6 Times When Being Sober Sucks

When you're pregnant, you quickly learn that the world does not, in fact, revolve around your pregnancy. While you're stone-cold sober for those 40 weeks, the people around you will continue to get married, host parties, go to happy hour or sit at home on Friday with a bottle of red. Rude, right?

The first few times when you're out socially as a preggo, people will apologize for drinking in front of you. You'll insist that if you can't drink, someone should--all the while, your mouth will water looking at said person's cocktail. Such revere for your sobriety will soon end. Before you or they know it, your friends, family, husband (pretty much anyone but you) is getting hammered on the regular while you sip water, soda, non-alcoholic beer or some variation of a mocktail that would undoubtedly taste better with vodka.

Honestly though, just because you are pregnant doesn't mean your social life needs to be put on hold. I've made it a point to be very active throughout my pregnancy and not isolate myself from friends just because I can't get drunk with them. In fact, if you find that you can't go out and do things as a sober person and enjoy yourself, you may want to re-evaluate some things in your life.

I will say that I am among the group of pregnant women who does indulge in an occasional glass of wine. You can judge me if you want, but as long as my doctor and husband are OK with it, so am I. That said, oftentimes I think about having a glass of wine and realize, it's REALLY hard (for me anyway) to just have one glass. Not to mention that if I do pour myself a glass, I have to measure it because I tend to have a heavy hand. When I saw what a "real" glass of wine looks like at 4-5 oz, my first thought was, "What's the point?"

I digress.

Another pregnant epiphany is realizing how many, MANY social circumstances and events in life involve alcohol. As in, pretty much everything.

That being said, some of said events are more tolerable than others as a sober person - at least in my opinion. I thought it would be a fun, perhaps helpful experiment, to help other preggos decide whether certain things are insufferable or tolerable when you're not drinking.

So, at the risk of sounding like a lush (which I am), here, ranked from 1 to 6, with 6 being the most insufferable, are times when being sober sucks.

1. Concerts
I've been to five concerts while pregnant: Seeing the cast of Nashville; Tegan & Sara; Carrie Underwood; Ed Sheeran and Lollapalloza.
At Carrie Underwood
All happened at different stages of my pregnancy and all were very different "vibes" and with different groups of friends. I think all of these things make a difference when considering how tolerable it is. Generally speaking, you don't have to be drunk to enjoy a concert. Except Lolla. Be drunk for that. Or high. Something.

2. Football/Tailgating
Fall and football are two of my favorite things. College football Saturdays, Sunday Funday - you name it, I like it. I also really like day drinking, and football/tailgating go hand-in-hand with that. In fact, once I got over not being able to drink in the early days of pregnancy, it was smooth sailing.

Watching the Hawks

Until one recent fall day. The weather was beautiful, nice enough to sit on the patio. Football season had just started and bars around the city were packed to the brim with people. Never have I ever in my pregnancy wanted a drink more.

3. Boating/Lake Time
Depending on who you are and what you like, this one may or may not be hard. If you're me, my happy place is on a dock or boat, sun shining, drink in hand.

And it's just not the same when that drink doesn't have alcohol.

4. Bachelorette parties
I was invited to a bachelorette party in Vegas while I was pregnant. I couldn't go due to other obligations, but if I could have, I wouldn't have. There is no way Vegas could be fun without the option of getting drunk.

I've been to one bachelorette party in the city, where I opted out of most of the day (bar crawling) and joined the group for dinner only, so it was fine. I also hosted a bachelorette party for my little sister back in Iowa City. The whole day was focused on alcohol. I found people insanely annoying in the early part of the evening, but as the day progressed, I got less annoyed. Because people watching. And blackmail.

5. Weddings
This is a tough one. I've attended three weddings while pregnant, and have a fourth one coming up in a few weeks. Again, I think the fun factor here/ability to enjoy yourself sober depends on who is hosting the wedding and the guests you are spending the evening with. As I have told each bride, if someone has sober fun at your wedding, it was a good party.

Obviously, I have fun friends. As such, I've had a great time at every wedding I've attended this year. I don't expect the fourth to be any different. There are bonuses to being sober at a wedding:Weddings usually mean good food and dessert, which as every pregnant woman knows, is our saving grace. Personally, when I'm boozing it up, sometimes I forget to eat and I NEVER get the cake. Also, people watching becomes SUPER FUN at weddings as everyone around you gets inebriated, and it's fun to be able to tell people what actually happened last night when they can't remember the next day.

The worst thing about sober wedding-going is the dancing. I am a terrible dancer and when drunk, don't care. I am the epitome of "Dance like no one's watching." Sober, I am VERY aware of my dancing skills, but I have made it out to the dance floor at each wedding nonetheless. The good part is that everyone else is drunk and so they don't notice you suck at dancing anyway!

6. Vacations
Like every other circumstance, whether or not you need to drink depends on your destination. But, here's the thing. Vacations are made for relaxing and for many people, relaxing means having a drink. The way my husband and I vacation, we don't focus on drinks, but we do have them quite frequently. We might take a break from walking and get a drink. We might go out for dinner and drinks. We might have a Heinekin while waiting in line for the Eiffel Tower.
Point is...vacations are best served with cocktails.

Got other events I missed or opinions on the above? Let's hear them!


  1. You are too funny - and FINALLY someone tells the truth about missing drinking while pregnant! I'm not, but seriously, I can't imagine. Lush much? But seriously. Football season? I dont think I could do it.

  2. Great article. We are running a sober raving festival on the week-end of September 6th-8th 2019 in the Cotswolds, UK



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