Alexandra Zauner Sober Motherhood & Mommy Wine Culture

Mommy Wine Culture & Embracing Sober Motherhood

January 22, 2024

Mommy Wine Culture & Embracing Sober Motherhood Episode 011 of the Mavens of Motherhood Podcast Ella interviews Alexandra Zauner the Founder of Lucille’s Bottleshop!

Alex Zauner has been alcohol free for 9 years and removing alcohol was the catalyst to getting her to where she is today. The journey of living an alcohol free lifestyle opened up so many doors that never would have happened for Alex. Alex is an alcohol free advocate with a mission to disrupt the narrative around an alcohol free lifestyle. She hopes by sharing her story it empowers others in their journeys. Alex has a passion for creating opportunities for others to show up and be fully themselves without alcohol, through retreats, sober circles and community events. Alex is a business owner of Lucille’s alcohol free tasting room + bottleshop, a mom, wife, friend and life experimenter. 

In this episode, Alex and Ella chat and dismantle the idea of mommy wine culture being normalized and encouraged for mothers to cope with the load of motherhood. They also chat about entrepreneurship in motherhood, balancing their health and wellness as entrepreneurs and Alex’s story of getting sober, navigating feeling lonely in the sober community and creating a new like minded circle for sober women to connect with each other. Through all of her successful sober events, retreats and circles her community encouraged her to start an non-alcoholic battleship called Lucille’s that will be the home base for all of her amazing sober events, circles and beverage needs. They removed the alcohol but not the fun! She promises you’re going to have a kick ass time event without alcohol present! Alex and Ella also dive into the toxic mommy wine culture that is present in today’s motherhood culture and how we need to ditch this unhealthy narrative. Whether you are sober, mindfully consume alcohol or want to get a clear vision of alcohol’s presence in your life – this conversation is for you!

Lucille’s Bottleshop is an online and soon to be in person tasting room and bottleshop curating the best the non-alcoholic beverage industry has to offer. Lucille’s isn’t just a bottle shop. It’s a place to explore, learn, and get playful, whether you’re sober, sober curious, or simply looking to drink less.They do a lot of research to make sure they are curating a selection of goodies that will help you discover the vibrant world of alcohol-free beverages. They removed the alcohol, but they didn’t remove the fun.

Entrepreneurship and motherhood is a small crew of women that is growing as more and more women want to have flexibility and autonomy with their days so they can spend more time with their children. It feels good to not be alone and see that you can pursue your dreams and put yourself out there, create businesses and make things despite all of the many challenges we are faced with.

Socializing does not equal drinking alcohol. Removing alcohol does not mean you will not be connecting with others. Alcohol can be used as a main connector, but there are so many other ways to have a main connector in a social gathering. When alcohol is removed, it gives a chance to choose other hobbies and activities to spend time doing. What Alex has noticed too is that when alcohol isn’t present relationships develop faster and more deep because you get more vulnerable with each other. Here are some ideas of things you can do with a group of people that do not include alcohol… 

Yoga, Pilates, Pottery class, Walk, Sound Baths, Meditating… What are some of your ideas?

It doesn’t matter if you are Sober Curious, Choosing when you want to have a drink and when not or Fully Sober you can enjoy a sober event or non-alcoholic beverage! This is really for everyone.

Sobriety created space for Alex to explore her interests, identity and passions. Alexandra is nine years sober and did outpatient and AA to get sober back in 2014. In 2014, nobody was talking about sobriety or sober living on social media, there were no other support groups than AA. Alex felt like she couldn’t find her community within the sober community online with AA. She started by leading a book club on the book, “Quit Like a Woman” and brought a circle of sober women together weekly online. After feeling this new feeling of community in sobriety she started a group of ten women and now they are a closed intimate group of besties supporting each other on their journey. Next Alex thought how can I bring this feeling of sober community for other women that need it? So… she created “Free Spirits” , a sober community that you commit to monthly that is an open group that meets virtually and has a WhatsUp chat. There are four leaders that co-facilitate this group that supports sober curious and sober women. She started to see this group grow and wanted to create more sober events, retreats and opportunities to have fun in a community that is sans alcohol! Her friends and community pushed her to keep going and so she started Lucielle’s Bottleshop an online and soon to be in person Bottleshop that sells non-alcoholic beverage and hosts sober events for anyone! 

