During the pandemic, a group of moms came together with one goal in mind: to help one another with sobriety. The pandemic left many people jobless, homeless, and in situations, they never expected to find themselves in. It’s put an immense amount of pressure and stress on people dealing with sick loved ones or being unemployed. As a result, many have turned to drugs and alcohol to cope, unfortunately.
According to the CDC, overdose deaths rose significantly during the pandemic. Alcohol sales and consumption also increased dramatically, according to a study by the JAMA Network. The Sober Mom Squad wanted people to know they’re not alone and offer moms much-needed support. The group gives people a safe space to talk openly and connect.
Sobriety brought a group of women together.
In March 2020, Emily Lynn Paulson, a recovery coach and facilitator of addiction awareness, noticed a huge increase in alcohol consumption. People had started calling and texting her, panicking about their drinking habits during the pandemic. One mom reached out to Emily, saying she thought she was just a social drinker but found herself drinking at home all the time.
After receiving many similar phone calls and messages, Emily and four other women decided to do something to help. That month, they co-created the Sober Mom Squad group to support women trying to maintain sobriety during the pandemic.
Eight months later, the group had become so large that they decided to start a paid membership program. The memberships offer services like virtual meetings, private forums, discounted one-on-one sessions, and more. The women saw a huge need for a sobriety support group because of the sheer number of people struggling during the pandemic.
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Sober Mom Squad helps women stay sober during the pandemic.
As moms kept contacting Emily for advice and support, she reached out to other sober influencers on Instagram for help. Since they worked in the same space, she knew they could collaborate and develop a plan. The Sober Mom Squad began as weekly Zoom meetings, where moms could connect and talk about the challenges of motherhood. The added focus of sobriety came into the picture a little later.
In the beginning, the team just wanted to create a small, safe space for women to connect. As they got more comfortable, people began opening up about their challenges with sobriety. While the group focuses on helping moms stay sober, it’s open to anyone, whether they drink or not. Whether they’re sober curious, totally sober, or struggling with addiction, the Sober Mom Squad welcomes them with open arms.
Especially during the pandemic, many people felt isolated and couldn’t connect with people as they normally would. For those struggling to maintain sobriety, the pandemic made the situation even worse. Sober Mom Squad recognized that so many moms and women out there needed a healthy outlet, a way to connect with others going through the same thing.
In an interview with the TODAY Show, one mom sheds light on the huge drinking culture among moms. Becca Heary from Sarasota, Florida, says the pandemic highlighted the widely accepted alcohol addiction among mothers. She taught yoga for 12 years and hosted yoga-and-wine nights for school fundraisers. Becca said that excessive drinking is a bigger problem than people think in the “mommy wine culture.”
In the Sober Mom Squad group, Becca met many moms with similar stories as hers. Some moms talked about drinking mimosas at playdates, casually cracking open beers at soccer games, and more. At so many events, wine and liquor were easily accessible and widely accepted, so they didn’t think much of it at the time.
Sober Mom Squad makes sobriety “cool” again.
While the Sober Mom Squad doesn’t substitute for an alcohol recovery program, it does offer valuable tools and support. It gives moms the platform and opportunity to discuss the problems they face in everyday life.
We live in a culture that glorifies alcohol consumption, making it seem like a harmless way to take the edge off. The toxic memes and cleverly marketed products like T-shirts and mugs that encourage drinking only add fuel to the fire. If you search online, you can find thousands of items with messages like “Mama needs wine.”
This shows how prevalent wine and drinking culture is among mothers. Unfortunately, it’s not seen as a problem until it becomes a full-blown addiction. The Sober Mom Squad doesn’t totally condemn alcohol, however. The founder wants to clarify that she’s not a prohibitionist; she wants to spread awareness about the dangers of alcohol.
The group offers a more subtle approach to recovery, where the main focus isn’t on sobriety itself. Instead, the Sober Mom Squad wants moms to realize that they can have a fulfilling life that doesn’t revolve around just alcohol. The founders don’t put any pressure on women to label themselves as sober or not. Rather, they just wanted to create a space for women to discuss a life free of addiction.