Patricia Heaton got sober at 60: Women who drink moderately can become alcoholics


Patricia Heaton has an interview with Parade that came out a little while ago but I recently saw the insert in my local paper and wanted to talk about it. Patricia is one of those “Mitt Romney” type of anti-choice Republicans who is arguably a selfish a-hole, but who isn’t as awful as Trump lovers, I guess. She tried to talk about it in a roundabout way a couple of years ago, and she did say that Trump wasn’t her candidate back in 2016. The last time we talked about her, her husband was accused of groping a young staffer on the set of her CBS show, Carol’s Second Act, which has since been canceled. The woman her husband groped, and a female writer who spoke up for her, both quit their jobs after the show penalized them for speaking out. That hasn’t affected Patricia’s relationship with her husband of 30 years, judging from this Parade interview. I’m not going to excerpt that part, you can read it at the source, but she said she’s still developing projects with him.

Patricia is promoting her new book, Your Second Act, which just came out now. I liked what she said why she quit drinking. She said there are statistics that women who are moderate drinkers in their 30s and 40s often become alcoholics in their 50s and 60s (the title of this story is a paraphrase for space). While I couldn’t find the statistics she meant, I did find a study about the severe health risks of drinking for older women.

How are you caring for your health right now, compared to years prior?
Lately, I’ve been on a mostly Keto diet (a very low-carb, high-fat diet). I’m also trying to swim 50 laps at least four or five times a week. I fall off the wagon occasionally, but overall, I’ve been trying to not let myself go too much. At my age, it’s hard to get back into shape. It’s much easier to stay in shape.

What’s something that you’ve actively changed over the past decade?
I quit drinking two years ago in July. I miss it terribly, but at the end of the day, I feel better. I noticed that I was looking forward every night to cocktails. And if I happened to go to lunch, I might have a glass of wine or Prosecco. There’s an actual statistic that women who were moderate drinkers in their 30s and 40s often become alcoholics in their 50s and 60s. I think it’s something about your children leaving the house and the things that used to anchor you are no longer there. You’re a little bit at sea, and so you reach for the bottle to dull the uncertainty. I sensed that a bit with myself. And as your hormones change, you can’t really process alcohol the same way you did when you were younger. I’ve stopped, and my life has improved significantly. My kids are in their mid-20s and I’ll probably be in my 70s by the time I have grandchildren. I want to be healthy for them.

[From Parade]

I quit drinking about four years ago, in my mid 40s, and it was one of the best things I’ve ever done. I don’t miss it, although I do sometimes get upset when I watch movies in which the leads drink a lot and it’s normalized. (It doesn’t bother me when people drink around me, or when people drink socially on screen though. I could never drink like that, it took so much effort.) So I appreciate the way Patricia framed this, and how she said that it’s easily for older women to slide into alcoholism. I don’t really like her, but that’s relative lately I guess. Her book seems to have a good message. Plus she’s been wearing masks on Instagram, that’s something.

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102 Responses to “Patricia Heaton got sober at 60: Women who drink moderately can become alcoholics”

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  1. Kim says:

    Not a fan, nor a fan of her politics. However I do appreciate her speaking out about this and being open.

    I gotta say, her face is looking good at 60 (I know, superficial). I’m wondering if good docs or photoshop.

    • Tiffany says:

      Both. She has admitted to plastic surgery after giving birth to her last child.

    • Mel M says:

      Gotta agree, her face looks better than I expect it to. So if it is FaceTime it’s not as obvious as some people…..Koko.

      I also stopped drinking a couple of months ago. I used to drink wine almost every night after I had my last baby who’s almost one, and all of my friends and family do as well. Especially during quarantine, the question is always “Do you have wine?” Or “Hope you have wine mama.” Or comments like “I sooo need a glass of wine”, “Is it five o’clock yet?”. Especially my MAGA Christian in-laws, they are always drinking and pushing you to drink when you are around them and when my MIL randomly remembers we exist and texts me she always sounds half in the bag. I used to enjoy it so much, even if I wasn’t drinking everyday and only weekends I still loved a good couple glasses of wine but lately I was feeling really awful the morning after even after one glass that I would sip for an hour. So because I have kids and too much to do I decided it’s just not worth feeling like that anymore. Whenever we see my in-laws again though this will go over like a lead balloon I’m sure.

      • SomeChick says:

        I really do not understand the tendency of some people to try to push alcohol on people who don’t want it. It’s so disrespectful! Can’t they just think “fine, more wine for me?” or something? I don’t get it.

        People in my friend groups do not do this but I’ve seen it done (and it has happened to me, at an office holiday party once). So weird.

      • Colleen says:

        @SomeChick, speaking from experience, the push for someone else “at the table” to drink more is to reconcile and normalize their own behavior. They have an awareness that their own habits aren’t great, but if someone else is also drinking, they feel better about it. Sadly, when this happens (especially) in family situations, it also helps perpetuate alcoholism.

    • whatWHAT? says:

      “her face is looking good at 60″

      good.

      and different. she looks like someone who looks like Patricia Heaton.

    • Lightpurple says:

      She has been very open for a very long time about having work done on her face.

    • holly hobby says:

      If she had work done it was done in moderation because you can still recognize her. I liked her show The Middle. I may not agree with her politics but at least she isn’t a raging trumper like Mary Hart.