Lucille’s story:

Non-alcoholic beverages are a booming and expanding industry. We all sometimes do not want to drink alcohol but want to drink something! Alcohol removed wines, alcohol removed beer, non-alcoholic spritzers and canned mocktails… There are so many really great options! The best thing about Lucielle’s is that you do not need to dig and scavenge the lame section in a liquor store that has maybe one option… Alex has curated a wonderful variety of the best of the best options! Functional beverages use adaptogens, herbs or mushrooms or other plants that are integrate into their beverages 

Here are some of my favorites from Lucille’s and others…

Discover Your Sip Style Quiz

Mommy Wine Culture

Mommy Wine Culture started with clothing sections marketing to women with t-shirts that say, “Mommy needs wine”, “Mom’s Sippy Cup”, or stainless steel mugs that say “Mommy’s Wine”. It is this concept that mom’s need alcohol to cope with the load of motherhood rather than changing their situation. We are seeing that Alcohol use disorder is rising in women in our country and is a rising epidemic of normalizing alcohol abuse and over consumption. There is a wide variety of health and wellness related issues that come with alcohol consumption. Some of which include worsening mental health symptoms like depression and anxiety, impacts on our quality of sleep, negative side effects of gut health and overall well being. 

There is even blatantly put on Medical advice for women, “how to return to sex after having kids? Have a glass of wine.” 

Women are feeling more and more pressure to “do all of the things”, work full time, the motherhood mental load and the pressures of motherhood have never been greater. Letting go of being the perfect mom does not have to go hand in hand with the over consumption of alcohol. It is time for us to not numb the mistreatment of mothers in our culture with wine and fight for the changes we really need!

Why is Mommy Wine Culture Dangerous? 

  • Used to relieve stress in the short term, but doesn’t teach adaptive coping long term
  • Teaches you to avoid and numb your feelings
  • Encourages you need alcohol to “deal” with your children
  • Can become a form of self medicating and avoiding root conflicts
  • Sends a message to our kids that we don’t want to be present
  • Prevents moms from getting the help they need

Other Tools we can use to Manage Stress

  • Exercise
  • Journaling
  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Walking
  • Time Outdoors
  • Hobbies
  • Alone Time
  • Art

Get to the root of what is causing the stress – What is triggering your stress to want a nightly glass of wine? Is it…

  • Overstimulation
  • Mental Load of Motherhood
  • Pain in your Body
  • Birth or Postpartum Trauma
  • Toxic Relationships
  • No support system
  • No paid family leave and no affordable childcare
  • Feeling Lonely and Lacking Community

Letting go of the “Perfect Mom Stereotype” does not need to go hand in hand with drinking daily. Mommy Wine Culture is this idea that it is the only option that we have learned and accepted to cope with the stress of motherhood. The toxic idea that women need alcohol to survive being a mom. Not paid family leave, affordable childcare, a support system, revillaging, bodywork and pelvic floor physical therapy standard of care, out of hospital births and birth support to avoid birth trauma or partners that carry the mental load of parenting fairly. Nooo… not those things, just a glass of wine for mom and she can carry on as business per usual. 

Being a Mindful Mother that dismantles perfect motherhood and ditches mommy wine culture navigates the challenges of motherhood by taking care of her health and wellness. Advocating for her needs and making the root changes in order to feel healthy and well. This may or may not be embracing sober motherhood, maybe it is mindfully consuming alcohol. 

For me being a Mindful Mother includes mindfully consuming and not consuming alcohol. To live my most vibrant, healthy and well live this includes limiting my consumption of alcohol and leaning into non-alcoholic options!

Connect with Alexandra and Shop Lucielle’s Tasting Room & Bottleshop

Check out Alex’s Sober Circle “Free Spirits” and Sober Retreats