Double Shifts, Double Trouble: Alcohol as a Problematic Panacea for Working Mothers
Alcohol consumption among midlife women has become an area of research focus. The authors of this study suggest it is important to examine the social roles that many midlife women take on – specifically working mothers.
Working mothers balance both employment and the unequal burden of caring/domestic duties, leading to ‘double shifts’ of paid and unpaid labor. This creates unique stresses that may impact their alcohol use. This is particularly important as a growing number of mothers re-enter the workforce after childbirth.
In this commentary, the authors suggest that working mothers’ alcohol use tends to be overlooked or even endorsed as a means of managing the gendered stresses they face – stresses which have been exacerbated during the pandemic. This paper highlight the dearth of literature focusing on the alcohol use patterns, practices, and motives of working mothers and argue that gendered expectations placed on working mothers may be an increasingly important social determinant of health among this group.