  2. Lori says:

    I do agree with her about the booze. Wine culture and day drinking is very normalized amongst women my age (45) much the same way smoking was for my mother’s generation. Doesnt say much for women’s health.

    • Lori says:

      Wanted to add: i live in what has become wine country in BC, close to the US border. Alot of food producing farms are quickly being converted to grapes. There a lot more money in grapes than growing food. Food security is out the window for producing mommy juice. Priorities people!

      • adastraperaspera says:

        I saw this happen in Sonoma County when I lived there in the early aughts. Countless acres of apple and other fruit orchards converted to vineyards. The orchards didn’t need irrigation, but the vineyards did–this really sapped water tables. All that just before the emerging heatwaves and droughts brought wildfires right up and into Santa Rosa (such as 2017 Tubbs fire).

    • FHMom says:

      I quit my mom group about 8 years ago because they drank too much. Seeing a bunch of 30 and 40 somethings sloppy drunk was too much for me. I felt like the things they said while drinking would never come out of their mouths if sober. I realized after 2 years of college that alcohol was not for me.

      • Deanne says:

        I did that with a book club I was in. It was being used as an excuse for people to pound back wine like it was going away forever. There were women who were drinking two bottles of wine to themselves, in just a couple of hours, every single get together.

    • L84Tea says:

      100% this. I am in my early 40′s and I constantly see the “it’s wine o’clock somewhere, tee-hee!” or the “Raising strong daughters, send wine!” stuff everywhere. It disturbs me how this mentality that moms need alcohol to cope with their lives has become this cute bit that gets thrown around. I know two women my age who have admitted to being alcoholics as a result of this lifestyle. I have two other friends who I have extreme worries about. I live in another city from them and only see them periodically, but every time I do, alcohol is always involved in both lunch and dinner and in between. And everything they post on social media involves alcohol. It goes far beyond casual drinking and it’s very hard to witness. :-(

    • lucy2 says:

      I’m in that age range too, and it is concerning to see how cavalier some people, especially women, are about it and joke about it being a coping mechanism, which is not healthy.

      I see it with some men I know too – the amount of beer they will drink in a short time, even doing stuff like camping with their kids, is astonishing (and gross). One told me how his father is suffering from alcohol related dementia, and then continued to drink a lot himself.

    • Betsy says:

      I feel the same way with the normalization of reliance on drinking. Also, people point to history that people “used to drink every night!” Yeah but their cocktails were thimble-sized relative to the tumblers of wine and booze that some women throw back nightly, if not daily.

      I haven’t had a drink in years due to stomach problems, so I guess I shouldn’t put an oar in, but it disturbs me to see how down on their lives people must be in order to need alcohol every single evening to unwind. What horrible kind of message does that give to your kids that you *need* alcohol to relax?

      • Andrea says:

        I am 39 and have found peer pressure culture amongst 30 and 40 somethings..I felt shamed for not drinking, for ONLY drinking 1 or 2 etc. I have realized at least with the women I have hung out with that they drink as crutch because they are miserable with their life’s choices/jobs/marital choices/how their life turned out and use drinking as a way to cope for day to day living. I find it depressing and have distanced myself from them. Some people need to not impulsively make decisions because it can make them miserable in future years ( I have seen people regret their husbands/children etc). It is truly sad.

  3. Diana says:

    Good for her. I don’t like her politics but glad she is speaking up about drinking. I quit drinking 50-something days ago in the midst of this pandemic. I knew my daily wine habit was getting out of control and needed to stop the insanity! I’m turning 40 in a couple of weeks and feel better than ever. I don’t even miss it. I do wish that there existed some adult, non alcoholic evening beverages that weren’t so sickly sweet and more exciting than seltzer, lime and a splash of cran. But those are small problems compared to indulging full stop. Reading quit literature completely changed my mindset about drinking and saved my life. This Naked Mind by Annie Grace is a must read if anyone is considering an alcohol free lifestyle.

    • Esmom says:

      I stopped drinking a few years ago (I’m 53) and I really like a cup of green tea at the end of the day — it’s simultaneously energizing (if I’m tired from work) and relaxing. In the summer iced green tea works. I know it’s not the same as a faux cocktail but I don’t like fizzy drinks.

      Keep up the good work!

    • Deanne says:

      Sobri makes a delicious non-alcoholic gin. It’s expensive but tastes really good and is great for a gin and tonic etc. Dealcoholized wine is vile.

      • Diana says:

        Thanks for the tip! And I agree… alcohol free vino is disgusting!!!!

      • tealily says:

        Ooo, good tip, I’ll have to look for that.

        All I can find in the way of non-alcoholic wine these days is Fre, which is too sweet for me. MADD used to make some that was actually pretty good, but I haven’t seen it in years. They used to carry it at my local Walgreens. I don’t know if they stopped carrying it or if it’s been discontinued.

    • tealily says:

      Agreed. I drink a lot of kombucha, sparkling water, and tea but it all gets boring. I like tonic with lime or club soda with fun flavors of bitters to imitate a cocktail and not too sweet. Ginger beer. Good for you, I’ve been mostly not drinking for a few years but I’m back on the wagon amid the pandemic. I’m getting tired of it again though. I think I’m probably about done again.

    • Bunny says:

      If you’re at home, learn to make shrubs (fruit, vinegar, sugar). A fizzy shrub has a complex flavour, isn’t too sweet, and looks gorgeous in your hand.

