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Mama Lush = Mush?

I am here to tell you what we already know -- yup, motherhood is mutha-freakin' hard.  It is an endless juggle for sure.  Sometimes I don't know where it will end.  I know we are all different with different circumstances.  Some of us work long days away from the family.  Some of us work at home and try to juggle baby-duty with work-duty.  Some of us study long and hard all day to finish degrees.  Some of us are home all day caring for our babes, growing them into healthy, happy individuals.

Whatever our situation, it sure is hard.

Wine As evidenced by the wild success of the Mommies Who Drink mother chat (back in August 2006) and our penchant for w[h]ine nights as our preferred urbanMama gathering (having had almost a dozen or so urbanMamas wine nights over the past two years!), there are mamas who love to have a drink.  I am one of them.  Lately, I have just been so spent, that all I can think about is enjoying a glass of wine in silence at the end of my day.  The past few weeks have been met by grief (dealing with the death of a friend), work woes and stressors, love-and-marriage-not-going-together-like-a-horse-and-carriage, and four no-school days spent doing the work-at-home-while-still-spending-QT-with-the-kids.  Wine has been abundant and a daily calling.  The other day, even, when life just felt like it got too carried away, I mixed myself and another mama a hot toddy.  Yum yum.  It dulled my hypersensitive nerves (at all the noise of stomping and "mommy!!!"-calling) while some of my irritations (at stepping on endless hairclips or legos) were muted.

So, if I'm a mama lush, does that make me a "mush"?  Are you a "mush" too?  Or do you have another wonderful daily outlet that offers some relief from the craziness?  Please, lend some of your best suggestions on acheiving daily serenity now.

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I do not have any suggestions at this time but this post has hit home with me as my work/home life is begining to be more than I can handle at the present time. I would love to hear suggestions from the other mamas out there.

Hmmm . . . I'm not a drinker because my dad was an alcoholic, and I've always worried that if I start I won't be able to start. So my contribution here is just a list of my ways to unwind because, boy, that list of woes strikes home with me!

hot bath
trip to Kennedy School soaking pool
long walk (alone if possible, but even getting out with the kids the fresh air helps)
baking
chocolate!
buying yarn or material for a new project
reading something completely meaningless--no serious lit! no sad endings!
watching McGyver episodes from the 80s
going outside to cut and smell some herbs even if I don't need them for cooking--cheap aromatherapy
talking to my mom or one of my sisters
asking my husband for a backrub
organizing something trivial around the house (today it was the spice cabinet)
taking photos (sometimes I appreciate my kids more through the lens of a camera)
listening to music with headphones
drinking a perfectly hot cup of tea
asking my son to make a drawing for me

Wow. I feel better just writing this list. Almost better enough to go tackle the dirty dishes in the sink and the bills I need to pay and . . .

Oops. Meant "if I start I won't be able to stop!"

I also have a glass of wine regularly -- more than I used to before becoming a parent but not so much that I end up fuzzier than before.

I also come here, to read what y'all write, because it reminds me that I'm not alone and when I'm at the end of my rope, having my own mommy meltdown or am just plain tired, I'm not a psycho, I'm just doing a very hard job. Thanks for being here to remind me of that.

I'm with Kristin, UM really helps me feel like there are others out there having the same feelings of mothering exhaustion and that connection in and of itself provides a needed boost. After a really tough day though, People magazine and Ben & Jerry have been known to help me unwind :-) One other thought--putting the kids in the bath tub helps me relax--they are contained, quiet, and occupied!

wine...sometimes a couple glasses while making dinner or after the kids go to bed certainly is relaxing...

i'll often also do a half hour of yoga then sip a cup of tea, which helps immensely to relax my hard-workin' mama body...

having thrown up twice recently after 2 measly drinks, i realized it was time for a substitute. chocolate. much better on al lfronts and jeeps me from faling asleep too early, not running in the morning, and best of all - no more inconvenient barfing with 2 kids under 5 on my hands. now i have one on saturday nght and call it a week. we´re all much happier - and it´s cheaper, too.

I prefer to have chocolate AND wine. And yes, there are days that the promise of a glass of a nice red and a hunk of dark chocolate help me make it through with my sanity intact, but mosly it's just a nice reward at the end of the day; a little well-earned mama (and sometimes daddy) self-indulgence. So, pass the pinot and call me mush!

