For The Witching Hour

October 24, 2022

Meet Suzanne

Suzanne is the host of the popular sobriety podcast, The Sober Mom Life, and is also a sobriety and lifestyle influencer at My Kind of Sweet. Suzanne quit drinking more than 4 years ago and has found freedom from moderation, a message she proudly shares with the world. When she's not glamorizing sobriety, Suzanne enjoys spending her time with her 3 kids, her husband, and her dog, Georgia, all while reheating her coffee, until she eventually forgets it in the microwave.

Witching Hour post


Since it’s October, I thought it was the perfect time to talk about the Witching Hour.  At my house it happens at  the end of the day when everyone in the house is losing their shit, including me!  And of course we are, right? We can’t all keep it together all of the time, especially after a long day.  So, when the Witching Hour hits, I like to have tools or alternatives that help me cope and keep me from grabbing a drink.

My suggestion is for  you to  make a list in the morning when you are fresh – and find what works for you. Oh, and then share with the rest of us- because there is nothing magical about the Witching Hour…


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Speaker 1 (00:00):

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But we’re not a couple we’re siblings. It sounded like you said we’re a couple <laugh>. That was so gross. No, we’re siblings. That’s my brother. I’m his sister. Listen to us wherever you get your podcasts.

Hi. Welcome to the Sober Mom Life podcast. I’m your host Suzanne of my kind of suite and the sober mom life on Instagram. If you are a mama who has questioned your relationship with alcohol at times, if you’re wondering if maybe it’s making motherhood harder, this is for you. I will be having candid, honest, funny conversations with other moms who have also thought, Hmm, maybe motherhood is better without alcohol. Is it possible? We’ll chat and we’ll talk about all things sobriety and how we’ve found freedom in sobriety. I don’t consider myself an alcoholic. You don’t have to either, and maybe life is brighter without alcohol. I hope you will join us on this journey and I’m so excited to get started.

Hello, it’s me again. It’s another solo episode. I’m on a roll. I have been loving the interviews I’ve been doing and especially the real mom chats. I hope you guys are liking those. So it’s have been such a joy to connect with you one on one. Hear all your stories. I get so inspired by you. If you have missed those chats, they are coming every Friday as a bonus episode. Go back. We have had some air. I just, I love it. I love connecting with you guys. So if you guys are not a part of the Sober Mom life Facebook group yet, be sure to go join us. It is where we all just connect and vent and ask questions and inspire, and there’s just nothing like having a feed full of sobriety and sobriety questions and inspo to help me feel motivated. And I love it.

It’s my favorite place. I always say it and I never will stop saying it. It is my favorite place on the internet. So go join us at the sober mom life on Facebook. Also come and uh, follow me on the sober mom life on Instagram, sober mom life pod on TikTok. You guys, I don’t know. I’m loving TikTok. I mean, Instagram has always been a love hate for me. I’ve been in the Instagram game for so long that it does get tired and I just kind of, my inspiration with it goes in and out and sometimes I’m just so over it. Tic tends to be just more interactive. Like I feel like people, I don’t know if, if it’s just the sober community on TikTok, it’s definitely more active than on Instagram. There’s a lot more discussion happening in the comments. So if you’re in the sober mom life Facebook group and you’re wanting more sober content, go on my TikTok at sober mom life pod and just go under any post in the comments and then you’ll see back and forth like conversations and discussions.

Now, some of them are bat shit crazy and just ignore those. Okay? I try to delete the stupid ones, just the people saying, I’m gonna fail because I’m not in AA and all that bullshit. Or people being like, What? I like my booze. And I’m like, Cool, this isn’t for you. Then like keep it moving. It’s not that kind of party. But other than that, I have found a lot of good conversation happening over there. So if you need more sober inspo, go over to TikTok. I know that TikTok gets a bad rap because of, I don’t know, I always think of it as like dancing and like Gen Z just taking over. But it actually I, I like it. I don’t dance on there, but I do share some sober tidbits and sober tips every day or I’ve been trying to, So yeah, go over there.

