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View as: GRID LIST

Why I’m Not Doing Dry January

1
Dry January in the UK started in 2012 with four thousand people taking part. This figure rose to four million in 2018. It’s a fantastic campaign to help individuals change their drinking habits for the month and potentially afterwards. It also creates a sense of unity to be in something together, a support network during alcohol abstinence. But I’m a parent and sometimes I just want a drink to unwind, relax or whatever the reason might be (tick box depending on the day). For other reasons I will explain, I’m afraid I simply refuse to join the January
SelfishMother.com
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booze free club.

My first pregnancy: Six years ago, just before Christmas I had been feeling different, odd even, and after a long time trying for a baby I didn’t dare hope it had finally happened. I took a pregnancy test, it was negative, so I did what anyone on the edge would do: drank at my friend’s annual Christmas party. It was a total rebellious finger up to my body that was failing conception. Yet, a week later I discovered that I was indeed pregnant with my first bambino. It was a shock and a celebration, so I was happy to have a dry New

SelfishMother.com
3
Year’s Eve and pretend I had a stomach bug to my buddies.

It helped me: I have to thank Dry January that year because I didn’t want to tell others I was pregnant. Not that soon, it was too early on and it felt right for me and my husband to exist in our sumptuous, smug little bubble, holding tight to our secret. So, on all social occasions, I played the dry January card and I wasn’t questioned. It was my excuse until I was ready to announce the news. In February I became a recluse and by March we announced our news after our twelve-week

SelfishMother.com
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scan.

Twice was enough: The following January I found out I was pregnant again. My son was only five months old, but that’s another story. Once again, I was on dry January, albeit the tail end of the month. I was literally pregnant for two years. Dry, sober, Mrs Mocktail designated driver. I can’t see why I would volunteer for that again.

Miserable January: In addition, as a SAD sufferer, I count down the months until it is Spring and the clocks go forward ready for the blissfulness of summer. For me, November is a winter novelty, so I can

SelfishMother.com
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deal with it, December brings Christmas so it’s acceptable. But January and February? I find them boring, dark and often depressing, so why would I give up drinking just to add to the hardship? It’s not that I drink every day, in fact, I’m not a massive home drinker, I tend to drink when I’m out with others. But depriving myself of the option of a little drinkie just feels miserable.

Everything in moderation: Evidence suggests there are benefits of alcohol abstinence, and in August 2016, whilst desperately trying to fight health issues, I

SelfishMother.com
6
gave up alcohol for almost a month. I didn’t gain the health improvements I was seeking and it made me grumpy to be depriving myself completely. I’m not really a believer, or practiser, of all or nothing. I am a moderation type. Just because it’s January I won’t hit the gym like a loon, I will keep up with my fitness, which I try to do throughout the year. It’s the same as food and drink. I try to remain steady, rather than subscribing to deprivation, which in my experience has only led to bingeing.

Being more mindful: Instead in January

SelfishMother.com
7
2019, I will be taking the opportunity to review my drinking habits. I will consider whether I actually need or want a drink rather than automatically opting for one, especially when I’m out. For me, it’s about mindful drinking, an approach supported by Club Soda and their Mindful Drinking Movement. I know friends who do dry January and then hit the booze at a frenzied pace in February. Same with the gym. It’s common to find it jam-packed in January and then the keen beans ease off or give up. I’m no saint or critique if that’s what I sound
SelfishMother.com
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like, I’m just relaying what works for me.

In conclusion: I will be drinking in January, February and throughout the year. Unless I’m pregnant (not going to happen let me be clear) or medical reasons require me to cut out alcohol, then I will try to be mindful and reward myself when I want to with a tipple, chocolate or a wagon full of Haribos. I respect those who have the willpower to completely give something up in the new year. It’s just not for me.

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- 31 Dec 18

Dry January in the UK started in 2012 with four thousand people taking part. This figure rose to four million in 2018. It’s a fantastic campaign to help individuals change their drinking habits for the month and potentially afterwards. It also creates a sense of unity to be in something together, a support network during alcohol abstinence. But I’m a parent and sometimes I just want a drink to unwind, relax or whatever the reason might be (tick box depending on the day). For other reasons I will explain, I’m afraid I simply refuse to join the January booze free club.

My first pregnancy: Six years ago, just before Christmas I had been feeling different, odd even, and after a long time trying for a baby I didn’t dare hope it had finally happened. I took a pregnancy test, it was negative, so I did what anyone on the edge would do: drank at my friend’s annual Christmas party. It was a total rebellious finger up to my body that was failing conception. Yet, a week later I discovered that I was indeed pregnant with my first bambino. It was a shock and a celebration, so I was happy to have a dry New Year’s Eve and pretend I had a stomach bug to my buddies.

It helped me: I have to thank Dry January that year because I didn’t want to tell others I was pregnant. Not that soon, it was too early on and it felt right for me and my husband to exist in our sumptuous, smug little bubble, holding tight to our secret. So, on all social occasions, I played the dry January card and I wasn’t questioned. It was my excuse until I was ready to announce the news. In February I became a recluse and by March we announced our news after our twelve-week scan.

Twice was enough: The following January I found out I was pregnant again. My son was only five months old, but that’s another story. Once again, I was on dry January, albeit the tail end of the month. I was literally pregnant for two years. Dry, sober, Mrs Mocktail designated driver. I can’t see why I would volunteer for that again.

Miserable January: In addition, as a SAD sufferer, I count down the months until it is Spring and the clocks go forward ready for the blissfulness of summer. For me, November is a winter novelty, so I can deal with it, December brings Christmas so it’s acceptable. But January and February? I find them boring, dark and often depressing, so why would I give up drinking just to add to the hardship? It’s not that I drink every day, in fact, I’m not a massive home drinker, I tend to drink when I’m out with others. But depriving myself of the option of a little drinkie just feels miserable.

Everything in moderation: Evidence suggests there are benefits of alcohol abstinence, and in August 2016, whilst desperately trying to fight health issues, I gave up alcohol for almost a month. I didn’t gain the health improvements I was seeking and it made me grumpy to be depriving myself completely. I’m not really a believer, or practiser, of all or nothing. I am a moderation type. Just because it’s January I won’t hit the gym like a loon, I will keep up with my fitness, which I try to do throughout the year. It’s the same as food and drink. I try to remain steady, rather than subscribing to deprivation, which in my experience has only led to bingeing.

Being more mindful: Instead in January 2019, I will be taking the opportunity to review my drinking habits. I will consider whether I actually need or want a drink rather than automatically opting for one, especially when I’m out. For me, it’s about mindful drinking, an approach supported by Club Soda and their Mindful Drinking Movement. I know friends who do dry January and then hit the booze at a frenzied pace in February. Same with the gym. It’s common to find it jam-packed in January and then the keen beans ease off or give up. I’m no saint or critique if that’s what I sound like, I’m just relaying what works for me.

In conclusion: I will be drinking in January, February and throughout the year. Unless I’m pregnant (not going to happen let me be clear) or medical reasons require me to cut out alcohol, then I will try to be mindful and reward myself when I want to with a tipple, chocolate or a wagon full of Haribos. I respect those who have the willpower to completely give something up in the new year. It’s just not for me.

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Corporate to Kids

Who: Sarah - Queen of self-deprecation Job: from corporate HR career to Mum, Writer and Blogger Children: two boys with a 13 month age gap!! Obsessions: writing, Haribos, rainbows, coffee, fizz

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