Welcome to The Sober Mom Life Podcast!
In our first episode, Suzanne shares about the experience that caused her to begin her sobriety journey in January 2020, and how living an alcohol-free life has actually made being a mom easier… not harder.
Plus, get a sneak peek of what to expect from future episodes of The Sober Mom Life!
Want to connect with Suzanne and other like minded moms? Follow @thesobermomlife on Instagram!
Hi, welcome to the Sober Mom Life podcast.
I’m your host, Suzanne of my kind of sweet and the sober mom life on Instagram.
If you are a mama who has questioned your relationship with alcohol at times, if you’re wondering if maybe it’s making motherhood harder, this is for you. I will be having candid, honest, funny conversations with other moms who have also thought, “Hmm, maybe motherhood is better without alcohol. Is it possible?”
We’ll chat. And we’ll talk about all things sobriety and how we’ve found freedom in sobriety.
I don’t consider myself an alcoholic. You don’t have to either, and maybe life is brighter without alcohol. I hope you will join us on this journey. And I’m so excited to get started.
Welcome to the sober mom life. I’m Suzanne.
This is the first episode you guys, this is very surreal. I’m the host of this show. You might know me from My Kind of Sweet on Instagram or the Sober Mom Life on Instagram.
I have been wanting to start a podcast for quite a while and just a space to talk about motherhood and sobriety. And that’s what this podcast will be. I’ll talk to sober moms and moms who have thought about their drinking and wondered how their drinking affects motherhood. And just talk to just very interesting people.
And I want this to be a space where we can be open and honest and also bring a little levity to sobriety. Sobriety for me is not all about being serious. And I have found so much lightness in sobriety and really just freedom. And I wanna share that this is the first episode.
So what I wanted to do is just kind of share my story. Since a lot of the episodes, I’ll be talking with other people and hearing their stories. I’ll still be sharing mine along the way, but I thought I would just give kind of a brief overview of how I came to sobriety and what it means to me.
So I stopped drinking on January 20, 2020. So January 19th was my last day. Actually my sober date might be January 19th. You guys, this is how much I don’t count days that now I’m getting the dates confused. It might be January 19th, 2020.
All that matters is that it was before the world fell apart and before COVID and before everything stopped. And I was dealing with my last, just brutal hangover. I hadn’t had one of those in a while because I had just had my third baby. So I have have three kids. They’re seven, five and two. Now I had just had my third baby in September of 2019. So I hadn’t been drinking very much. I always breastfeed my babies. And so while I wasn’t strict about no drinking and no breastfeeding, I still…it always took me a while to even like the taste of wine again, after being pregnant and having a baby, I just never really was into it. I didn’t miss it while I was pregnant. And so I hadn’t had a drink in a long time.
And then my husband and I were invited to a fancy pants party on the north shore of Chicago, where we live. And it was one of those. It was actually a pot party. Pot had just been made legal in Illinois where I live that day. And I don’t like pot. I’ve never liked pot. I’ve smoked it a few times, mostly in high school with my brother. I just don’t like how it makes me feel. I don’t, it makes me feel kind of heavy. And I don’t like that. I’ve never done cocaine, but I always figured that I would probably be more of a cocaine person, which is also why I never did it because I thought I would like it.
So anyway, it was a pot party. I knew that I wasn’t gonna smoke pot, but that didn’t stop me from drinking champagne. It was a bottomless champagne kind of night. They had wait staff and you know, when your champagne glass is just never empty. So I have no idea how many glasses of champagne I had. I just knew that it was always filled up and that was fine by me.
I was ready to let go and just kind of have fun after, you know, such a hard pregnancy. My third pregnancy was hard. All of my pregnancies were hard, but the third was definitely the hardest. I was almost 40. So I just, I wanted a fun night with my husband and as tends to happen on bottomless champagne nights, the fun kind of stops somewhere along the way. And then this champagne takes over and I actually blacked out. And that was not my first time blacking out.
I remember getting into our Uber to go home and that’s it. I don’t remember anything after that until the next morning when I woke up still in my clothes.
I knew that I must have nursed my baby in the night because he was still nursing in the night and there was no way he slept through. So I, I did that in a blackout, which is horrifying to me.
And then I woke up in bed the next morning and I was just filled with so much shame and regret and self-loathing, and I hated, hated that feeling. And I had been there before many times. And so I peeled myself out of my bed, spent most of the day on the couch while my full life went on around me while my baby and my kids were around me. And I was not able to partake in the day and have fun and enjoy. And I just thought, God, what a waste.
Just what a waste.
And I said to my husband, I said, I’m done.
