Next month, I'll have a year of sobriety under my belt. I've been pretty open about my struggles with alcoholism, but it's never exactly the easiest subject to talk about. Particularly when I can tell that being a non-drinker makes someone else feel super awkward.
There are lots of reasons why someone might choose to abstain from alcohol -- maybe they're allergic, or pregnant, or they just never got into it. Maybe, like me, they're a recovering drunk. Whatever the motivation might be, here's what we sober moms want you to know ... so everyone can feel a little more at ease.
We don't have a problem saying no. If you offer someone a drink and it turns out they're in recovery and that makes you want to DIE because OMG you cannot believe you offered that glass of wine what were you thinking, please just ... don't. That's awkward for both of us! We're fine saying, "No thank you."
But we don't love being pressured. No one should have to divulge their personal reason for not drinking, so don't get all weird and offer a drink like 50 more times and then act totally blown away that we're saying no, okay?
We're not antisocial hermits. Well, some of us are, but it's not because we don't drink. Don't automatically drop the sober moms from your happy hour invite list -- we can still go out and have a good time, even with a Diet Coke in our hand. And yes, we can go to bars, it's not like we burst into flames if we pass by a No Minors Allowed sign.
We never mind being the designated driver. For real.
We don't judge. You woke up in a dumpster covered in Cheetos dust with a receipt for a late-night eBay shopping spree clutched in your hand? Listen, we're here for you if you want to talk about it (those of us in recovery have probably been there, perhaps in that exact dumpster). And if you don't want to, that's fine too.
We don't think everyone drinks too much. Just because our own relationship with alcohol might be complicated doesn't mean we think everyone should quit drinking.
We don't mind sharing information. But we don't want you to think we have all the answers. If you want to know how we came to believe that we have a drinking problem or you want to know how we stopped drinking, most of us are happy to share our personal histories. Still, everyone's path is different. What was right for us might be wrong for you. While we want to help if we can, we don't claim to be experts.
What would you add to the list if you're a non-drinker?
Image via _BuBBy_/Flickr