May I Offer You a Mocktail? Tips for "Drinking" While Preggers
When my husband and I found out we had a baby on the way it was quite a surprise! We hadn't been trying to have a baby so we hadn't shared any intentions or efforts with friends. It was going to be just as much a surprise to everyone around us as it was to us. So we decided to wait until we were in the clear (after the first trimester and official 12 week ultrasound) to tell anyone - I mean ANYONE. We literally didn't utter a word about it to anyone until the day after our doctor appointment when we had our parents over for dinner and shared the news.
Talk about hard! I wanted to tell so many people so badly! Even more than my desire to share the news, was having to hide it. For a lady that loves her cocktails this was difficult! I found myself avoiding situations where I couldn't order from someone or bring my own. My friends know me well and know that I would never pass on a glass of wine (or cocktail, or beer) being offered.
Conveniently I was just coming off of Lent where I had given up alcohol for 40 days (it's really more than 40 days, FYI). I had a partially true story about how I felt really good over Lent and wanted to continue a nice level of moderation. I rode that horse as long as I could but with open bar events I attended, weddings, house parties, nights out on weekends, it just wasn't realistic to tell people that I wasn't having a beer on a Saturday night for my friends birthday. So with the tips I had observed from others over the years, and I few of my own, I managed to fake drink my way through the first trimester with moderate success - I think I was only accused or called out 2-3 times. (DENY or IGNORE!)
Here are a few tricks I used:
House Parties - BYOB: Have your husband drink a couple beers at the house before you leave (he really likes this plan) then rinse and re-fill the beer bottles with water, screw the caps back on and head out for the night! Just be sure to keep your "beer" separate and always have one so people aren't offering you theirs. I also liked to bring my koozie just for an added layer of comfort. I was worried it would taste like beer water but it really didn't. (Thx Chelsea Slocum)
At the bar: My new favorite mocktails were half cranberry, half water (or soda water) on the rocks with lime. You can even tell the waiter or bartender that you're trying to make it look like a cocktail with no booze. You can always order the non-alcoholic beers too and have them poured into a glass. I only did this once though - they still have a tiny amount of alcohol in them and they don't taste that good, but depending on your prior habits it may look odd to order a cocktail at a 6 p.m. dinner party.
At weddings/events with wine for dinner: take the wine, just don't drink it - cheers with everyone and then just set it down - no one will notice while they're guzzling away. Swap with your husband after he's drunk his glass down a bit (again, he likes this plan).
Wine was my biggest challenge and I'll be honest - I never quite figured that one out. Bars just don't carry grape juice. That was the one that got me in the biggest trouble and got me called out a few times. So let me know if you have figured out a way to fake drink wine :)
People may have been suspicious but I also just would grab a water more often than I normally would have or would drink nothing and I was surprised that people didn't seem to notice as much as I thought - it's that old adage that people don't really pay attention to you as much as you may think :) You're the one that knows what you're doing and you're the one that's paranoid - chances are other people aren't even paying attention.
So fear not cocktail loving future mammas - you can make it through those three months without having to reveal your big news or becoming a recluse.
Current moms: please share any other tips you may have on hiding your pregnancy and let me know of any good mocktails - I still have five months to go!