Sunday, December 17, 2017
Parenting & Relationships

Giving up alcohol, but looking for an explanation

Adapted from a 2012 online discussion.

Q: I gave up alcohol for Lent for a lot of reasons (save money and calories, etc.), but deep down the reason is that I was afraid I was becoming dependent and wanted to test myself a bit. So far (yes, a few whole days), it is good. I actually feel better not having the wine at night.

Assuming this goes well, I may just cut alcohol completely — having a somewhat addictive personality and a family history of alcoholism and cancer.

But my question is more how to handle the social issues associated with this. It's easy to say to my friends, "I gave up alcohol for Lent," and most aren't giving me a hard time, but what if it's permanent? Is it enough to say, "I realized when I gave it up that I feel better without it"? And my family is pretty big on drinking (even the non-alcoholics), so I will stand out, and they already feel like I push them away/try to distance myself. Suggestions?

No Alcohol

A: (1) Good for you. No, awesome for you.

(2) You don't need me one bit. "Gave it up for Lent, didn't miss it" is all you need; even years down the road, "Gave it up for Lent one year, didn't miss it" works great. Said brightly, in a clipped kind of way, it's a subject-closer. When pressed, shrug and say, "What can I say?" and change the subject.

If it becomes a sore subject with your family, assure them once: "This is about what I need, not about judging anyone else."

Expectant mother wants to feel happy about her second baby

I'm pregnant with my second child, and while it wasn't planned, it theoretically isn't unwelcome. I wanted my kids to be about two years apart, and I'm going to get almost exactly that.

However, I just want to push everything forward into the future by about six months. I feel miserable (I'm actually home sick today because of morning sickness and headache) and am just not happy about this pregnancy, which makes me feel even worse. With my first child, even morning sickness made me think "Wheeee! Baby!" but this time I just think it (stinks).

I really need to find a way to get excited for this child, because it's not fair to the baby. It's possible there's some depression going on, but I seem to be doing okay in other aspects of my life. I want to be happy and thrilled about this child, but I'm just not.

How to Get Happy?

A: While it's normal and okay, truly, not to feel overjoyed when you're nauseated, you should still explore the depression angle. Do it just to be responsible, of course, but also because if your physical sickness isn't the only reason you aren't overjoyed, then unburdening in a talk-therapy session or three will likely help. Feeling anything but overjoyed about a child can lead to guilt feelings, which you think you can't say out loud, which can lead to a shame spiral, when in fact mixed feelings about a coming baby are quite common, and also surmountable.

Comments

Tell Me About It: Thrown off by sudden, no-gift Christmas

Thrown off by sudden, no-gift ChristmasI am meeting part of my family for an early Christmas celebration. Five days out, my cousin e-mails everyone to say she will only be giving a present to her mom and our grandparents. She is skipping our aunt, my...
Published: 12/14/17
Plan your weekend Dec. 15-17: Katy Perry, boat parades, Star Wars parties, comics Gilbert Gottfried, Michael Carbonaro

Plan your weekend Dec. 15-17: Katy Perry, boat parades, Star Wars parties, comics Gilbert Gottfried, Michael Carbonaro

Superstar Katy Perry: In the ever-escalating arms race to be the most eye-popping pop star on the planet, sometimes you have to call in for backup. Even if you’re Katy Perry. When plotting her lavishly spectacular Witness Tour, which arrives i...
Published: 12/13/17
Updated: 12/14/17
Top things to do this week: Star Wars parties, comics Gilbert Gottfried, Michael Carbonaro

Top things to do this week: Star Wars parties, comics Gilbert Gottfried, Michael Carbonaro

NEW HOPE: Star Wars partiesWith the opening of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the force of fan excitement is strong, so of course there are Star Wars parties this weekend. The giant movie complex Riverview 14 GDX is having celebration with characters from...
Published: 12/13/17
5 things to do under $5: Gasparilla Bowl beach day, Hanukkah on Ice, boat parades

5 things to do under $5: Gasparilla Bowl beach day, Hanukkah on Ice, boat parades

1 Battle at the Beach: The Gasparilla Bowl is coming to Tropicana Field on Dec. 21, but before that the bands, cheerleaders and dance teams from Florida International University and Temple University will have a day of beach-related games and competi...
Published: 12/13/17
6 gift ideas for grandparents and grandchildren to spend more time together

6 gift ideas for grandparents and grandchildren to spend more time together

A grandparent can be a tough person to buy a Christmas gift for. Likewise, many grandparents are stumped on what to get the kids besides some cash. Why not make your Christmas gift something you both want more of: more time together making memories. ...
Published: 12/13/17

Tell Me About It: Leave gender out of division of housework

Leave gender out of division of houseworkWhy is it that when a woman cares about the division of labor at home ó like her home being a decent level of clean ó she is considered to be overreacting?OK, Iíll get down from my soap box now. (Iíll also bre...
Published: 12/13/17

Tell Me About It: Overwhelmed parent weighs out options

Overwhelmed parent weighs out optionsQ: Since my kids were born, my job basically covered the cost of day care. The kids came home overtired and overstimulated.As they became preschool age, I restructured my work to freelance so I could drop off and ...
Published: 12/12/17

Tell Me About It: Identity of biological father is revealed

Identity of biological father is revealedQ: When I was 18, my mother revealed that the father I grew up with was not my biological father. She claimed she didnít even know my bio father, and never contacted him again after their brief weekend fling a...
Published: 12/11/17

Tell Me About It: Parentsí extreme sheltering feels creepy

Parentsí extreme sheltering feels creepyQ: My daughter, 11, has three friends from school. One girlís parents are generous hosts. "Emma" is an only child and has a pool, fun toys, great snacks.The problem is that Emmaís parents donít let Emma be a gu...
Published: 12/10/17
Top things to do for the week of Dec. 11-17

Top things to do for the week of Dec. 11-17

Katy Perry: The Teenage Dream songstress roars into Tampa’s Amalie Arena on Friday ($45.75-$195.75). amaliearena.com. Hanukkah: The Festival of Lights begins Tuesday, bringing fun celebrations including Hanukkah in the City at the Sundial St. ...
Published: 12/08/17
Updated: 12/12/17