HARDING and WHITTINGHAM: #WineMom: Humour and empowerment or binge drinking and mental health challenges?

Lisa Whittingham, a PhD candidate in Brock’s Department of Child and Youth Studies, and Kelly Harding, Adjunct Professor of Psychology at Laurentian University, had a piece recently published in The Conversation about a study they conducted that explored the #winemom hashtag to better understand how alcohol consumption was juxtaposed with motherhood.

They write:

“If you Google the term “wine mom,” you’ll find an array of comedic returns, including countless memes of celebrities like Julia Louis-Dreyfus maniacally waving a bottle of wine or Amy Schumer drinking from an oversized glass, or numbered lists pointing to “signs you might be a wine mom.”

You’ll also find popular media articles highlighting that while this trope initially appears to be harmless fun, it also alludes to a darker underside of modern motherhood. 

As fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) preventionresearchers, we are increasingly interested in the growing popularity of this phenomenon and its portrayal on social media. 

A wine mom is a mother who drinks wine to take the edge off daily tasks associated with motherhood. While the use of substances to cope with challenges is not new (like “mother’s little helper”), the term wine mom became popular in the mid-2010s when mothers began to self-identify and joke online about drinking wine to cope with the stresses of modern motherhood. This self-identification helped women to generate social connections (though perhaps superficially) with other mothers in online spaces.”

Continue reading the full article here.

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