I just became a mom for the first time, and while on maternity leave, I did some crazy things -- and I'm not referring to wearing the same spit-up covered sweats for a week, or forgetting to brush my teeth ....
Notes From a New Mom: As a brand-new mom, I was so incredibly frazzled and stressed out during my time at home with my newborn. There were moments I was so hungry, I would take sips of formula from her bottle just to tide me over. The sleep deprivation made me insane, hazy, forgetful. Add to that cleaning the house, doing the dishes and laundry, going to the market, fixing dinner and sending out announcement cards .... It was enough to drive a person to drink.
And that I did. Every day at 4:30, I'd crack open a bottle of wine or make a cocktail. It was a moment I looked forward to every afternoon. I had never been a big drinker before, but this was truly the only way I could get through my day. Baby's bath time became my cocktail hour, and it was as regular and routine as that.
I know some new moms have real drinking problems. I'm not making light of that. My daily cocktail was medicinal, like a tonic. But one drink never turned into two, three or six.
Am I ashamed of my one-drink-a-day routine during maternity leave? Not really. In fact, I'd recommend it to any new mom. It helped me feel better about being in the house all day with greasy hair, changing dirty diapers, and it took away some of my anxiety. My baby took solace in her bottle, and so did I.
Of course, I wasn't getting drunk in front of my baby. She was absolutely fine. In fact, I think I became a better mom with a little buzz on. I was less stressed, more calm and definitely happier. Some people pop Xanax; I chose a drink.
Now that I'm back to work, my 4:30 cocktail hour has been replaced with my one-hour daily commute. And when I finally get home, breathing in the smell of my newborn baby is intoxicating enough for me.