Give up booze as a parent?

Anne Hathaway is ditching alcohol until her son turns 18

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Ann Hathaway is giving up booze for 18 years to "be a better mum" - how can you cut down or cut out alcohol?

Anne Hathaway is taking this Dry January lark very seriously. Not only will she stop drinking for the first month of the year, she will also be teetotal for the remaining 11 months after that; and 12 months after that; and so on and so forth. The Oscar-winning actress is stopping drinking for 18 years, so she can be more present for her three-year-old son.

During an appearance on 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show', Hathaway told the host she vowed to stop drinking until her son grows up.

"I'm gonna stop drinking while my son's living in my house just because I don't totally love the way I do it, and he's getting to an age where he really does need me all the time in the mornings," the actress said. "I did one school run one day where I dropped him off at school. I wasn't driving, but I was hungover and that was enough for me, I didn't love that."

If, like Hathaway, you want to give up the booze, even for a short time, how do you do it?

In the early stages, Drinkaware recommends, it is a good idea to avoid situations where you may be tempted to drink. This could mean opting out of events in a pub for a short time, or putting yourself in a situation where you cannot drink - such as volunteering to drive.

"Try to identify the times when you would usually drink and fill the gap with something else. So if you would usually head to the pub after work on a Friday evening, you could organise to meet friends at the cinema," Drinkaware suggests.

You can replace alcohol with another treat. As Good Housekeeping notes, many of us suffer from Everest Syndrome: "We drink alcohol simply because it’s there." You can find a new, non-alcoholic favourite to sip. They even suggest serving a soft drink in a wine glass - it replicates the drinking habit, but without the alcohol. This can also deter the awkward conversation of people asking why you are not drinking.

One of the benefits of cutting down or cutting out the drink, along with health aspects, is the money saved at the pub or bar. Money can, indeed, be a motivator. Each time you crave a drink, put the cash you spend on the booze to one side, and you'll be surprised how much builds up.

In 2017, the average weekly household spend on alcohol consumed in the home was £8.20, while Brits spent £7.90 on booze supped outside the home.

A recent survey also found that 18 to 35-year-olds go out on average twice a week with friends, budgeting £50 per night out. This can total £5,200 a year on average. It also revealed that 78 per cent go over their budget when drinking, splashing out a further £1,389 per year.

Cutting down or cutting out alcohol has many benefits: it can be good for your body, and it can good for your wallet. Whether it is for one month or 18 years, like Anne Hathaway, all it takes is for you to decide to put down the glass. Your day one could be today.

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New Statesman

Like Anne Hathaway - who's quitting alcohol until 2035 - I ditched drinking for parenthood

Ladettes never die. They merely get older, drifting towards a gin- and prosecco-soaked middle age, wryly referring to their children's bedtimes as "wine o'clock".

At least, that has been my experience. Having lived through the nineties and early noughties, during which getting drunk became a feminist statement solely because the Daily Mail kept insisting it wasn't a feminist statement, I now find myself a mother in her early forties, surrounded by cheery reminders that nothing says "I've still got it!" so much as getting off your face.

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