      If you’re out, ask the bartender for suggestions, ask if they serve shrubs (some do, some don’t, depending on whether they stock good vinegars at the bar). Adding ginger or thyme to non-alcoholic drinks brings a new dimension, too.

    • Betsy says:

      It’s juvenile, but occasionally I find that a small glass of Trader Joe’s full fat chocolate milk (out, I suppose, if you’re vegan or lactose intolerant) or about 3 ounces of Welch’s grape juice straight from the bottle really hits the spot for not being water.

      • Case says:

        God, I’ll take chocolate milk over alcohol any day. Still my favorite since childhood, ha.

      • K says:

        Oh man, why is cold chocolate milk so incredibly refreshing sometimes? It’s my brother’s and my (both in our thirties) go-to drink when we feel exceptionally tired or sluggish, because somehow I guess the protein, fat and sugar combo helps patch you up. There’s also that childhood treat factor, too.

    • emu says:

      I think Kombucha is a good ‘wind-down’ drink that has a little bite and isn’t too sweet. I suppose there is a little fermentation but it’s not alcoholic.

  4. Case says:

    In the US there’s this whole culture around “Mommy Juice” and how women in their 30s and 40s have copious amounts of wine nightly to deal with their children, marriage, work, etc. It’s normalized and very alarming to me. I had a friend who justified her nightly drinking habit by latching on to that culture. It was hard to reason with her or tell her it was dangerous when she saw so many messages that it was normal and a healthy way for her to relax.

    Personally, I drink a lot less in quarantine and I’m happy about it. When I’m doing things to nourish my body — eating well, exercising — I genuinely feel no desire to drink at all, even though I could have a beer or make myself a cocktail at home. I think it’s more of a social thing for me than something I truly enjoy, and I’m glad this time has given me the opportunity to realize that.

    • Esmom says:

      I agree, and it’s exactly why I quit drinking. I was talking about it with a therapist a few years ago and she said alcohol is the new “mother’s little helper” that has been around for decades. She said the difficulty of being a mom — from stress to boredom to frustration from lack of help from dad — has been a dirty little secret for ages.

    • Jess says:

      I agree and I cannot stand that “mom juice” bullshit. I saw dozens of women on my timeline joke about how they needed alcohol to deal with their children during this pandemic. Like seriously?! You think it’s funny to need a mind altering substance to deal with the little people you chose to create and bring into this world, if the kids are that fkng bad you aren’t doing something right as a parent. I know some were just joking but seeing the amount of wine others post daily is horrifying. Change that glass of wine to a line of cocaine or a a bag of pills, not so funny then is it, but it’s all the same to me.

      • mander says:

        While I can see what you’re going for here, your judgmental tone ruins it. You must be a perfect person to be able to talk like this.

      • Becks1 says:

        Wow. The judgment in this comment is really off the charts.

      • minx says:

        “If the kids are that bad you aren’t doing something right as a parent.” Well, no, that doesn’t necessarily follow.

      • Jess says:

        I didn’t mean to come off so snarky and judgmental. I know we’re all doing the best we can in this crazy time.

      • Sam the Pink says:

        I don’t find what you said judgmental. I think people can be too sensitive with many topics. I work routinely with people who grew up with substance abusers in the house, and my sympathies lie with them – not the people who used.

        I see a lot of mothers make these “jokes” about needing to drink to deal with their kids. They aren’t funny. 1.) If your child has a behavioral issues so severe that you sincerely cannot cope with it, get them some freaking help! Yes, you have a responsibility as a parent to help them. Complaining on Facebook doesn’t count. 2.) if the child is not in a such a way and you are just trying to justify your own drinking, realize that it’s not cute, or funny or edgy. Millions of people live with the effects of living with a parent like you. They live with the consequences of having a parent who had a problem. 3.) If you sincerely have a substance issue (maybe it predates having children), get some freaking help! There are multiple organizations devoted to helping problem drinkers quit. But it’s still incumbent on you to do something.

        Yes, this will probably sound judgmental. I’d say that you should walk a mile in the shoes of my clients, the people I work with. “Wine Moms” can do a lot of damage. I’ve sat across the table from women who have cried that they are “doing their best.” You know what, your best isn’t good enough, because your “best” is still scarring your kids. I have empathy for addicts who are hurting themselves – I think we can all have that. But when you abdicate your responsibility as a parent – something I regard as sacred – then other considerations come into play.

      • Betsy says:

        It didn’t sound snarky to me. Seriously, if someone’s children – and I’m assuming these kids are neurotypical and otherwise not high needs – are so bad on a daily basis that someone needs substances to come down? Yeah, you need to adjust something in your home. My kids have bad days, too.

      • Green Desert says:

        @Jess, I want to gently push back on this. A glass of wine is not the same as cocaine or pills. Wine and marijuana? Yes. Which is why weed should be legal everywhere.

        To everyone in these comments clutching their pearls about drinking: I don’t like the all or nothing attitude toward alcohol in the US. It is entirely possible to have a glass of wine or two a day because you enjoy it, even if you are…shock…a mom. Drinking moderately does not make one an alcoholic, nor is it necessarily cause for alarm. If you’ve decided this isn’t for you that’s great. But don’t act like d*ck toward people, moms even, who have no problem drinking in moderation. Some of us have healthy attitudes toward alcohol and do not drink because our kids are bugging us.