Nothing is quite as good as wine. I also say pass the chardonnay and Mush on!!! But...
steam room at the gym
workout
talk on the phone with friends
self-pedicure
face mask
hair conditioning
paint something in the house
sewing
gardening
check in with uMamas.com
uggg.. shop online
watch McDreamy et al

That's all I have right now.

Within 6 months of our daughter being born, my husband had learned a whole slew of new cocktail recipes. Our shaker has never seen so much use. We keep it to one per night - or some glasses of good wine - but we definitely use it to relax way more than we ever did!

"Bad" TV is my other indulgence. Mindless entertainment = checking out for an hour. Though it does mean that nothing else gets done - except maybe folding laundry ...

i love my wine, too, and i check in here at uM when baby's asleep. it's relaxing.

YES, I too really enjoy a drink or too regularly. Tonight I really needed it after spending forever getting the kids to bed, folding yet another load of laundry and cleaning up the kitchen..again...and watching bad tv really helps me. I wish I was better about doing something more healthy like yoga or meditation, but for now I rely on wine and chocolate.

I find that when I watch TV the pace and volume of the commercials, and all that yak, yak, yakking actually adds to my stress level. For now I am enjoying reading ... but once "Lost" starts I might get sucked into the vortex again.
A glass of wine while cooking can be very nice.

Regarding tv... resist the vortex with Tivo... no commercials and only the tv you want. I said no to my husband for a long time, becasue who needs to have tv be such a big deal that you need not only satellite, now tivo.. but it has been GREAT.

I agree with you Monica about the tivo - we watch way less tv than we used to. It's remarkable how much less tv, and now it's only the stuff we want to watch. Being in Pacific time, I hate having to wait til 9 or 10 to watch the shows I like, but with tivo, it records earlier versions so I can watch the 10:00 Weeds at 7:00!

Hmm...haven't been on uM in a while and the first post I see has a bottle of vino...this post must have been calling to me!

Chocolate is a daily must, but a great glass of red vino is just as lovely and is appreciated by me and hubby after the kids are asleep at least a few nights a week. We love wine, whether it's been a hard day or easy breezy day -- why do you think we moved closer to wine country? :)

Some days are so hard all I can think of is making it to "wine time" other days are easy and I don't think about it... As long as the consumption is limited and everyone is able to function, I don't see anything wrong with a nice glass of wine, a beer, or a mixed drink if that's your thing. Being "on" all day is hard work and if it takes some alcohol to cool down, then so be it! Hot baths, listening to good music, reading, exercising are all other nice ways to unwind... but the easiest, quickest fix for me is a good glass of vino. And on the other note, Tivo is the best - a must have!

Wine helps me relax but far too much. Then I'm ready to sleep before my husband and I have even had time to chat (or anything else). He brought back lots of Spanish saffron tea after a recent trip to the Middle East. He heats up milk with the tea and adds a little honey. It has been a wonderful relaxing ritual for us as we watch our favorite movies or catch up on some reading. Oh, and a nightly bowl of my favorite cereal helps too. I second the 'kids in the bath' idea. When my husband travels, I just put my son in the bathtub early and sit in the bathroom with lots of pillows and a book. He'll play for an hour or more if I'm really into what I'm reading. Then we're both ready for tucking in.

Gave up any alcohol consumption about 8 years ago when I realized that it was like a bad allergy for me. I have tried every now and then to have a glass of wine after a rough day, but it just makes things worse, and I can get hung over from just a few sips. So I tend to do other things to try to wind down. I feel now that tv is a huge waste of time for me since I get about and hour and a half of free time each night after my daughter is in bed, and about an hour of it is dealing with "stuff," so when I finally hit the bed, I pull out my nightly crossword puzzle (Simon and Schuster, from the editors of the NYT puzzles, but still not with pen!) and work on it for about 15 minutes or so. Or if I have found a particularly good read, like right now I'm into "A Dirty Job" by Christopher Moore, that may occupy me for 30-45 minutes, and is worth the extra sleepiness in the AM! Sure beats the wine hangover for me! :)

I had some sort of mental breakdown a few months ago and decided that the nightly glass-o-wine (+2) was not doing the trick for me. I hate to make the commitment, but I did it anyway. I joined a gym. I LOVE IT. Oh let me count the ways.
1.When my son has finds a new and more irritating way to 'get my goat' I throw on my shorts and drop him off at the very CHEAP and IMMEDIATE daycare at the gym.
2. I have an ENTIRE HOUR of a natural and healthy stress reliever.
3. I veg out and think of nothing, except tighting my abs, for the entire hour.
4. I then take a shower at the gym and get ready for my day in a leisurely manner. I don't have to worry about little hands in the toilet or dog food in the mouth the ENTIRE TIME. I don't have a little man crawling up my leg and saying "mama mama mama".
5. I pick up Tanner with a smile on my face. He is always so happy to see me and I feel the same way.
6. While walking out the door I feel great about myself, I am clean, I am happy. I have a adrenaline rush.

