Article by Kristi Pahr, The Week
“Motherhood, powered by love, fueled by coffee, sustained by wine.”
That’s a common trope these days: Moms drink wine. Lots of wine, from the sound of it. Motherhood is hard, and nothing makes hard stuff easier than sipping a little rosé and watching Netflix. We know it, everyone knows it. Boozy moms are a thing, especially boozy millennial moms.
What’s less commonly known is that moms, particularly stay-at-home moms, live with depression at a higher rate than other folks. And alcohol can increase feelings of depression because of the way it interacts with certain neurotransmitters. So stay-at-home moms sometimes struggle with depression and anxiety, then drink wine to feel a little better, relieve some stress, and relax at the end of a long day. But the wine they’re drinking actually has a tendency to make them feel worse, not better.
For some moms, the answer lies not in the wine glass but in the bong. Today’s mothers are turning to recreational marijuana to take the edge off after a long day of child-rearing, or even help treat more serious problems, like postpartum depression.
“Once I became a mom I never even considered using it, but I wasn’t the same after experiencing postpartum depression with both of my daughters in various forms,” says Celia Behar, a life coach and cannabis advocate. A friend recommended she try pot. “I balked at first but eventually, out of desperation, I did it and it worked better than anything else I had tried.”
Indeed, cannabis has been shown to improve symptoms associated with clinical depression and some anxiety disorders. And the stigma surrounding marijuana is slowly disappearing. It is legal, either medically or recreationally, in 29 states and the District of Columbia, and 13 percent of all U.S. adults say they use cannabis in some form. As such, the weed industry is booming, with products from lip balm to infused cooking oil available for sale, and cannabidiol products are available over the counter, even in states where marijuana is not yet legal. In other words, weed is mainstream, and it’s only getting more mainstream as cities decriminalize and states move toward legalization.
And yet, moms who choose to use pot are ostracized.
Jenn Lauder, founder of Splimm, a website about pot and parenting, has been snubbed by her fellow moms. “The most negative responses by far came not from my family, colleagues, or friends, but from parents of a few of my daughter’s pals,” Lauder says.”‘But you’re a MOM,‘ they’d lament after I told them — even if they were sipping mimosas or nonchalantly enumerating the pharmaceuticals they ingested daily.”