Friday September 15, 2017
After a recent segment aired on the Today Show about "Marijuana Moms," we thought it was the perfect opportunity to expand upon the topic of parenting and cannabis. There are many differing opinions on the topic and a lot of information out there, which is why we decided to break it down once and for all.
The Benefits of Parenting with Cannabis
While there was a good deal of value in the Today Show’s segment, there was also a bit of misinformation and bias peppered throughout. So, let's get real and explore this topic together. We sat with some 420 friendly parents to have a real open conversation about this ‘highly’ controversial topic. For some, this was the first time they had talked openly with fellow parents about their cannabis consumption. Why? There were a myriad of reasons, but some of the foremost reasons had to do with concerns about public perceptions and judgments about their parenting once people found out they consume marijuana.
Primarily, the school system. The big concern, what would happen if their kids' school found out they use cannabis? One mom shared this heartbreaking story.
"I came out in favor of cannabis at a public city council meeting about lifting a city-wide ban on legal marijuana shops, where many members of the school board were present. I mentioned that I was a mom, and a member of a local school's PTA. The very next day I received a call from the principal that my kids would not be accepted into that school when school started in 1 week. It left me reeling, and my kids were uprooted and sent to another district."
Despite her story, she shared that it has not stopped her from using cannabis to help her sleep and keep her cool with her two young boys. "I've always been high strung, but since having kids I feel like I'm constantly wired. I have so much swirling around in my brain all the time; school schedules, lessons, work, household tasks, meal plans, activities, etc. The biggest part of my mom job is to keep track of everyone else's life. It doesn't give me much down time, and when I try to lay down to sleep at night, I just can't shut my brain off."
Does Cannabis Make You a Better Parent?
Anxiety is a common thing for mothers of young children who are trying not only to keep everyone alive and fed, but to remember all the details of those little people's lives along with all their own adult stuff. Another mother, Amy, was kind enough to share that her life is no different. "I was on prescription medications for years after my kids were born to just help me sleep, and my doctor wanted to prescribe additional medications to help my anxiety. I didn't want to be drugged up like a lab rat on a bunch of synthetic drugs with varying side effects. So, I researched tons of alternatives and finally landed on cannabis. I have found that an edible or two in the evening helps my brain chill, my body relax, and even relieves my aches from being active all day. I sleep better and it has helped me to be a calmer mom to my boys."
Another pro-cannabis mom, Nicci, shared how marijuana helps her to reset and move on from the stress of her work day when she comes home to her daughter. "When I start getting frustrated or overwhelmed I smoke pot as a reset button. When I get upset and snappy, we both need a break. She does her thing while I step away and smoke. I come back feeling much less emotional and find I'm more likely to come to her level and play. I find it's so much easier to do crafts, Legos, drawing, watch kids movies and sometimes even homework. It's hard to not let your day affect theirs, but this is how I do it. I like to think it makes me a more present parent, because I let go of the day and focus on her. It brings my child-like side out."
While there is no empirical evidence behind these mothers’ claims, it is pretty insightful to see that they truly believe cannabis helps them to be better, more thoughtful parents. These stories also highlight the need for more research on the subject.
Cannabis Makes Relating to Children Easier
It seems to be a common theme among parents, and not just parents who consume marijuana. Switching from work mode into kid mode is sometimes a tough transition. Our society has come to a point where it's okay to say things like, "Mommy needs a glass of wine." But when will it be okay to say, "Mommy needs a joint?”
Something has got to give and hopefully will once society begins to realize the benefits cannabis has to offer.
Rachel, a mother of two, shared her own perspective on how she has normalized cannabis into her routine. "I am constantly in go-mode and forget to take time to slow down and play with my kids. After one hit, I am engaged in reading books to my kids (in super theatrical voices). I get down and play with my kids. I look them in the eyes and I listen to them. I give them thoughtful advice if I notice misbehavior. After a normal day of working without smoking pot, I am super irritable and overwhelmed by the all chores I have to tackle in an evening. After smoking, I take my time, enjoy the process of life, and become a much healthier role model for my children."
Derrick, a father of two teen boys, says, "I have no regret coming out of the weed closet to my kids and family. Yeah, I consume near my kids at times. Near, not next to. I love my kids and just want to continue to be as open and transparent with my boys. I'm calmer and more engaged when I've consumed. Do I need to be lit all the time, maybe not. Does it help? Hell yeah it does! As long as it doesn't take away from necessary time with the kiddos, I say, light it up. The kids get a happier parent!"
Derrick also says that both he and his wife consumed marijuana while the boys were young to help them be calmer, and more present with their kids. Another dad offered this sound advice to other parents. "[It's always] set in a place where my kids cannot see or reach it. As a parent, I feel it's a tool that can be used, but of course, don't medicate to the point you can't parent. You do have to know your limits, and respect them. Also I'm still biased about letting them see me consume, but for the same reason, I rarely drink while they're awake." We're starting to see a common theme here.
It sounds like these parents can be more patient and present for their kids, unwind from their day, get better sleep and generally win at life because they consume cannabis in one way or another. So, if you think you might benefit from cannabis, visit your local dispensary and find something that suits you. And remember, always consume responsibly and store your cannabis in child-proof containers out of reach of your children.
What are your thoughts on parenting and cannabis! Comment below!