Alcohol isn't going to fix the systemic lack of support for mothers--and pretending it's the solution to surviving motherhood does more harm than good.
Published: September 12, 2023
It’s Not About the Wine: The Loaded Truth Behind Mommy Wine Culture (Broadleaf Books, September 12, 2023)
A wine glass etched with “Mommy needs wine”; a T-shirt that says, “I wine because my kids whine”; and a onesie proclaiming, “I’m the reason mommy drinks.” This is Mommy Wine Culture: the pervasive message that alcohol helps us survive motherhood. But according to writer and mother Celeste Yvonne, it’s a symptom of a much larger issue: the mental load of motherhood, a burden born from outdated family norms, traditional roles, and a systemic lack of support for moms–all of which impact our mental health.
In this refreshing, honest take on some of the most pressing concerns for twenty-first-century parents, Yvonne mixes research, cultural references, her own story, and engaging interviews with other moms who sought refuge in wine and found a way out. Drinking to blur the tumultuous days of parenting is a catch-22: it actually keeps us from being present during this precious time. It’s Not About the Wine pulls back the veil on what’s really plaguing mothers, offers tangible tips for how to lighten your mental load, and paves a path forward for all of us who want to survive and thrive during these weary and wonderful years. From advice on talking about your mental load with your partner to curating the media we consume and the company we keep to deep reflections about how we use alcohol to manage burnout and stress, Yvonne helps us recognize the messaging of Mommy Wine Culture for what it is: a distraction from what we really need. If you are worn out and looking to evaluate your relationship with alcohol and motherhood, It’s Not About the Wine is an invaluable companion.
“The goal of this book is to look at why we mothers turn to alcohol as a solution in the first place and to help us all find ways to fix the underlying problems we face. There is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of in our sober journeys,” says author Celeste Yvonne.”The more people who speak up and talk openly about addiction, recovery, and sobriety, the more people struggling will feel safe to seek help, open up, or simply recognize the problem. I imagine a future where binge drinking isn’t an expected part of the college experience, where friends meeting up for drinks automatically includes both alcoholic and nonalcoholic options, and where a mother struggling elicits genuine concern and offers of support instead of jokes about wine being the solution to anything that ails her. What an inclusive, supportive, glorious world that would be.”
Sober mom advocate Celeste Yvonne is a writer and certified recovery coach (IAPRC) with over 20 years of experience as a communications professional in corporate America. Her essays on parenting, the mental load of motherhood, mommy wine culture, and sobriety resonate with mothers everywhere and have been featured in the Washington Post, Good Morning America, Today Show, and Refinery 29, among others. She is also a contributing writer to the Wall Street Journal and Publishers Weekly bestseller So God Made a Mother.
Over five years sober and a founding host of the Sober Mom Squad, Celeste advocates for mothers who struggle with addiction and mental health. She is a recipient of the Windfelt Inspire Award by the Dry Society Social Club, as well as the 2x winner of Red Tricycle’s Spoke Challenge for best writing. She lives in Reno, Nevada, with her husband and two children.