Monday, 19 March 2012

How much is too much?

Recently I have been thinking about drinking. Being a massive fan of all things alcoholic, an article in one of the Sunday supplements got me to thinking about my own alcohol consumption and whether it was excessive or not.

As a result of this article, and the recent drive by the government to encourage people to have at least two alcohol free nights per week, I have literally been doing my boyfriend's head in by moaning that I drink too much. Despite this moaning however, I don't seem to be cutting down.

Before I go further I should probably clarify exactly what I do drink.

I rarely get drunk. I have had a few nights out since I had Ava, but most have ended with my head down the toilet. It appears my ability to hold my booze has severely declined since having a baby. Plus a hangover whilst looking after a child under 6 months is pure hell. I'm not kidding. I'd rather do a 12 hour shift on my feet than have to look after Ava with a hangover. It's just not worth it. But I do drink almost every night. I say 'almost' because recently I have been trying to have these 2 alcohol free nights per week. My weeks don't always work out like that. But I am trying.

The thing is, I don't get drunk. I have a bottle of beer, a glass of wine or a Gin & Tonic most evenings. But not really much more than that. I might top up my glass of Chenin Blanc once dinner is on the table. Or have an extra Gin & Tonic on the rare occasion that I actually stay up past 9pm. But I don't think I drink to excess. What worries me isn't that I tend to have a drink most nights, it's that if I don't have that drink, I feel like I am climbing the walls by 8pm.

Now this is something that has only started since I had a child. When I was young, free & single, I could pretty much be counted upon to be out getting lashed most weekends. But week nights and nights in, I could bypass the booze quite easily. Nowadays I find myself with an internal countdown clock, ticking off the minutes until bath time (Ava's) and a bottle of beer. It's not that she's a particularly hard baby to look after. She's a little demanding and not the type of baby who likes to entertain herself or play on her own. So most of my days are spent trying to entertain her whilst still trying to prepare dinner, get the laundry done and sort out my chipped nail polish. And I think it's that constant need for my attention that causes me to be reaching for the Gin as soon as I hear the opening credits to Emmerdale.

It's a routine I enjoy and have become quite accustomed to. We spend the day together. Some are good, some are not so good. Sometimes she's a joy, I get some baking done while she gurgles adorably in her chair in the kitchen and my bloke comes home to a clean house, dinner cooking and us playing happily on the floor in front of the 6 o'clock news. Other times Ava refuses to nap, is grumpy and upset and won't let me out of her sight for a minute. I can't go to the loo without her screaming blue murder. It takes me 3 hours just to load the dishwasher and the chances of me doing anything in the kitchen other than reaching for the wine are slim to none. On those days my boyfriend usually comes home to me still in my pyjamas and tearing my hair out. But he's usually aware of this from an early stage due to the abusive texts he receives throughout the day telling him on no uncertain terms that Ava will most definitely be an only child. It's a wonder the poor guy actually comes home at all.

The 'only child thing' changes about 10pm every Wednesday night with the closing credits of One Born Every Minute. Where, with tears rolling down my cheeks, I wail at him that I want another baby and to impregnate me instantly. Thankfully he knows I don't really mean it.

Anyway, I'm getting off track. But on those bad days, as with the better (but still demanding) good days, I NEED a drink come early evening. I don't know what it is. It relaxes me. It chills me out. I can physically feel the stresses of that particular day draining away with the first few sips. I'm in a better mood. With Ava and my boyfriend. And in a better mood with myself. But I do worry that as Ava gets older she'll start to question why I always have a drink in my hand come early evening.

Am I teaching her restraint? That drinking in moderation is the way to go? She'll rarely see me drunk. So will she be learning that booze is there to be enjoyed as long as it is done sensibly? Or will she view me as a bit of a lush? Maybe she will judge me when she's a older and she hears the familiar clink of ice cubes or the gentle pouring noise coming from the Cab Sauv.

I'd rather she remembered me as smelling of Chanel not Chablis.

I'll ask her in 30 years time.

We can discuss it over a glass of wine.

Detox update: even after cheating considerably last week, I still managed to lose 4lbs. This is despite having a small glass of wine or a beer most nights (see above), eating red meat (an amazing lamb tagine on Thursday night & a Wagamama beef salad with the lovely Smidge on Saturday) & having some dark chocolate on Saturday night. It's amazing though what avoiding bread and pasta can do!)


Gia said...

Ha! I blogged about the SAME THING today:

Well, I don't have a baby. But just "heyyy, maybe I should cut back"

Dawn Young said...

Great minds........x

Unknown said...

thank you for your comment on my blog :)
unfortunately the top wasn't a recent purchase I got it about a year ago im afraid :( x

★ JASMINE ★ said...

hey miss i just found your blog and i love it!
now following you ♥! say hi back sometime?

also, be sure to enter my *MAC Makeup Giveaway* that i've got going on today! what's there to lose, besides a free lipstick of your choice?

hugs, xo!

Dawn Young said...

Always the way! :) x

Dawn Young said...

I will check it out :) x

Anonymous said...

New follower, love your blog!
I think it sounds as if you are a fantastic mother, and in my opinion you shouldn't beat yourself up about this. I like a drink most nights and I haven't even got a baby!

Dawn Young said...

What a nice thing to say.

You're obviously a girl after my own heart ;) x