And I remember so clearly saying that to him and then freaking out inside and not even knowing what the hell I meant, but knowing there was still a knowing, even in the confusion, there was still just a knowing that I was done. I did not wanna feel like this ever again, you know, and I think he kind of laughed it off like, huh? Yeah. Okay. That’ll, you know, you’ll change your mind once the hangover goes away. And then in a few weeks have some wine with dinner or whatever.
I knew for some reason I just knew I was done and I picked myself up. I cleaned up the house and the mess all around.
And I just started to actually right then and there.
I started to look for something that I could listen to, because I love to listen to podcasts, to audio books . I love to listen to things while I’m cleaning the kitchen or cleaning the house folding laundry. And so I kind of started on this quest for information about alcohol and I, I was freaking out inside. I didn’t know if this meant that I had to go to AA. Was I an alcoholic? Like I pictured dark church basements and that really made me depressed. I was afraid that me swearing off alcohol would in some way it would mean that I would forever be tied to alcohol. And that alcohol would somehow mean more to me because I was always fighting it when in my daily life, I didn’t think much about alcohol.
I wasn’t a drinker who was drinking in the morning. I wasn’t hiding my drinking. I could go weeks without drinking, months without drinking. I could drink one glass of wine and be fine. I could drink two glasses of wine and be fine.
You know, my drinking was very gray. So it wasn’t this blinking red light to people around me that this is a problem. And that Suzanne has a problem. It just wasn’t that.
Still, there were times. And when I think back to my twenties and thirties less so in my thirties, because that was about having babies and growing my family, but definitely in my twenties, definitely in college where I did drink too much.
I grew up in Wisconsin, the binge drinking capital of the world. I went to college in Green Bay where football and beer is just a way of life. And so I definitely grew up in that binge drinking culture. However, I wasn’t alone in that. I don’t think I was really singled out in it, but I was also always down to have a good time in my twenties.
I lived in Atlanta and I loved to party. I just loved it. I loved a dance club. I was a party girl and I was happy to be, it was, it was fun.
And I’m actually glad that I had that experience. I know now how hollow that feels. And so it doesn’t feel glamorous to me even if it did look glamorous at the time.
But anyway, that that’s kind of my past experience with drinking. And once I started on that day in January, 2020, I started, I took a small step toward looking at the role that alcohol had played in my life.
And I now sitting here almost two and a half years later, have I just haven’t looked back. I haven’t wanted to go back to alcohol after uncovering all of those things that I probably hid away from myself for a long time.
And I had blinders on too. Once I took those blinders off and I realized what alcohol is, what it did to me, how it tricked me, the promises that it made me and how it always, almost always failed me. I now can see so clearly alcohol for what it is.
And I’m so grateful for that. I’m so eternally grateful for that moment in January of 2020, when I don’t know why, I don’t know why it was then I just had this inner knowing inside myself that I was done, even if I didn’t know what that meant.
And so my last two and a half years, I really been about uncovering what that, what that means and what does sobriety mean? And I started to share my sobriety story.
Then in June, 2020, we were in the midst of the pandemic and we were, you know, locked down for a long time in Chicago. And I suddenly found myself <laugh> without a village. I was alone with three kids under five. Um, my husband continued to work as he had to. He went to his office because his employees then worked from home. He would not be able to get any work done from home. So he continued to leave for his office every day.
We didn’t have a babysitter, I don’t have family close. And so I was alone in motherhood and in sobriety trying to figure it all out.
And I’m proud to say that I did. I mean, it was man…I’m sure I’m not alone in that. When you think back to 2020, I mean, oof. It was brutal. It was brutal. And saw me on the floor crying many days.
As soon as my husband walked through the door, I would collapse into his arms and cry and say, I can’t do this. It’s too hard. And he would say, I’ve got you go upstairs. And I would, and I would cry. And, and then I would do it again the next day.
So all that is to say that I made that decision in January and I’m, I’m so glad. And I know it’s, it can be uncomfortable to say it can be uncomfortable to hear, but I’m so proud of myself.
And I want to share kind of this different way to think about sobriety. That’s what I’ve tried to do on TikTok on Instagram. I think there are more drinkers who are like me in that we don’t consider ourselves alcoholic. We don’t consider ourselves addicts. We don’t consider ourselves even dependent on alcohol.
I now don’t consider myself in recovery, but we still question our relationship with alcohol. And there have been times when we’ve drank too much, we have blacked out and now maybe you’re in your forties.
Maybe motherhood has made you look at it differently. You wonder what alcohol is doing for you? What role is it playing in your life? What does your relationship with alcohol? What does that teach your kids? And is there another way?