All that to say go follow me. Let’s go hang out on social media. Okay, So I wanna do these solo episodes more so that I can just talk with you and share my experiences on some topics. And each episode will be dedicated to a certain topic. In today’s topic is the witching hour, because hoof, it’s October, it’s appropriate. Let’s talk about witches in the witching hour. I wonder why it’s called the witching hour. Maybe I’ll Google that right now. Not that it matters or even that it’s interesting, but why do they call it the witching hour? Oh my God. So the witching hour is actually midnight with reference to the belief that witches are active and magic takes place at that time. Okay, well, motherhood has put a little bit of a different spin on the witching hour, but for the witching hour for me is not magic.

It’s like the opposite of magic. What’s the opposite of magic? That’s what the witching hour is. The witching hour starts, I don’t know. And now I’m looking at this on Google. It says, What time does the witching hour start? And they’re talking about a fussy baby, and they say that it’s typically between five and 11 and it can last a few minutes to a couple of hours for most babies. Oh, this is hilarious. For most babies, the witching hour starts to occur around two to three weeks and peaks at six weeks. I mean, whoever wrote this does not have children. Are you fucking kidding me? You think the witching hour ended at six weeks old? I still go through the witching hour and I’m 42 years old. Okay? The witching hour does not end when a baby is six weeks old. My kids are eight, five, and three, and we are completely in the witching hour.

To me, the wishing hour just means the end of the day when everybody’s losing their shit, you’ve kept it together all day. Your kids have kept it together all day through school. Like they can’t lose their shit in school anymore, Guys. Like they just can’t do it. They keep it together. They’re old enough to know all these social norms and social morays like, Oh, I can’t throw a tantrum like in preschool. And so they don’t. So they keep it together like good little students and citizens of society, but then they come home and then they lose their shit. And you know, as a parent, I think this is kind of a different topic, but my view of motherhood, I think we expect more from our kids than sometimes we deliver as ourselves. So the idea that we expect our kids to keep their shit together all day and all night in the evening when they get home.

I mean, can we not expect that of our kids? Because why would they? I don’t keep my shit together all day and in the evening and at night. Like there has to be space for us to lose our shit. Sure. Like me losing my shit at 42 looks different than my eight year old or my five year old losing our shit. But I recognize when my five year old is having a tantrum and nothing is working and everything’s hard and just life sucks. I realize that that’s her just being like, Yeah, I need an outlet for all this shit that I have held together all day long. And so I don’t take tantrums personally. Like I’m not like, Oh God, I need to make this stop because I don’t need to make it stop. That’s just not my role. My role is to like be there to guide them through it, to be like, yeah, I know it sucks to have to hold your shit together all day.

Like it’s hard. And I’m not saying that I do that perfectly every time. I definitely don’t. And I’m also not into this like gentle parenting. I’m just into this kind of logical parenting of oh right, you have a lot of emotions in you. They need to come out. This is the way that you know, to let ’em out. And like I could try to teach you good ways sometimes, but sometimes you just wanna scream and cry and kick and like, Okay, you could do that and I’ll be here to love you through it and I’ll be here when you’re done. So that’s just my like overall view of the witching hour. Does that mean that I don’t also lose my shit during that time? Uh, no. That doesn’t mean that I don’t, because I do. It means that I need tools just like I’m trying to teach them tools to get through that time.

I need tools and my tools are gonna look differently and sometimes I’m gonna forget my tools and I’m gonna lose my shit and I’m gonna yell and I’m gonna do things that I don’t wanna do. I don’t know. I would say yelling is probably the thing that I’m always like, Oh God, why did I do that? But sometimes you just gotta yell and you know, then give yourself some forgiveness and be like, All right, sorry, I lost my shit. Okay, so I wanna talk about our tools today. I’m not a parenting expert. Like I can’t tell you how to guide your kid through the witching hour. The only thing I can do is talk to you about how you yourself get through the witching hour without drinking. Because it seems like, and I get it, I get it, I get it. It seems like a lot of us alcohol tends to be at the top of that list to get us through the witching hour.

