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Viking Grumpa like a regular grandpa only grumpier shirt, hoodie
And yeah, fine, I know I don’t get to vilify the wine o’clock memes because they’re not intended for the likes of me. I was not a woman calmly and casually sipping a sauvignon at the end of a glorious day of peek-a-boo and mummy-baby bonding time, planning our next excursion to the park or baby yoga. I was a woman locked into a continuous internal stream of calculations. How much wine gone will be noticeable to him when he comes home? I could finish it completely, open a new one and pour one glass and then he’d think I’d only just started? Or switch to a G&T, less obvious that way? Viking Grumpa like a regular grandpa only grumpier shirt, hoodie
Still, though not intended to rationalise an alcoholic, mummy wine memes were useful to me. Like my sick dad, I used them as ironclad justification. Parenting sober is just too hard: even the internet agrees. I’d get shit-faced at brunch because Friday nights out were such a rarity – it didn’t matter that I drank just as much on a Friday night at home now. Or on a Tuesday, for that matter. No one noticed.
Now that I don’t drink at all, it is laughably obvious. Our glass bottle recycling needs are virtually non-existent now, where once the counter by the sink was always crowded – and those were just the ones I didn’t hide. Plus there was a lot of Solpadeine cranking me through every murky morning when I snarled at my babies and loathed myself. I do marvel at the force of will that level of drinking, while also maintaining some semblance of normality, took. No wonder I was so wrecked by the end of the drinking days. It was verging on aerobic.
In the last days of my drinking, the obsession drove me. I was never fully present in any given moment, always thinking ahead to my next soothing glass. In many ways, I probably could’ve continued on a physical level but it was the total psychological takeover that became so unbearable. The drinking edged me out of my own body and on to the peripheries of my own life. It was a huge, growing parasite on my brain, dwarfing every other concern. It possessed me entirely and eventually became bigger than me, something other. It was my rotten baby. It clung to me and it needed me because I was its protection. I sipped wine at the table and watched as it played alongside my matching blond boys. Its rank breath disturbed their blond curls and I shivered at its proximity to them. I couldn’t let it hurt them and the only way to prevent that was to nurse it and cosset it and give in to its every whimper and demand. If I deprived it or rejected it, I felt the fallout would destroy my family and ultimately expose my problem