The familiar meme of a baby’s pacifier lying beside a filled to the brim class of Pinot Noir has come to signify #momlife. Ask a mom at random how she keeps sane and she will likely answer, “Wine.” Wine is the go-to salve for frazzled nerves, exhaustion and a pressure release. It’s legal, ancient and served at dinner. Moms are encouraged, particularly by other moms, to uncork in the early evening (late afternoon?) or hit the wine bar hard on mom’s night out.
Modern motherhood has come to be defined as the improbable pursuit of “having-it-all.” Work, childcare and household demands with limited support mean that Moms carry a heavy load, taxing the body, nervous system and emotional and mental health. Alcohol can take the edge off, but while some studies have shown some potentially positive effects of moderate red wine consumption, the body ultimately processes alcohol as if it were a poison.
Your body may respond to too much wine with increased depression, weight gain, hangovers, or a brain fog. Alcohol consumption with a predisposition to alcoholism is also a situation that can quickly become dangerous.
Alternatively, the medicinal properties of cannabis have been shown to be many, including benefits for pain management, anxiety relief, muscular relaxation, insomnia, migraines, sexual function and an increased feeling of general wellbeing. Moms are starting to catch on: why poison your body when you can provide it with relief and have a more elevated experience to offset stress?
For some, weed and the like may conjure up memories of dorm-room bong-rips, stoner ex-boyfriends and paranoia. But today’s world of cannabis is much more nuanced and advanced, with a wide variety of consumption methods and experiential choices to suit individual comfort level, constitution and desired effect.
Vape pens in particular, as well as CBD-infused gummies, topical creams and tinctures are helping moms to discreetly integrate medicinal cannabis into their self-care routines for stress management. Moms who responsibly use cannabis in conjunction with other wellness habits like regular exercise and good nutrition report a laid back, rebalancing experience that helps to integrate mind and body as well as alleviating the effects of overwhelm, anxiety and depression.
Marijuana, like alcohol, is contraindicated for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, even though many moms “pump and dump” after a heavy night out. Most Moms integrate cannabis into their lives after weaning from breastfeeding, although preliminary research is exploring this area. While special care must be taken while consuming cannabis products around children (no driving, buy a lockbox), some forms, such as non-psychoactive CBD products with little to no THC, offer an enhanced sense of calm without the high.
We are told as moms to practice self-care, and for some this means downing half a bottle or more of wine at a time every evening in front of the kids. But even a “microdose” of cannabis can help moms manage stress, slow down and become more patient and attuned to themselves, their partners and children, without the hangover.