong. Deb: Oh yeah. I'm glad you called me out on that because I'm thinking about that and the message I heard and I'm like, God, Dev, it's almost like someone was like drowning. And you're just like, Oh, just hang in there. Once you get to the shore, you're going to be so, it's going to be great. Instead of like giving them a lifeguard server or something. You'll miss this someday. But I, but I, I, and I only like share that just to give people hope to like. Hope just to know, like it, it does get better and I understand now why all the little grandmas are like, oh, I wish I could be where you are and you know, all that, all that crap. But you're right. It does kind of get thrown into that toxic mom culture, toxic positivity and. It, and it's true too. It's not going to be happy all the time. A life is it life is 50, 50. Sometimes it's awesome. And sometimes it's awful and it's everything in between. And that's just what makes it unique. And that's how parenting is and kids are. And so it's like, when you can accept that you're not supposed to be happy all the time. Can you imagine having children that are happy all that? Like you think you were in some bizarro world movie. Celeste: Yeah, that's. It's and that's not what we want to be teaching our kids either. We don't want to be teaching them You should be happy all the time. And if you're not something's broken I I learned this from dr Becky kennedy that the goal isn't our isn't for our kids to be happy The goal is to teach our kids to be resilient and that I mean that's it's true for us as well like to be resilient we can ride those happy waves because they are beautiful and they make your heart swell, but we can also carry resilience with us through the harder moments, knowing that this too shall pass. This is not forever. This is a blip in time and, in those early days, the goal, sometimes, is just to get through the day, and that's okay. You don't have to go to bed, you know, saying, hashtag so blessed. You know, it's, you, you can just make the goal surviving the day. And that's, that's early motherhood for you. That's just how it Deb: rolls. It totally is. Well, how, how can we get over mom guilt because you talked before about there's mom guilt anyway, and then there's this additional layer of mom guilt for moms who drink and moms who are sober now, and then they're regretting the early years or, you know, I have a lot of older women who aren't getting sober till their fifties or sixties. And so what are some tips for mom guilt? Yeah, Celeste: this topic comes up so often in my sober meetings probably one of the most often and my thoughts on this you know, as a daughter of an alcoholic, as a mom who quit drinking after having children is, you know, I, I, I've seen both sides of this, right. One from personal experience, one, one from watching my dad, one from living the life We could sit in this world of, if only I quit sooner, or we can recognize the powerful message we are sending our children, whatever age we quit drinking, of quitting drinking in around them, with them, through them, however, your relationship is with your child and showing them what that transformation looks like firsthand and how deeply Profound would that be for our kids to be able to witness firsthand to see the before to see the during to see the after the kind of impact that would have on a child. I can't think of anything more empowering and as somebody with a. Dad who never had that transformation. I can't tell you in my heart of hearts, what I would have given to see that at any age, that's, that's what I try to tell moms who tell me that they feel like they quit too late or their kids will never forgive them or whatever that your story is for you to do the transformation. Any time in your lifetime is the right time to do it, and it will have an impact. Deb: Thank you. Thanks for sharing that. Yeah. Well, what do you think are some of your best tips then for moms who are giving up drinking? They're in the struggle. They're in it. Celeste: Yeah, so, you know, the 1st thing I would say to somebody who wants to quit drinking and is ready to take that 1st step is, you know, you got to talk to your doctor 1st and see if you need to medically detox if that is where you think your relationship with alcohol currently is, but if that's not a factor. You should do what I did not do, which is find a sober community. You can find a sober community before you're even sober. And there's so many communities out there now. It's one of the greatest gifts that came out of the pandemic is we have virtual options that are. The limitless you can find sober communities for if you're a mother, if you are over 50. I mean, the, if you're a woman, the, the choices and options are endless, and they're not specific to just one program or one way to quit. And that has been such a gift to so many people, and I'm so thankful for that. So I would say start looking around, find a sober community, join a meeting, even just be a fly in the wall so you can listen and say, is this my community? Does this feel right or not? And just be curious and open minded. I went into my sobriety never thinking I would go to meetings because I saw my dad go to meetings for years and lying through his teeth the whole time. So. It took me a while to open myself up to thinking I'm going to try this. And now that I've tried it, you know, I, I host meetings now. So it is a very powerful part of my sober journey and my recovery process is my community and the people I've met through that community. So I would encourage anybody to consider Sober community and start exploring that. And the other thing I would say is to start small. I mean, start with a 30 day break from alcohol. Just say you're going to do whatever it is. So, we're October dry January, or, you know, make up your own, abstaining August. I just made that up. And just take 30 days to say, I just want to see how I feel after. And you're going to learn a lot of data from that 30 days. You're going to learn at the end of it. Are you sleeping better? Do you have less mood swings? Do you have more energy? I mean, this is the kind of data that you can be collecting that will. Maybe empower you to keep going and certainly learn what works for you and maybe what Deb: doesn't. Yeah. And that's why I run monthly alcohol holidays. I call it perfect. So it's a month long break to just practice not drinking and give you tools and support and accountability. And then you're part of sober mom squad. Can you share a little bit about that? Celeste: Yeah. Sober mom squad came out of the pandemic. It was, it was born out of the pandemic when recovery meetings. Disappeared overnight and we really felt a lot of the pressures of the pandemic falling on mothers as children got sent home from school and homeschooling started taking place and me and Emily Paulson, who founded the sober mom squad and a couple other women, we started doing these weekly meetings for anyone who identified as a mom and was exploring sober living and. Yeah. We just kept building up ever since then to having, you know, so Vermont squad now has three to five meetings a day its own app, its own community, its own support. And I still host the weekly free meetings the ones that we started at the very beginning of the pandemic, they're still going strong. I host them each week and, it's, I feel like right now is the best time to be sober. Like there's no better time especially for mothers where you can just call into meetings. I mean, the, the resources we have available to us in sobriety is it's changed so much in just the past five years since I've been sober and in the best ways. Like, I feel like the options and the amount of non alcoholic drinks we have and the, and the narrative around exploring sobriety and being sober curious and gray area drinking these, all these things have really just exploded in just the past few years for, for the better. And I love that we are talking about it more. Deb: I agree couldn't agree more. Well, I want to encourage people to get the book. It's not about the wine, the loaded truth behind mommy wine culture. And then what are other ways they can find you? Celeste: Yeah, I'm on social media, Facebook and Instagram at the ultimate mom challenge. And that's generally where you'll see me most often. I also have a sub stack where I write a new piece about Addiction, sobriety, recovery, and motherhood new posts every week. Deb: Awesome. Well, thank you for taking the time to talk about mommy wine culture. I am so appreciative of you for being public and speaking out about this and helping other mothers and just people in general who are looking to change their drinking. So thank you so much. Celeste: Yeah, thank you. This was wonderful. It was so nice to meet you.

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