This week on Talk Recovery Radio, Emily, Kiola and Lainy join the show to talk about Sober Mom Squad. The Sober Mom Squad is just as it sounds: a Squad of Moms who are already sober, those who are just dipping their toes in exploring an alcohol free lifestyle, and everything in between! Join us on Talk Recovery Radio’s Facebook page streamed live Thursday from 12-1pm PST
About Sober Mom Squad
During the Pandemic many moms found themselves feeling disconnected, alone, and unable to cope with the stress of family, kids, the pandemic and not being able to rely on their normal social circles for support. This disconnect lead to many mothers drinking more than ever. The drinking culture with women and moms, think “wine-mom” narrative, has normalized, and even encouraged drinking, day drinking and drinking around kids.
Connection in the time of Covid
Enter Emily Lynn Paulson, founder of Sober Mom Squad and author of Highlight Real: Finding Honesty and Recovery Beyond the Filtered Life, and the forthcoming Hey, Hun: Sales, Sisterhood, Supremacy, and the Other Lies Behind Multilevel Marketing (May 2023). She has also given two powerful TEDx talks, both challenging the status quo of parenting, alcohol use, and feminism as we know it. Emily has been in recovery for quite a while and was working as Recovery Coach and one-on-one with women who had experienced similar stories to her own. Emily was a high functioning person in her addiction, but the consequences of her drinking had some severe results and she hit rock bottom. She now helps other women who are juggling work, family, children, and life in general to learn to live free from substance abuse and to be fully present for their kids and loved ones. When the Pandemic hit, she noted that while many 12 step fellowships pivoted to using Zoom becoming digital, there was still wasn’t a space for Moms. Even before the pandemic it was difficult for Mom’s to not only schedule in meetings but also overcome the barrier of having to bring their kids to meetings and not wanting to deal with that. And while women’s meetings are great, there is a shared experience that mothers have with each other and sharing that experience and acknowledging that being a parent and not drinking can be difficult. So, Emily asked her Recovery Community to if anyone else wanted to start a Sober Moms Meeting and there was resounding support. Week over Week droves of Mom’s Zoomed in to share their experiences of strength and hope with each other.
The Community Grows
Among the many women that came were Kiola, and Lainy. Kiola is a certified nutrition coach and sober community facilitator. She worked for a decade in the fitness industry before pivoting to serve exclusively in the recovery and sobriety space. She is also a woman in recovery and is passionate about teaching her community how to use fitness and nutrition to support their sobriety. Lainy works as a fulltime marketer in the finance industry and supports Sober Mom Squad in her spare time as mentor and host. Both women joined Sober Mom Squad early on by reaching out in the sober social media and have grown to be integral parts of the Sober Mom Community as leaders.
Sober Mom Squad provided a place where moms don’t have to hide or have shame about how they’re feeling. Lainy experienced a lot of shame and difficulty even acknowledging she had a problem.
“I never had a great relationship with alcohol, but becoming a mom in late 2015, and being a new mom especially, I feel like I was given a golden ticket for permission to drink. Drink during playdates, just pour some wine and keep calm and carry on. When the pandemic started that all amped up exponentially. Because all of a sudden my seven and four year old girls were home for 18 months from school, and I was now working fulltime, managing the children all day everyday. My only coping mechanism that I had ever known was alcohol.”
Eventually Lainy became sober curious, and even drank as she listened to sobriety podcasts. While listening to one she heard Emily on an episode and something she said stuck. Emily had said “you don’t have to hit rock bottom to stop drinking.” And that resonated with Lainy. She’d already hit many rock bottoms, but did she really have to wait for everything to burn down before she acted? She decided then and there to get sober, and to change her life. She now inspires other moms to do the same.
Values and Goals
Kiola describes the work Sober Moms Squad does in relation to her values and the many things she is able to do now that she is sober.
“For us as moms we get to sit down and take a moment to reassess what’s valuable to us and what is important. We then use those values to set goals or intentions and that brings a lot of ‘aha’ moments. Where women realize they can now work towards things that are important to them now that they are free from addiction.”
The support Sober Mom Squad provides is built of the concept of the therapeutic value of one addict helping another. The peer support and encouragement in the group is what helps the moms feel like they can stop drinking and achieve things they never thought possible.
Sober Mom Squad has now grown to offer two virtual meetups each week. One is led by Emily, while the other is specifically for those with less then one year of continuous sobriety. Additionally, they offer periodic subgroup meetings for single moms, BIPOC, and neurodivergent parents. The diversity of the moms who attend is one Sober Mom’s greatest strengths. For a $15 a month fee there are also additional resources like community forums where Moms can post, ask questions, and share their stories to be celebrated and supported by other moms. Other supports include meeting women near you, book clubs, Sober Mom SIS one-on-one support (Support in Sobriety), a resource library and weekly guided workshops.
Listen and Subscribe
Talk Recovery airs live every Thursday at noon on 100.5 FM, Vancouver Coop Radio. The Last Door produces this weekly radio show discussing the many pathways to addiction recovery. To end stigma we must continue to talk about recovery. Talk Recovery is in its 7th Season, Hundreds of guests, thousands of listeners, thank you. Show ideas? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
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