I have noticed that although I still like my glass of wine, I have one much less often.

Yahoo! I just discovered Urban Mamas and I am soo glad to hear that there are other women out there who live in my world.... since baby number three, Oregon's dreamy Pinots have become one of my best friends. I'm right there with you mamas - there is nothing like a glass of yummy wine and a big hunk of chocolate at the end of a crazy baby day. When's the next wine night? Count me in.

Yahoo! I just discovered Urban Mamas and I am soo glad to hear that there are other women out there who live in my world.... since baby number three, Oregon's dreamy Pinots have become one of my best friends. I'm right there with you mamas - there is nothing like a glass of yummy wine and a big hunk of chocolate at the end of a crazy baby day. When's the next wine night? Count me in.

Yes, I often have a glass or two of wine at night, or even a fruity or sweet cocktail. And I used the last of my Chinook book coupons on some yummy fair trade chocolate--and 3 bars disappeared in 5 days. Yikes!

For me, though, I think I need to cut back. I find it harder to get up in the mornings after a few drinks. I'm dehydrated and it also makes it harder to do my fast walk/run to preschool. I'm also winding down my nursing days (sniff!)so I can't justify the calories. Believe me, I have tried! Wine = Carbs = Good for milk production, right?;)

But I'm with Marlynn--yummy local wine is one of the better perks of living in the NW.

Thanx for reminding me......
After I read this post, I kicked the family out for a couple of hours. And instead of catching up on much needed housework, I gave myself the full-on spa treatment.Mud mask, salt wrap, milk bath with rose geranium. I lit some candles, put on some "Galaxy 500", and brought a bottle of wine and chocolate into the bath with me. I even shaved and gave myself a pedicure. I soaked so long I had to add more hot water.
When my sweethearts got home, I appreciated them so much more.
Mamas, let's not forget...the better we treat ourselves(whatever the 'vice'), the better we treat our loved ones!

my husband's a very-recently-recovering alcoholic so I've developed a love-hate relationship with wine (much though I love a good glass, I'm starting to wonder if those Temperance folks weren't on to something). but I very much need the wind-down time, especially lately. writing is my one true love, it's my therapy, but I also use some of the relaxation techniques mentioned... knitting, bad TV, *good* TV (I love 'Life' and 'Friday Night Lights' most of all lately), a good bath, and hanging out with other mamas for a nice breakfast / lunch / coffee. oh yes, coffee, the wine of the sober!

my husband and I have agreed that I have regular 'me time' once a week, on Sunday afternoons, when I leave the house for a few hours and do whatever I want. yesterday: breakfast at Broder, knitting at Tandem, some new yarn from the Yarn Garden. I came home happy and cleaned the kitchen and organized all the puzzles :)

Ah, Sarah Gilbert, it's amazing how one sober person in the house affects everyone else. I certainly don't use a glass to unwind as much anymore, but I guess that's a good thing? That must be what the Al-Anon meetings are for, teaching the wives how to mourn the loss of unwinding with a glass of wine with the hub. I am sometimes sad that we don't get to share that anymore. Best of luck to you both in this area. And AMEN to alone time!

I work for Oregon Partnership, an agency dedicated to eliminate alcohol and drug abuse. We support moderation in alcohol consumption. It is important to know what is moderate. It is one drink per day for a woman. Its also important to know how a drink is defined: 1 12 oz. beer or 5 oz of wine or an oz and a half of 80 proof spirits.

I really sympathize with the difficulty in parenting. I think this is a very hard time to be a parent. I run a public education campaign against underage drinking. We are trying to reach parents with a message of hope--that there are several things parents can do that will help their kids stay away from alcohol and drugs. I have noticed that the parenting blogs and websites seem to focus on parenting young children. Why is that? Is it that parents of older children are too exhausted to blog? Or am I looking in the wrong places?

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