By LUCY ORMONDE
Motherhood is better when you’re high.
At least, that’s what some parents seem to think.
Whether it’s a couple of times a week, after work, on the weekends, when their kids have gone to bed or even during the day while the kids are at home – a small but growing (no pun intended) number of mums are smoking joints to “counter the daily chaos” of life.
They claim marijuana make them feel more relaxed and better able to communicate with their children. “It can make you look at your kids in a more positive light,” says one mum said in this article from the New York Daily News.
Motherhood, a famously competitive sport in this city — especially in the tonier neighborhoods of Brooklyn — seems to be sending increasing numbers of stressed-out women bong-ward. As marijuana grows in acceptance (it was just decriminalized in neighboring Connecticut earlier this month, and is legal for medicinal purposes in 16 states and in Washington, DC), the leafy green drug is becoming a hipper alternative to that old standby, alcohol.
“Some moms are drinking very early in the day, starting around 4pm,” says Erica, who says she isn’t a fan of getting plastered. “I would rather smoke a bowl, take the edge off and go about my day.”
Whenever the mood strikes when she’s home — “I don’t travel with it,” she says — she’ll take a hit or two and transform into Mellow Mom. “When you’re smoking, you’re on a different level,” she says. “Things don’t frustrate you as much.”
Some advocacy groups actually say that marijuana is preferable to alcohol because it doesn’t come with the same negative behavioral side effects. Many believe that long-term use is actually less harmful than long-term alcohol use.
So is the same thing happening in Australia?
Well, a new report has found that Aussies and New Zealanders are amongst the biggest recreational drug users in the world. And given that our drug of choice is marijuana (as a people, we smoke more weed per capita than any other country in the world), it’s probably reasonable to assume that there are more than a few stoned Aussie mums out there.
An anonymous American mum wrote on website Jezebel recently about what it’s like to parent after having a smoke:
“In the middle of playing some totally vacant, rule-less game that involved pretending to chew stuff, making growling noises, and giggling, I realized that she’s like the funniest fucking person I’ve ever met. Anybody who thinks that weed makes parents ignore their children has clearly never been high around one.
Once upon a time, back when I was young and stupid enough to think that 30 was old, I thought that one magical day in the indeterminate future I’d just naturally age out of my predilection for smoking pot. That never happened. And why would it? Weed is awesome. I’ve always preferred it to alcohol. It doesn’t have the calories or the hangover.
And I’ve never had a glass of wine and been captivated by children’s books like I have after smoking. Staring at a page for God only knows how long, I caught myself saying very seriously, “Where is Waldo? I don’t think he’s in this one. Is he definitely always in it?”
Weed takes the edge off of my fatigue-induced bitchiness. It helps me not care so much about things. Wait, that sounds bad! I mean, it helps me not care about the stupid little unimportant things that I have a habit of getting hung up on and stressed about.
I don’t mean to shatter your world view or anything, but being a lifelong pothead doesn’t mean you’re relegated to living in your parents’ basement or being a deflated sack of skin on the couch, as many anti-marijuana Public Service Announcements would suggest. In fact, I’m a highly (pun intended) functioning member of society.
I have a full-time job. I’m a taxpayer. I’m a registered voter. I’m regularly contributing to my 401k and IRA. I’m married. I’m a homeowner. I’m a mom. I’m a stoner. I’m never going to find Waldo…
The point of all of this is that I know I’m not the only one, and I know I’m in good company, but I wish that more parents were open about smoking pot in order to reduce the stigma associated with it. You know, I’m a mom, but I’m also a person. Don’t put me in a box. Unless it’s a hot box.
It makes for funny reading but it’s a pretty serious subject. Is it really okay to be stoned around children?
In that same article from the New York Daily News, one doctor says that pot and parenting simply should not mix.
“You smoke marijuana, you get high,” says one doctor from a treatment centre in LA. “There’s a difference. If you have one glass of wine or beer, it reduces a little anxiety. But you could drive — you’re not impaired. When smoking marijuana, you smoke it to get loaded.”
Do you think there it’s okay to smoke marijuana when you’ve got kids? What about being high when you’re actually playing with your kids? Is it any different to having a couple of glasses of wine?