        Now what I am alarmed by are phrases like “mommy juice” and “it’s wine o clock somewhere.” What kind of suburban Karen hell spawned that sh*t?! :)

      • Case says:

        @Jess I don’t think you’re being overly judgmental. What we’re talking about is not the type of person who indulges in an occasional cocktail or even an evening glass of wine. The culture and normalization of “mom juice” can be much more serious than that and worthy of examination and judgement. It makes a dependence on alcohol seem cute and trendy, and allows a lot of people — moms and people who aren’t parents — to justify their own substance abuse issues because it’s a “brand” you can buy merchandise of in Hallmark.

      • Sam the Pink says:

        Case: I feel like I should push back a bit on what you say about “moderate drinking.” Do you know how that is defined? A “moderate drinker” is defined as having one drink in a 24 hour period, each day. That’s it. That’s not a lot! And remember, a drink is defined as one glass of wine (5 oz.), 1 beer (12 oz), or one “shot” of liquor (1.5 oz). That’s what moderate means for a woman (for a man, it’s double these numbers).

        That means that a woman who has two glasses of wine a night would be defined as a heavy drinker and at risk for alcoholism. I had a client who liked to split a bottle of wine with her husband at lunch (around 2-3 glasses each) and was shocked when she was told that she was classified as a binge drinker!

        There is also a large body of research that indicates that women are very different from men when it comes to alcohol. Men are more prone to alcohol dependency when they drink heavily, but moderate alcohol use is more likely to result in dependency among women. That is for a number of reasons, but a big part of it is because women, who are less likely to go on these long binges that men are prone to, think it can’t happen to them because they just “don’t drink enough.” Most people are very bad at estimating their own alcohol consumption. A cocktail at a bar, depending on how the maker pours it, can count as 1-3 drinks! This is part of why there’s been more than an 80% increases in the last few years in alcohol-related health complications in women. Women need to be even MORE aware if their consumption then men, because dependency is more likely to sneak up on us then them.

      • SomeChick says:

        FWIW, there really isn’t data that supports the notion that alcohol “affects women differently.” The guidelines (in the US) were recently changed to one drink for everyone. Sorry, men.

      • Case says:

        @Sam the Pink I 1000% agree with you and was honestly just trying not to be too harsh on those who do think it’s okay to have one drink nightly (which seems to be a commonly held thought), but I shouldn’t have excused that. I wholeheartedly agree though and have lost a friend because of that habit (she would drink 2-3 glasses nightly; I told her it was an issue and she refused to confront it as such). Totally agree that it is dangerous and a very slippery slope.

      • Sam the Pink says:

        Case: it can be very confusing! what is “moderate” for one person might be excessive for another. A lot of factors go into how we respond to alcohol: size, health, genetics, age, etc. A lot of people who could drink more heavily in their 20s, for example find that when they hit 30 or 40, their tolerance goes way down and one drink may have the effect of 3 (i know when I hit 30, things changed for me). If you gain or lose substantial weight, your tolerance can change.

        My point was not to shame or correct you – far from it! It was just to point out that “moderate drinking” is not an easy term to define, and may be a lot less than we think! And it hits women a lot harder, because we don’t get as much leeway as men.

      • emu says:

        @Green Desert Yes to all of this.

    • Sam the Pink says:

      Umm..where do you get that? The link below is to the current CDC guidelines, which, uh, sorry, still maintain the 1 a day for women and 2 a day for men standard. If the CDC has changed it, please cite that.

      https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/moderate-drinking.htm#:~:text=To%20reduce%20the%20risk%20of,adults%20of%20legal%20drinking%20age.

  5. Andrea says:

    Wow, the facetuning/filters and/or plastic surgery are in full effect.

    Moderate drinkers can turn into alcoholics. Or they can continue drinking responsibly. Not everyone is at risk of substance abuse just because they use substances at times. I realize it can become a problem for lots of people, though. She’s not exactly sharing groundbreaking information here.

    I think I’m just not able to be receptive to anything this woman has to say. I hated her TV persona and her real life persona doesn’t seem much different 🤷🏻‍♀️

    • Lizzie says:

      I agree with you. Why is she singling out woman?

      • Sam the Pink says:

        Because it’s well-established medical fact that women and men, when it comes to alcohol, are very different. Women are classified as “moderate drinkers” if they have 1 drink every 24 hours (1 beer, 1 glass of wine or 1 shot of spirits). For men, those numbers are doubled.

        I sometimes hear women complain about being “singled out” when it comes to alcohol and it’s laughable when you know the research. There has been an over 80% increases in the last decade in alcohol-related health complications in women. Men has increased as well, but it’s nowhere near 80%. That should tell you something. It tells us 1.) Women are increasing their drinking at a pace far higher than men 2.) Women are generally not aware of what constitutes “problem drinking” and 3.) women do not have the same general tolerance for alcohol that men do.

        Part of this is because of the media. When you think of an alcoholic, what do you see? A man, almost always, drinking large amounts in one sitting, going on benders, binges, getting violent or aggressive. Most alcoholics do not look like that. But women tend to think “well, I’m not going ob benders, or binging, or acting like that, so I must be fine.” In addition, female intoxication is often played for laughs in media, viewed as a joke or as something to laugh about.

        We should be “singling out” women in this. Because treating us the same as men has not worked.

  6. Marigold says:

    I have been really side-eyeing this trend of normalizing wine as “mommy juice” and the celebration of day drinking for women over the last 5-6 years. When my daughter was small, the idea of day drinking never occurred to me, and I would’ve rightfully been called out for it had I been doing it.

