#234 – It’s Not About The Wine with Celeste Yvonne


Celeste Yvonne is the author of It’s Not About the Wine: The Loaded Truth Behind Mommy Wine Culture. Celeste explains what this culture is and how detrimental it is to mothers.

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about this episode

“I was not the mother I wanted to be for my children.” – Celeste Yvonne

Mommy wine culture – on the surface, it’s sold to us as self-care and a lighthearted bond between mothers who are under a lot of pressure from society. Unfortunately, the truth is that, for many, alcohol becomes a crutch to deal with the unspoken realities of motherhood.

Today’s guest, author Celeste Yvonne, candidly discusses the societal pressures and mental load that mothers face, leading many to believe they need wine to cope. She shares her own realization that this was self-sabotage, not self-care.

Her story is a powerful reminder that it’s okay to question societal norms and seek support. Her book, It’s Not About the Wine, aims to help mothers cope with stress without relying on alcohol and to address the underlying issues contributing to the mental load of motherhood.

In this conversation, we discuss:

  • The rise of mommy wine culture, including the abundance of products and messages that promote it
  • Celeste’s journey as a wine mom and her realization that it was self-sabotage
  • Challenges faced by mothers in modern society
  • The transition in friendships after becoming a mother
  • The impact of alcohol on motherhood
  • Challenges and regrets in early sobriety
  • Difficulties faced by those in recovery during the pandemic
  • Why communication and distribution of labor is crucial to alleviate the mental load of motherhood
  • The necessity of radical systemic changes to support mothers, such as affordable childcare and improved healthcare


About Celeste Yvonne

Sober mom advocate Celeste Yvonne is a writer and certified recovery coach (IAPRC) with over 20 years of experience as a communications professional in corporate America. Her essays on parenting, the mental load of motherhood, mommy wine culture, and sobriety resonates with mothers everywhere and has been featured in the Washington Post, Good Morning America, Today Show, and Refinery 29, among others. She is also a contributing writer to the Wall Street Journal and Publishers Weekly bestseller So God Made a Mother.

Over five years sober and a founding host of the Sober Mom Squad, Celeste advocates for mothers who struggle with addiction and mental health. She is a recipient of the Windfelt Inspire Award by the Dry Society Social Club, as well as 2x winner of Red Tricycle’s Spoke Challenge for best writing. She lives in Reno, Nevada, with her husband and two children.

key highlights

The Definition and Prevalence of Mommy Wine Culture

Mommy wine culture is a societal narrative that suggests mothers need wine as a coping mechanism for the challenges of motherhood. Celeste, a former wine mom herself, was once a big believer in this narrative; however, she eventually recognized it as a form of self-sabotage, preventing her from being the mother she aspired to be for her children. This realization was a turning point, leading her to quit drinking and question the harmful message of mommy wine culture.


The Challenges of Modern Motherhood

In today’s society, the mental load of motherhood is compounded by the lack of support and unrealistic expectations placed on mothers. With the prevalence of the unequal distribution of household labor and the lack of a built-in village to support mothers, we’re more alone than in previous generations and expected to do more and return to work quickly with minimal paid parental leave.


The Impact of Alcohol on Motherhood and Friendships

For most of us, our friendships changed after becoming a mom. When Celeste was a new mother, she tried to make mom friends, and alcohol seemed like a good way to connect and relax. She soon realized that her drinking was becoming a problem when she woke up with hangovers and didn’t feel like she was being the best mother she could be. The turning point came when she visited the doctor and discovered that her drinking was affecting her child’s behavior and development. This revelation led her to quit alcohol a month later.

She initially kept her sobriety a secret from her wine-mom friends, fearing judgment or labels. However, she eventually realized that her assumptions were unfounded and that being honest about her sobriety was beneficial.


The Importance of Community and Systemic Changes

Reflecting on her experience as a mother in recovery, Celeste underscores the importance of community, especially during challenging times like the pandemic. Systemic changes are needed to shift the harmful cultural messaging around motherhood and alleviate some of the mental load that mothers carry. Things like affordable childcare, better healthcare, and more equitable distribution of household responsibilities within partnerships are foundational elements that would make a big positive impact on mothers.

Celeste’s hope for her book is to help mothers cope with stress without relying on alcohol and to address the underlying issues that contribute to the mental load.

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