Sober Curious? Here’s How to Explore Sobriety as a Mom

exploring sobriety as a mom"
exploring sobriety as a mom
Source: ColorJoy Stock
Source: ColorJoy Stock

For most of us, our relationship with alcohol is ever-evolving. And depending on many outside factors, everyone’s view on alcohol is different. That being said, there are a few universal truths. First, drinking alcohol is an ingrained part of our society, for better or for worse. Second, when used intentionally and in moderation, it doesn’t have to be a negative part of most of our lives. But we do know copious alcohol consumption can be harmful to our physical, mental, and emotional health. 

Lately, the idea of sobriety has been floating around social media more and more. Maybe people in your own circle have been dabbling with the idea, or maybe you’re the first. This “sober curious” movement has opened up discussions about limiting drinking and exploring sobriety. People are becoming fed up with two-day hangovers, making decisions they regret in the morning, and not getting the rest they need to be productive in their day-to-day lives. 

It’s not our style here to judge anyone, and we know that not everyone wants or needs to cut out alcohol. However, if you are feeling sober curious, here’s how to explore sobriety as a mom in a way that doesn’t feel limiting or unachievable.

What does it mean to be ‘sober curious’?

We’re probably all familiar with “dry January,” where people challenge themselves to take a break from alcoholic drinks for a month after the holidays. Those who have been successful often end the month explaining to friends how good it felt to wake up without a hangover, sleep better, and experience less anxiety during the “Sunday scaries.”

Many people are choosing to take it a step further, exploring total sobriety for a myriad of personal reasons. But being sober curious doesn’t mean we have to have a reason to cut out alcohol like trying to conceive, being pregnant, or dealing with a drinking problem, anyone can simply give sobriety a try for the sole purpose of feeling better and getting healthier. 

Why are people taking a break from alcohol?

Why are so many people choosing to explore sobriety? As we said, there could be a number of personal reasons, but it’s no secret that alcohol has few health benefits, and drinking in excess an be incredibly harmful to our health. 

The physical benefits of cutting out alcohol are plentiful. Forgoing that regular glass (or two) of wine can lower blood sugar and blood pressure, lessen heartburn, indigestion, and headaches, increase our energy, and help us sleep better. Of course, alcohol also affects important internal organs like our liver, which filters the toxins in alcohol, and our heart, that has to work overtime when we become dehydrated from alcohol. 

As busy moms, we know how important having higher energy levels and a good night’s rest can be. What may not be so clear is just how much alcohol can impact our sleep patterns. While alcohol typically helps us fall asleep quickly, research shows that drinking disrupts our quality of sleep throughout the night. 

Our bodies’ response to alcohol on a physical level, like a decrease in quality sleep, can lead to lasting emotional and relationship issues. Studies have also found that decreasing our alcohol intake can improve our relationships as we can be more present for the people in our lives, can lessen the effects of depression, and can even increase libido. Cutting out or cutting back on alcohol means saying goodbye to pesky hangovers that tend to rob us of a day (or more) of productivity. 

exploring sobriety as a mom
Source: Helena Lopes | Pexels

How to explore sober living 

As great as this all is, experimenting with sobriety tends to be tougher than it sounds for many. Though there are a lot of benefits to forgoing alcohol, it also tends to be a reliable thing to turn to after a long day, or an easy way to loosen up and get out of our comfort zone at a social gathering.

Then there’s the pesky “Why aren’t you drinking?” “Are you pregnant?” questions we have to dodge each time we opt for water over a merlot. So what does sobriety look like on a practical level? There are certain things we can do to explore sober living that won’t derail all of our routines. 

Find new ways of decompressing

Back in 2020, due in part to the global pandemic, “mom wine culture” was at an all-time high. To get through weeks of uncertainty, consistent fear and confusion, and our bodies regularly being in fight or flight mode, many people (not just moms), turned to alcohol for a way to relax. The practice of decompressing with alcohol was not a new concept in 2020, but it did become more popularized and accepted, especially with the help of social media. It’s no surprise that winding down at the end of the night with a bottle of wine became even more of the norm. 

But now, several years later, many people and parents have kept up the habit of reaching for the wine bottle at night as a means of relaxing. After a long day of working and taking care of a family, it’s safe to say we deserve a little TLC. The good news is that there’s ways to do so without dealing with the aftermath of alcohol the next day. Instead of heading to the wine rack, try one of the following:

Try a zero-proof alcohol alternative or a fun mocktail recipe

Another way to enjoy exploring sobriety is by trying different non-alcoholic beverages. With more and more consumers becoming sober curious, more NA brands have come out in recent years. Instead of picking up a bottle of wine on our way home, we can reach for an alcohol alternative like Hiyo, Spiritless, or Olipop. Many of our favorite brands already make NA options as well!

And on that note, it can be really enjoyable to experiment with different types of mocktails. Along with NA canned drinks, there are options for zero-proof liquors like tequila and vodka that mimic the taste of alcohol without the harsh side effects. We can try making our go-to drinks with zero-proof alcohol to see how they compare, as well as experiment with recipes that are entirely out of the norm for us. 