    If you don’t want to be a mother, don’t have kids. It’s that simple. If you DO have children, they are little humans who actually need affection, education, and supervision. You cannot adequately care for your children if you’re stumbling around on a two-glass tipsy high all day.

    Not to mention the fact that alcoholism destroys lives.

    I’m glad she spoke on this.

  7. Sara says:

    Was she drunk when she went on a slut shaming tirade on Twitter against the college student who tweeted about access to birth control?

    • Lightpurple says:

      Probably not.

    • Betsy says:

      Ha! That was my first snarky thought. Clearly if she’s staying with and still WORKING with a man who has harassed a staffer, she’s got some other issues she needs to deal with.

  8. anp says:

    Happy she spoke on this important issue!

  9. anon says:

    She’s been such an asshole over the years that it’s hard to conjure any kind of relatability to her.

    • lucy2 says:

      True. I have a bad reaction anytime I see her name or face, and this article was no exception. AND I had forgotten all that horrible stuff with her husband, and those 2 writers being punished for him assaulting people.
      Good for her for getting sober. Now she has to work on not being an awful person.

    • Nev says:

      WORD.

  10. Jaded says:

    This is a woman who joined Rush Limbaugh in slut-shaming a university student for getting access to birth control. Limbaugh called her a “slut” and a “prostitute” after she advocated for expanded access to birth control. Here are Patricia’s subsequent tweets:

    “Hey G-Town Gal: Plz let us also pay for your Starbucks, movie theater tickets and your favorite hot wings combo deal at KFC! Anything else?”

    “Hey G-Town Gal: If your parents have to pay for your birth control, maybe they should get a say in who you sleep with! Instant birth control!”

    “If every Tweaton sent Georgetown Gal one condom, her parents wouldn’t have to cancel basic cable, & she would never reproduce — sound good?”

    Good for her for giving up booze but nothing she says resonates with me at all and I will continue to have a glass or 2 of red wine at night.

    • whatWHAT? says:

      yeah, anyone who sides with Limp can go scratch.

      so she gets a cookie for talking about how alcoholism can escalate (side note: DUH) even though she was previously pretty loathsome in her personal/political life?

      nah. no cookie from me.

    • Lightpurple says:

      I have always been annoyed by her constant whining, along with Kelsey Grammer, about how impossible it s for conservatives to get work in “liberal Hollywood.” Yet there are no gaps in time on her iMDB page and, in the past 25 years, she has had two very long running TV series, one of which earned her two Emmy awards, and at least three shorter lived series She gets work in good productions far more often than most actresses and is not grateful for it.

      • lucy2 says:

        Yes! That always infuriates me too. They are 2 of the most successful and steadily employed actors out there, how dare they say that, when others would be thrilled for 1/100th of the opportunities they’ve had.

      • sa says:

        If I thought that she or Kelsey Grammar were capable of caring about anyone but themselves, I would maybe give them the benefit of the doubt that they are using their platforms to advocate for others, (in the sense that there are several groups that are marginalized in Hollywood, but that doesn’t mean that no one from those groups breaks through and may then feel they need to use their platform to expose the problem/help others). The thing is, I don’t think that either of them sees beyond themselves, so I don’t think that’s what they’re doing.

        I’m also curious about when she said Trump wasn’t her candidate. I, unfortunately, know people that would “never” vote for Trump during the 2016 primary who surprised me by changing their tune in the general election.

      • A says:

        The problem is, when they say “it’s hard to get work in Hollywood if you’re a conservative” what they actually mean is that it’s hard to build a platform as a well-liked celebrity in Hollywood if you’re a conservative. And the two things might overlap, but they’re not the same, and they never will be. You can have a career without relying on celeb culture, and you can be a celebrity without having much of a career. You can even be a celebrity without being all that well-liked. But these people can’t abide by the fact that their opinions make them unlikeable, or that their opinions have consequences.

    • Otaku fairy says:

      Yes. It’s wrong when anyone uses misogynistic slurs to dehumanize women and girls in that way. Especially since it’s been shown that exposure to dehumanizing language toward marginalized groups makes it more difficult for us to care about pain or violence they experience. This has been tested with several groups of people. Between the victim-blaming and abuse women already have to deal with (including the ‘protective’ abuses, like men and others thinking it’s ok to subject girls to virginity testing), attacks on reproductive rights, and the risks of depression and self-harm in some of the communities liberals are trying to help, that’s not something that’s good for anybody. And Sandra Fluke did talk about the impact that situation had on her mental health a couple of years ago. Patricia is gross for participating in that.

    • S2 says:

      Yep. Heaton is in no way wise or admirable. She also was very publicly involved in the Terri Schiavo case, handled the allegations against her husband poorly, and complains non-stop about Hollywood’s “conservative bias,” while (as someone else mentioned) ignoring fact she’s so sidelined by the industry that she works almost constantly.

      As for alcohol, good for her for quitting if it makes her feel better, but I also think there’s such a sanctimonious overtone that I can’t help but roll my eyes. It takes such bravery to recognize that everyone else has a problem.

      Yes, the “wine o’clock” stuff is gross, but sometimes a joke really is just a joke. We’ve definitely been drinking more during the pandemic. What used to be 2-3 times a week, is now, frankly, 5. I have kidded with my husband saying that just as I wonder if we’re drinking too much, I look at the world and think we’re probably not drinking nearly enough.