And I’m here to kind of just share with you that yes, there is another way and you don’t have to forever be tied to alcohol if you stop drinking it. While AA is great for some people, and I completely respect that. That’s definitely not my path. I don’t think that my ego is too big. Um, which is one thing AA talks about. Like you have to put your ego to the side. I don’t think that’s a woman’s problem. Pretty much ever. I think our egos could be bigger. <laugh> I think we need to realize our power rather than consider ourselves powerless.
I don’t consider myself powerless to alcohol because I don’t drink alcohol. So maybe when I’m drinking alcohol I’m powerless to alcohol. Yeah, because it’s an addictive substance, right? It’s like cocaine. It’s like sugar. It’s like heroin. It’s like anything that you can get addicted to. Yes. Then you are powerless because it’s addictive. There’s nothing you can do about that. That’s it’s an addictive.
However, once I stopped drinking the addictive substance, I’m no longer powerless to the addictive substance. I’ve taken my power back and I feel powerful. And sobriety is powerful. It’s freedom from alcohol and everything. That it’s tricked me in all of its lies. Um, I’m free from that.
And there was such a relief once I just declared. Oh, okay…I’m no longer going to drink alcohol. I don’t need it. I don’t need it anymore. And I’m not gonna fall for its lies.
And I’m not gonna fall for the big marketing campaigns where women now have been targeted and moms, especially that we need alcohol for motherhood because that’s a lie. That is the biggest lie.
Alcohol for me made everything harder.
I think it helped for maybe that first 20 minutes when it did calm me down. But then my body tried to get back to homeostasis and I was forever chasing that first 20 minutes of that first drink. And, um, it doesn’t work. It just didn’t work.
And so I’m gonna talk to a lot of moms who have come to the same conclusion. Some of them are in AA. Some of them will have, you know, gone to inpatient treatment or consider themselves alcoholics and in recovery,
I’m gonna talk to some moms who are gray area drinkers like me, or who decided to take just a break from alcohol and then went back to it and how that feels.
So I want this just to be an open, honest conversation with moms and there just has to be a place for moms to say, yeah, I think maybe motherhood is easier without alcohol. I think that might be the case because everywhere you look, you would think that that’s not the case, but I think we might be onto something. So that’s what I hope we’ll be able to do here.
And I’m so glad that you’re here. I hope that this is helpful for you. I would love to hear from all of you, if you have anything that you want us to cover, I will sometimes get on here and I’ll talk about grief and sobriety. I lost my dad, my beloved dog and my grandma all last year, all while I was sober. So I have a whole lot of experience with grief and sobriety.
I’ll do those deep dive episodes too, I’ll talk about anxiety and sobriety. I used to struggle with anxiety. Now. That’s almost gone. You guys, it’s almost gone. And to say that my anxiety’s almost gone…I didn’t even know what that would feel like. And I actually just realized that the other day I was like, holy. I’m really not. I’m on 25 milligrams of Zoloft now, which is pretty much nothing. And I just don’t think I need it, which is bananas.
And I want it to be light. I want this conversation to be fun. And I wanna be able to laugh about, you know, the stupid I did when I drank and the crazy stuff that I do now when I’m sober, because the fun doesn’t end guys, I promise you, alcohol was not the fun. And if alcohol made something fun, then it probably isn’t fun.
So I’m so looking forward to this, this will be a weekly thing. We’ll just come on here.
We’ll chat with some of my favorite people. I have even convinced my husband to come on here and talk about what it’s like to have a wife who’s sober. He’ll talk about his experience with drinking and sobriety. He does still drink, you know, he has a beer here or there with golf, but not that much.
We’ll talk to my best friend who stopped drinking just months before I did. And didn’t tell me and I didn’t tell her that I had stopped drinking and we’ll talk about what that means for shame and why, why we’re not comfortable just talking about it openly as society and what that means.
Yeah. We’ll just get all into it.
So I am just so glad you’re here. I’m so glad to have this space to be able to connect with you.
And if you are struggling with your drinking or if you’re not struggling with it, but you’re just thinking that maybe you have outgrown it. Maybe it’s not working for you anymore. Maybe you just are curious and you wanna see what sobriety’s like, and yeah, maybe you’re just open to change. This is for you.
And I’m so glad you’re here. Thank you so much for listening to this episode of the Sober Mom Life. If you loved it, please rate and review it wherever you listen. Five stars is amazing. Also follow me on Instagram at the sober mom life. Okay. I’ll see you next week. I’m gonna go reheat my coffee. Bye.