When it comes to social events, most venues are including more mocktail options. We can either ask if they have mocktail list, or to make a particular cocktail “virgin,” and any decent bartender will be able to make it happen. When in doubt, we can always opt for a club soda with lime or any other sparkling beverage. This way we’re not feeling left out, but we’re also not dealing with a hangover the next day. 

exploring sobriety as a mom
Source: ColorJoy Stock

Try out activities that don’t involve alcohol

One of the most challenging parts about experimenting with sobriety is all of the events that involve alcohol. Growing up in the Midwest, I learned early on that each event I went to, whether that be a concert or a 5th birthday party, alcohol was likely to be offered. In fact, it’s so commonplace, that “going out for a drink” is considered an event. And while I don’t judge anyone for indulging, it made me start to wonder what types of activities I could do that didn’t need to involve drinking. I realized there are plenty of things to do that can be really enjoyable, without alcohol. Some of my favorites  are:

  • Bowling
  • Going to the movies
  • Taking a cooking classes
  • Trying a new exercise class
  • Going to a comedy show
  • Hitting the farmers market

Responding to ‘why aren’t you drinking?’

Unfortunately, not everyone has gotten the memo that it’s quite rude to comment on someone’s choice to not drink alcohol. So what should we do when exploring sobriety and someone asks about it at a social event? One thing that I believe can be helpful is having casual conversations about sobriety with friends and family in smaller settings before we’re out in bigger crowds or at events. This gives us an opportunity to explain why we’re choosing to take a break from alcohol, and may even influence other to try it out as well. 

If someone we’re not as close with is curious as to why we’re not drinking, or there’s a certain friend or family member who just doesn’t “get it,” it’s important to remember we don’t owe anyone an explanation. When we’re asked why we’re not drinking, it’s up to us to decide how much or how little information we choose to give.

If you’re like me—a chronic people-pleaser and over explainer—this concept can be tough to grasp. I want to explain myself in much more detail than necessary and will most certainly get uncomfortable if someone keeps coming at me with questions. In these moments, it helps to remind myself that sharing only what I feel comfortable with is normal; anyone who presses for information I’m not willingly sharing is actually the one being rude. 

The Best Non-Alcoholic Drink Brands

Beer Alternatives

Look for NA options from your favorite brands like Corona, Busch, Blue Moon, and more. If you want to try a brand that’s dedicated to the NA cause, try one of the suggestions below.

athletic brewing na beer
Athletic Brewing
NA Beer

Athletic Brewing has become a household name in the NA beer game. With plenty of flavors, from a crisp golden to hoppy IPAs—and even some gluten-free options!—there’s something for every beer-lover.

Shop now
hop wtr na beer
12 Flavor Pack

A variety pack of NA sparkling water with hops from celebrated brand HOP WTR equals plenty of fun options to try.

Shop now

Wine Alternatives

Our favorite blends without the grogginess and unruly hangovers? Sign us up again and again!

non alcoholic wine surely
Non-Alcoholic Sparkling Rosé

If you’ve been sober curious for a while now, you’ve likely heard of Surely. Many of their offerings have raving reviews, but few more than the delicious Sparkling Rosé.

Canned versions are also available!

Shop now
dry goods company na wine
The Dry Goods Beverage Company
Alcohol-Free Wine Sampler

There’s nothing quite like a sampler pack. Find a new favorite out of these six bottle options—from crisp Chardonnay to delectable Pinot Noir.

Shop now

Liquor Alternatives

You don’t have to give up your favorite cocktails when exploring sobriety. Instead, exchange your favorite liquor with an NA version to get the same flavors you know and love.

ritual na tequila
NA Tequila Alternative

Whip up a refreshing margarita or paloma minus the effects of tequila with Ritual’s zero-proof tequila. Ritual even provides mocktail recipes right on their site so you can find something new to try each time.

Shop now
lyre's na gin
Amazon | Lyre’s
Dry London NA Gin

Few drinks are as refreshing as a classic G&T. Try Lyre’s alcohol-free gin for the firm flavors you’re looking for.

Shop now
free spirit na bourbon
Free Spirits
Bourbon Alternative

For an award-winning alternative to the traditional Kentucky Bourbon, look no further than Free Spirits.

Shop now
clean co na vodka
Clean Co
Clean V NA Vodka Alternative

Clean Co’s alcohol-free vodka pairs perfectly with everyone’s favorite mixes—cranberry, soda water, lemonade, and more!

Shop now

Other Non-Alcoholic Options

Want some ready-to-drink options or alcohol alternatives that taste nothing like alcohol? Look no further than these brands!

Ghia non alcoholic drink
Non-Alcoholic Aperitif

Ghia is a non-alcoholic aperitif that you can sip on its own or use to make mocktails. This one feels extra fancy, even if it is an alcohol-free option.

Shop now
free af non alcoholic canned drink
Free AF
12 Can Variety Pack

From an aperol spritz alternative to a cucumber G&T, Free AF is all you could want in the alcohol-free canned cocktail game.

Shop now
lyre's non alcoholic spritzer
Amazon | Lyre’s
Amalfi Spritz

Consumer-favorite brand Lyre’s offers this refreshing canned version of their Amalfi Spritz drink.

Shop now
olipop canned soda best sellers sampler
Best Sellers Variety Pack

Closer to a soda than an alcoholic beverage, Olipop drinks are such a treat, made with real fruit juices and containing just a small amount of sugar per can. There’s plenty of flavors available. Plus, they support digestive health!

Shop now
brett nicole hayden

Brett Nicole Hayden, Assistant Editor

As the Assistant Editor, Brett works with the editors of The Everymom on the content creation process by updating stories, sourcing images and graphics, and pitching and contributing her own articles. Her favorite topics to write about are culture, relationships, and living. She’s also The Everymom’s resident baby names and family movies expert!