      We’re home, we’re not driving anywhere, we have a well stocked wine cellar and wildly uncertain futures for both our jobs. Tuning out the world at the end of the day with a glass of wine and a mindless movie has become one of the better parts of our quarantine routine, yet I’m not at all concerned it will continue once normal life, or whatever semblance thereof emerges from this, any more than I am worried I’ll continue baking weekly banana bread or floating in the pool on a random Wednesday afternoon. They’re all just elements in “trying to make the best of it” and, frankly, whatever is helping you get through this time that isn’t actively harming yourself or others, more power to ya.

      • Jaded says:

        Thank you, great post.

      • Granger says:

        This is such an excellent comment. I see nothing wrong with someone having one drink a day. It’s the people who don’t drink all week and then get blottoed every Saturday night on multiple beverages that worry me. Especially when you have kids. You’re not teaching them anything about being responsible about alcohol when the only time they ever see you with a drink in your hand is when you’re wasted.

  11. Caty Page says:

    I disagree with her about many things, but her comments about role of wine in American culture is spot on.

    I see SO MANY items branded with the word “wine,” as if it’s a personality trait or a hobby!

    During quarantine many people seem to be evaluating habits, so it’s a good time to reflect on drinking as a women’s health issue.

  12. McMom says:

    She’s not wrong – the “mommy juice” culture is strong, particularly with the stay at home moms that I know. I work full time and drinking is definitely part of the corporate culture, though day drinking is very much frowned upon and people expect you to be fully functional in the morning.

    I am approaching 50 and I have multiple friends who have stopped drinking altogether because they realized they had substance abuse issues. Also – so many of us are trying to keep the pounds off and alcohol is such an easy way to add empty calories.

  13. CherryL says:

    Everybody can become an alcoholic. Drinking regularly doesn’t necessarily make you an alcoholic. There’s much more to it and the cause isn’t drinking moderately. The cause are psychological problems. She doesn’t have carbs so I guess her brain isn’t working at full capacity now.

    • marmalazed says:

      Psychological problems are not “the cause” of alcoholism. The most influential factor is genetics. Secondary causes can include a host of other factors including underlying psychological and/or mental health disorders as well as the amount of alcohol that a person regularly drinks. Regular excessive drinking (and the amount health officials have determined to be excessive is much lower than people think) can lead to increased tolerance and permanently affect neural pathways that promote disordered drinking.

      • A says:

        The “most influential factor” is most definitely not genetics. Good grief. I see this getting thrown around a lot on the internet, and I’m frankly tired of the way this poor science gets passed around as gospel.

        There is no “primary” or “secondary” cause of alcoholism. What studies show is that up to genetics accounts for up to 50% of the reason why people might become alcoholics. Environmental factors account for the remaining 50%.

        Having a parent who suffers from that disorder simply increases your own chance of having it. But this does not make it the “most influential factor.” There is no such thing as a “most influential factor” when it comes to alcohol use disorder, it heavily depends on the individual and the circumstances of their own life first and foremost.

        And genetics is an enormously complicated field of study. There is no one single “alcoholism” gene that triggers the disease. It’s a combination of hundreds of different genes that work in tandem with each other, and they impact things like how your body metabolizes alcohol, how the reward centers in your brain works, whether your body is able to sending warning signs of too much alcohol, etc. And again, these things merely increase the likelihood of someone developing alcohol use disorder–it’s still not a surefire thing.

    • Anne Call says:

      Yeah, she lost me at Keto diet. And her politics.

  14. Chaine says:

    I don’t care for her at all, but I’m glad that she is using her platform to highlight this issue. Even moderate alcohol consumption (3 drinks per week) is a known factor significantly increasing the risk of breast cancer and recurrence of breast cancer. This is one of the few risk factors for breast cancer that we can each absolutely control, so there is no reason not to reduce our drinking.

  15. ChillyWilly says:

    Unless sobering up also took the Republican ahole out of her, she can still go straight to hell.

  16. Marigold says:

    I cannot stand her. So there is that. I am not much of a drinker at all. I mean like a few times a year maybe. But I started drinking a glass of wine here and there during quarantine because I was so bored. And I’ve been hearing about how fun it is for years. That entire culture surrounding WINE. After awhile, I found that even a little glass of Sangria made me feel bad in the morning and I also looked tired and bad. So I quit.

  17. Nope says:

    Amazing what photoshop can do. On her last tv show you can she her age a bit but theses pictures r glowing lol I didn’t even know her husband was Parker who Raymond hated on everyone loves Raymond!!

  18. Lanie says:

    This kinda just feels like another way for her to put other women down.

    And while I’m seeing lots of comments shaming women and claiming they shouldn’t have kids is parenting is so hard, I’m not seeing any comments re: unsupportive spouses, jobs that punish women for having kids, and a culture that guilts women no matter what choices they make.

    Mission fucking accomplished, Patricia.

    • kat says:

      Yes! So infuriating. Just another way that women are failing to have it all or do it properly.

  19. Darla says:

    I’ve drank more during this pandemic than i have in my life. I mostly was a social drinker. I do love to go out and have some cocktails, but i wasn’t a home drinker. Now I drink probably 5 times a week. At night. It’s in the back of my mind that I have to keep an eye on that, but I’m single right now, and am used to a very active social life and also dating. So I’ve been lonely with periods of bad anxiety. I’m not being hard on myself for this. I’m doing the best I can.

