There’s no question that parenting is hard, and that sometimes making it through the day with young children can be a challenge.
And while jokes abound about mothers who get the kids together for a play date under the guise of having a glass of midday chardonnay, there are others who use a slightly less accepted coping strategy.
Mary Smith* (whose name has been changed to protect her identity) was just 21 when she first smoked a joint, and after a decade-long hiatus, the 32-year-old, Ontario-based mother of one says she regularly smokes weed in order to calm her anxiety and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms.
“As a mother I’m constantly having to think ahead and be in multiple places mentally on a daily basis,” she said. “This allows my mind to return to home base. To focus on me and what is truly important. To recoup myself in a way that I previously had never experienced.”
Smith says she considers marijuana to be a safe and cost-effective means to immediately relieve stress and slow her mind down.
Katherine Jones,* a mom of two young boys in Vancouver also uses cannabis for its calming effects.
“I vibrate at 100,” she said, “But when I smoke pot I come back down to a 10, and I feel like I can deal with things in a calmer way.”
Like Smith, Jones* (whose name has also been changed to protect her identity) first smoked pot in her twenties, and at 33, admits to smoking “all day every day” in order to cope with the stresses of life. She acknowledges that raising young kids can be very hard, and says that she finds she is happy to let the little things go after smoking.
Nearly half of Canadians have used marijuana
According to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), nearly half (44 per cent) of Canadians say they have used marijuana at least once in their lifetime, so it’s not surprising that more and more parents are coming out of the woodwork and talking about their cannabis use.
In fact, there are entire Facebook and other social media communities devoted to moms who smoke pot. And while backlash is beginning to grow against promoting alcohol consumption among parents, the current track of marijuana legalization could reduce the stigma felt by those who use the drug.
Ashley Black* (her name has been changed to protect her identity) runs a tech company in Toronto, and the 48-year-old says she regularly uses cannabidiol oil, also known as CBD oil, to unwind after a long day.
“Instead of having a glass of wine (or two) at the end of the day, now I use CBD drops instead. They help me relax and unwind and get me ready for a good night’s sleep. This helps me re-charge so I can be ready to tackle the next day starting at 6 a.m.,” she said.
While Black dabbled a bit with weed in high school, she says she didn’t start using again until her two sons hit their early teens.