Bad Mums, Hurrah for Gin & UnScrummy Mummies

So yet another trend starts, and really not a new one, just with a 21st century twist, of social media and a sweep of women, mothers, who seem to be celebrating imperfection. I am totally behind them, in fact one of the bestselling authors of these latest scribes shares my name Sarah Turner. Behind them in the absolute fact that we are all imperfect, that is, not the coping strategy that they hail.

The pretense that gets forced down most young mothers throats is that you apparently have to be in a tribe of perfection in today’s judgmental society. There are so many empty words spouted about these days being quite the reverse, but it’s not true. I think society is more judgmental than ever, or at least we are all guilty of taking notice of what others think.

The days are gone when I was struggling to look fabulous whilst looking after young kids, a menagerie of animals, husband working away, house to run and fear of being judged constantly, not then on my parenting, but most certainly on my drinking. Those who have read about me know I had every joke in the book for drinking heavily, and was accepted for a long time, until wheels fell off.

I am not evangelical, but for sure we are now going to enter a period of alcohol abuse, among women, mothers and potentially their children, who whether you believe or not, are struck with very profound thoughts about gin slings and wine time. For the most part, and thankfully, they, the children, hate it. What might seem quippish in these latest efforts, really are sad testament to this next stage of what seems to be Mothers Ruin, just as the same as it was in Hogarth’s Gin Lane.



Ask any good and honest doctor what is the greatest drain on health care resources and their answer may surprise you. It’s not heroin or crack or ecstasy; it isn’t smoking or obesity, over which recently with York Hospital Trust there has been controversy. It is alcohol or the misuse of it.  But surely it is as clear as a bottle of Gordons, that both cigarettes and weight gain go hand and hand with drinking too much, the gateway to both often.

I am not judging or being parsimonious, but do really get quite angry about the hypocrisy of it all. None of us are alike, but many women now aspire to be just like others on this mission to handle booze and use it as a relaxant, a stress buster. So for some, many of whom I see as clients, have tried to be just like these women, and down to circumstances or their chemistry, it just doesn’t work. These women also tell me how much they have been hurt by the once funny comments about them using alcohol as a stress reliever, being overcome by it, and then dropped quicker than a nappy change by their tribe who were so very cool and supportive, before the realisation that actually ‘she’ is not like ‘us’. Just as they are not like a park bencher when they are sat on their Barker and Stonehouse sofa.

So for all the quips and guffaws about these women falling through sitting room windows after an afternoon session, and holding tins of ready mixed gin and tonics up to camera with a sweetly blue eyed confidence exuding from the picture, just begin to see the con of it all. If you enjoy drinking at parties and social events, and leave it there, fabulous, but using it as this latest clutch of women in celebration of self-medication, just realise that for many of us, and perhaps them, it rarely ends that well.

Author: Sarah Turner

Founder of the Harrogate Sanctuary.