    • whatWHAT? says:

      the best you can do is all you can do, Darla. stay strong.

      I also noticed that I was drinking more, mainly when the lockdown first started. It was easy!…no shoes, no pants, no driving…I can drink as much as I want to and I don’t even have to put on make up or get dressed!

      I have since cut way down on it. I try to keep my boozing to the weekend, or at least wait until Thursday. but the bf is still drinking 2-4 beers every night, and it’s wearing on me. he knows it’s too much and he’s trying, but he loves his IPAs…

    • Joanna says:

      I’ve had that same problem too. I really miss going out like I am used to doing. And i became single shortly before all this happened. So now I’m like, wtf! I can’t even date. I don’t even know how you would date right now. Virtual dating would be so weird to me.

    • Jaded says:

      Darla, there’s nothing wrong with that. Now is not the time to be castigating ourselves for something a sanctimonious, rich, uber-conservative tells us. Whatever gets us through the night is alright. I have a couple of glasses of wine every fucking night – it’s better than stress-eating KFC, McDonalds and Taco Bell. I cook yummy, nutritious meals every night, work out every day and try to keep my stress levels to a manageable level despite the world coming to an end. If that involves wine, so be it. Keep on keeping on my friend.

  20. Gippy says:

    Eh, I don’t like her. I like she’s open about plastic surgery but that’s about it. Her personality is off putting on and off screen to me. I think the mom juice started out funny, but it’s a bit much now. I do enjoy wine and drinking, so I try to check myself every so often for this reason. It’s not a bad statistic to share, as it probably an easy problem to fall into . Sometimes I decide I drank more last week so I won’t drink this week or whatever. It’s good to be mindful.

  21. Gippy says:

    Eh, I don’t like her. I like she’s open about plastic surgery but that’s about it. Her personality is off putting on and off screen to me. I think the mom juice started out funny, but it’s a bit much now. I do enjoy wine and drinking, so I try to check myself every so often for this reason. It’s not a bad statistic to share, as it probably an easy problem to fall into . Sometimes I decide I drank more last week so I won’t drink this week or whatever. It’s good to be mindful.

  22. Aang says:

    I’ve seen alcohol devastate the lives of people around me and it made my childhood a living hell so I’ve always been very wary of drinking too much. Lucky for me beer bloats me and wine gives me a headache. I don’t care for gin or vodka. So that leaves whiskey which I drink occasionally. On the rocks, only at home, and only at night. And never more than one.

  23. Laura says:

    I guess she’s found another way to judge and shame other women. Drinking alcohol, even in moderation, can have a negative impact on a person’s health. I don’t need this judgmental witch to tell me that.

  24. Ms always ms says:

    The comments on here about moms who must have something wrong with them if they want to drink are disgusting. You obviously aren’t moms. If you’re a mom — especially in our current world — and don’t find yourself anxious and/or bored, I’d say you either have a ton of help or you are a unicorn. Moms (and dads too) are using alcohol to try and calm down and distract themselves. We can all agree it’s not a good long term solution but how about a little grace. Or better yet: maybe lend a hand to one of these parents you see struggling instead of judging them.

    • tealily says:

      EVERYONE is using alcohol to try and calm down and distract themselves. Moms just have a special little cult surrounding their drinking that reassures them that not only is it okay, it’s part of what being a mom is. Drinking isn’t good for any of us, but the mom drinkers celebrate it in a way that most people don’t. Moms don’t have the corner on anxiety, boredom, or struggling.

      • Ms always ms says:

        Good point and I agree. My issue was more with one comment that said something like don’t have kids if you can’t deal.

    • Sam the Pink says:

      Hi, I can comment. I’m a mother of 5.

      I get plenty bored. I get plenty anxious. I don’t use alcohol to relive those feelings.

      Nobody is raging on mothers who enjoy the occasional beer of glass of wine or cocktail. There are millions of mothers who do that routinely and they are fine mothers. What I take exception to is the cultural normalization of excessive drinking among mothers. The “Wine Mom” thing. The jokes about how Mommy “has” to drink to deal with being a mother. THAT is gross and worthy of the snark.

      I have been to “playdates” where the whole point is to drink. I have seen mothers who I wasn’t really sure were okay to drive putting their kids back into their cars at the end. I have seen women clearly intoxicated and the shame and embarrassment on their kids’ faces when they see that mommy is trashed again.

      I have not seen anybody here argue that mothers should all be dry at all times. Nobody is arguing for prohibition. We are criticizing a cultural thing and the normalization of excessive or dangerous drinking. And you talk about not judging people who are struggling – I have empathy for people with alcoholism, I do. But when you have a child(ren) involved, you have competing interests. When you are DUI with a kid in the car, my concern doesn’t lie with you, it’s with the child you put at risk. Same when your behavior is scaring the children mentally. When addiction behavior is harming not just you, but vulnerable kids, the interest need to be in securing their well being first.

      Don’t use the pandemic to justify it. You say “it’s not a good long term solution.” Let me fix that for you: It’s not a good solution. Period. There, that was easy. Parents are adults. Adults are expected to have better coping skills. Is this hard? Yes, on all of us. That does not excuse substance abuse, and especially the kind of abuse that places your children at risk.

