Alcoholism, like steak and potatoes, always seemed to me to be a man's problem - not something we women would ever have issues with. (In the same vein, women should always be in the kitchen making pies to serve their husbands for dinner - I know my logic is flawed).
Newer studies have disproved my long-held belief that alcoholism mainly plagues men. More and more women are becoming alcoholics, especially those of us born after World War II.
Why is this the case? Why are women - a lot of them mothers - turning drinking from a simple glass of wine with dinner into a favorite pastime?
As someone who writes a blog ironically titled "Mommy Wants Vodka," you'd think I'd be one of these women. I'm not.
So when does drinking among mothers become a problem? How do you know if you're becoming an alcoholic?
First of all, why has problem drinking become more common among women? After World War II, more women began to work outside the home but were still expected to keep house, raise wonderful and loving children, and remain relatively stress-free.
Easier said than done. Stress plays a major role in drinking - and many women, especially those who have busy or powerful jobs formerly held only by men, turn to alcohol to unwind.
So how do you know if you're toeing the line between alcoholic and recreational drinker? What's normal for a cocktail mom and what's a sign of a bigger problem? Here are some signs that your social drinking has become much more than that:
*You find yourself drinking more than a few drinks to release stress. Every day.
*You hide your alcohol use from family members.
*You've been told by those who love you that you're drinking too much.
*You stash alcohol in places people won't look - in the kid's diaper bin, for example - in order to cover up your drinking.
*You can't stop thinking about that next drink - where it'll come from, when you'll be able to have it, how much better it will make you feel.
*You feel shame about the amount of alcohol you're drinking at playdates and birthday parties but don't know if you can resist that awesomely delicious cocktail.
*You know you probably need help to stop drinking and be a better mother, but are afraid to admit that you have a problem.
*You realize that you're more fun to be around while drunk, because your mommy friends are always there, pouring you another drink and laughing at your antics.
*"I'll just have one more drink" becomes your motto at playdates and jewelry parties.
Do you know anyone who has a drinking problem?
Image via Sam Howzit/Flickr