Are you wondering what “alci-ness” is? You probably haven’t heard of it before, because it is a new word that I have made up today! So, I want to talk about something that really isn’t talked about much day-to-day. It is the use of alcohol in our society, and today I want to take a look at alcohol in the family, specifically.

Given how much I enjoyed alcohol in my early twenties, I have surprised myself with not drinking anymore. Right away when I had my babies and as they have grown into children, I have never been comfortable with drinking in my kids’ presence. Perhaps it was because I nursed my boys for the first year of their lives, so I couldn’t drink. But, also, my husband really didn’t drink or drink at all if I wasn’t. I would look forward to getting out and having some wine at a neighborhood mom gathering, but after a short while I lost my taste for alcohol altogether. We have saved a lot of money by not drinking! Check out my blog “The Lost Taste” for my story about shifting my vibration and becoming a non-drinker. It has been three and a half years since my last glass of wine.

I was able to observe alcohol in the family three years ago when I was at a training in Chicago. I went to a restaurant to get something to eat by myself. The place was empty, but then a family arrived and then another. Both families happened to be seated in my line of sight. So, I did my best not to stare. However, I had the opportunity to witness something that actually saddened me, yet it helped shape my values for my own parenting.

Both families had young children with one still in a high chair. One of the dads downed a martini, then he proceeded to drink some wine from the bottle that the mom had ordered. It was a similar scenario at the other table with beer and wine. I was so surprised that these parents would drink that much and mix while with their children. And, I wondered, who was going to be driving them home?

What I observed wasn’t just the alcohol consumption, but the parents were hardly engaging with each other or with their children, and at least one of the parents at each table was distracted with their phone. I am not writing this to be in judgement, but rather to raise our awareness to something that is very common in our society.

Even though I was rarely drinking at this time, it became clear to me that this wasn’t what I wanted for my own family. I knew that I wanted to be a present and happy mom without altering my consciousness. Operating at my optimal functioning with the demands of being a full-time mom with a business meant that alcohol wasn’t going to be a part of my life. Moreover, alcohol is a depressant and I was learning more about expanding my consciousness. Because alcohol is a depressant, I didn’t want alcohol to limit my spiritual growth. Some research has suggested that one serving of alcohol per day is good for our cardiovascular system, however new research is showing that it has very detrimental effects on the brain.

I’ve been thinking about alcohol during my own upbringing, and I realized that I really respect and admire my Mom for not drinking when we were kids, or now as a Grandma. She has this amazing enthusiasm for life and fun, and she is such an awesome, engaging Grandma. My Mom told me that she saw a show that said that the fastest growing group of alcoholics are women in their forties. I think this is because wine drinking has become a sort of ‘stylish’ thing to do. Someone else, who was studying the idea of having fun without alcohol, told me about a book they were reading that suggested that having even one drink is something to take a look at, if it is used as an escape, to relax, or to have more fun.

I am not sure about this whole alci-ness thing. It seems to be everywhere and the vibration of it is so low. Of all the families my husband and I have met over the years, we are only aware of three other families that are alcohol-free like us. My husband and I have created a guideline that we won’t have our kids sleep over anywhere that the parents are drinking. We feel that alcohol and parenting don’t go together. Further, a very large part of the problems in our society have their roots in alci-ness.

When the founder of eWomenNetwork, Sandra Yancey, ran into the Dalai Lama at an airport, he told her that, “The western women will heal the world.” In my opinion, one of the obstacles to healing the world is the alci-ness in the family.

To our growth and healing,

Rev. Dr. Rachel Wetzsteon