      • Ms always ms says:

        Agree with all this too. The types of situations you mention are certainly not ok. There’s a lot of room between drinking a bit more and these types of situations though.

    • A says:

      “Moms (and dads too) are using alcohol to try and calm down and distract themselves. We can all agree it’s not a good long term solution but how about a little grace. Or better yet: maybe lend a hand to one of these parents you see struggling instead of judging them.”

      I agree with you that the support networks for parents are a sh-tshow in this world, and they need to be much better. Parents are often running on empty, especially these days, and it’s tough.

      With that being said though, I don’t think people are making a negative judgement when they say that using alcohol to the degree that parents do is a bad idea in general. Parents deal with an awful lot of stress, but alcohol is not an adequate coping mechanism for stress. It would be one thing if there was simply an over reliance on alcohol, but the other problem alongside that is the way people trivialize that over reliance.

      “Wine mom” culture is one example of that. If you need several drinks in you to cope with the stresses of parenting, that’s a major problem, and it’s disconcerting to see that getting to petty FB memes and jokes. Those jokes do the exact opposite of what you think is necessary in fact–they prevent people, especially mothers, from being able to have a candid conversation about how stressful parenting actually is.

      Mothers especially would benefit hugely from having an honest conversation about these things, but find they often can’t, which is exactly why “wine mom” culture is in existence. Mothers are burdened with cultural expectations regarding parenting that are hard to live up to and contribute to the stress. There’s a lot of pain and sadness that lurks beneath the surface of these jokes, and it’s detrimental to solving the issues that cause this problem in the first place.

  25. blackberry says:

    I have side-eyed Patrica Heaton since she publicly offered her opinion in a woman’s right-to-die case over a decade ago. Heaton cut a PSA begging people to push for congressional intervention in a private family matter by saying they were trying to “starve to death” Terry Schiavo, a woman in a long-term persistent vegetative state.

    Then and now, she misrepresents a serious issue by ignoring science or proofs to support her opinion.

    Why women, why 60 year-olds now?

    Because that’s who she is right now. A 60-something Republican woman looking for a job in Hollywood. She discovered that she and her husband don’t have the earning power of Michael Weatherly to dismiss sexual harassment allegations.

    So now she needs public empathy. This smacks of the same sincerity of celebrities who get photographed checking into rehab, for the fifth time. She’s not using her platform to do anything about a complex health matter of women and alcoholism and sobriety. She wants you to align your personal struggles to her when her next show debuts. She’s hoping to cash in half-baked brownie points for ratings.

    But we see her. She’s pivots too easily from bashing women to being a fake ally of women. She’s been there before.

    • whatWHAT? says:

      I didn’t realize she involved herself (how she did) on the Terry Schiavo case. That poor widower, having to deal not only with the medical trauma of his wife, but then having to deal with his batsh*t family trying to overrule him.

      UGH, she’s terrible.

  26. Regina Falangie says:

    Clausthaler dry hopped non-alcoholic beer is the best NA beer I’ve ever had!! It’s very similar to a microbrew type beer. Reminds me of an IPA. I used to be a big beer drinker and since I no longer drink alcohol, this has been a wonderful treat!! I’ve found it at the grocery store and trader joes.

    https://www.totalwine.com/beer/non-alcoholic/lager/clausthaler-dry-hopped-non-alcoholic-beer/p/15627126

  27. A says:

    “You’re a little bit at sea, and so you reach for the bottle to dull the uncertainty.”

    Ooooh, I think this hits the nail on the head, especially for a lot of women. I don’t think this is strictly confined to middle aged women in particular either, this attitude, but I do think that the added stress and rigors of life at that age are a contributing factor to this.

    It’s a part of the reason why I hugely side-eye stuff like “wine mom” culture in general. The whole idea of having to cope with your day or with parenting by drinking, even as a joke, seemed really odd to me. I know people try to make jokes about it, but there’s an underlying problem there with how unhappy some peoples’ lives are that I don’t think they want to contend with, so they settle for sharing minions memes about red wine on FB instead.

    I’m still young, but I try really hard to not drink when I’m feeling down or depressed about my life. I stick to it when I’m in a good or celebratory mood for the most part, never when I’m trying to relax or when I’m anxious or sad or anything. I’ve noticed that, while it dulls your mood, you feel it so much more when you’re sober again. And I really didn’t like that at all. It made me want to drink more, and I didn’t want that.

  28. Penguin says:

    I think there’s a big misconception over what is a “healthy” amount of alcohol and it’s a lot less than most people think. Even a small glass of wine every night is already way over the limit of 14 units per week. Even if this drinking doesn’t lead to alcoholism it will lead to other health problems. My husband’s uncle ended up in the ICU with pancreatitis last year and his doctor chalked it up to regular moderate drinking (i.e one glass with dinner and a couple of beers on the weekend).

  29. SJR says:

    Drinking, I have opinions, plenty of opinions.

    One of which is, why do people get so bent outta shape if I don’t care to drink alcohol.
    You offer, I politely respond “Thank You, no. Cold water would be lovely.” Leave it at that, can’t you?
    I am not your Keeper. You are not mine.

    I am a big fan of good manners. :) I have trained myself to ask “What would you like to drink?”
    Not “Are ya not drinking, why not? C’mon!! Etc, etc.”

    It’s the same with appearance or weight or asking how much money you make..STFU. None of your business, people.

    Sorry for the rant, thanks for letting me speak tho.