It tends to be one of the most used tools that we’re gonna use when our kids are losing their shit, that we’re gonna turn to alcohol so we don’t lose our shit. And while that may work for a while, and that may work for that like first 20 minutes of relaxation, or even as you’re pouring a glass of wine, you feel more relaxed. I get that we need to think about it in the long term and even into the next morning and then the next night, switching hour the next day. So while that glass of wine might help in the short term, what we know is that it does not help in the long term and that it actually makes everything harder. And so all this stuff we’re talking about, the motherhood and the kids losing their shit, that is hard because it’s hard and we struggle with it for a reason.

And adding alcohol to that equation only makes everything harder. And not only does it not help the witching hour in the long run, it makes all that time in between witching hours worse, two. So whereas if you take alcohol out of the equation, yes, you are still dealing with a shitty witching hour while you’re trying to make dinner. Maybe bedtime is hard, depending on how long it lasts, you’re still dealing with that. But then you get a break from that feeling, just that hard, relentless feeling. If you take alcohol out of the equation, you’re not dealing with that in the morning then because you actually got good sleep, alcohol didn’t interrupt your sleep, you’re feeling rested when you wake up. You don’t have the lingering effects of alcohol in your system. When you wake up in the morning, you’re feeling rested, you’re feeling a little bit more relaxed, rejuvenated, you’re not waking up with a headache, you’re not starting at less than zero, you’re starting it.

Maybe, you know, maybe you’re starting at an eight, outta 10 if you got a good night’s sleep, which is way better than starting with alcohol still in your system and dealing with all the stuff that comes with that. So I wanna talk about how we can take alcohol out of the equation when it comes to the witching hour. And I know for a lot of you that’s scary and I get it. Like I said, like this is never a judgment. This is me recognizing when moms are at their weakest and when we need the most help and when we turn to alcohol. So here are just some of the tips that I learned over the past. It’ll be three years in January that I’ve had to deal with witching hours without alcohol. And here are the things that I did, especially in early sobriety. I didn’t know I was doing them, But now looking back, I can see the tools that I used to get through the witching hour without alcohol.

So my first tip for you is that we’re not gonna let the witching hour catch us off guard. We’re gonna expect it. So every night like clockwork, we’re gonna know that our kids are gonna lose their shit. It might look different every night. Some nights that might look like tantrums, some nights that might just look like extra sassiness. Some nights that might look like talking back and like not listening, whatever it looks like for you and your child or your children, we’re gonna expect it. And so we’re gonna think about the witching hour. We’re not gonna think about it. We’re not gonna wait to think about it when it hits us, and we’re not gonna be like, Oh shit, they’re doing it again. Here we go, Oh my God. And we’re not gonna be reactive because we’re gonna plan for it in the morning. So in the morning, if you’re listening to this in the morning, I want you to think about what you’re going to do tonight to get through the witching hour without alcohol.

So I want you to think about, first, we’re just gonna think about it. Like I want you to think about and visualize how it happens, what’s gonna happen and what you are doing. Okay? So you’re not gonna wait until you’re at your wits end where you can’t think straight, where you are also going through your own witching hour and your kids are acting like assholes. We’re not gonna wait. We’re gonna do it when we’re fresh in the morning. And so think about what makes you feel calm and centered in your sobriety. And you might not know this yet, if you’re really early on in your sobriety and you’re like, Dude, I don’t feel calm and centered, I feel like a ball of anxiety all the time. That’s okay. That’s normal, and that’s perfectly okay. I want you to write down some things that you can turn to, and you’re gonna do this in the morning.

You’re not gonna wait for the night. And I’m gonna share my things that I turn to so that you get some ideas. Your list might look differently than mine, but here are some things that I do during the witching hour instead of pouring a glass of wine. Okay? So especially in early sobriety, I have talked about this a lot. I’ve talked about taking my AirPods, sometimes it’ll be just one in one ear. Sometimes if it’s a bad day and I know that I need an escape and I know I’m gonna lose my shit, I’m gonna yell, I’m going to, you know, that wine is looking tempting, like I just need to get out of here, but I can’t. Maybe I put two in there. I put two AirPods in. And in my early sobriety, I immersed myself in sobriety podcasts and in quit lit and anything that would put the focus off alcohol and put it on sobriety.

And so then I was learning and I was feeling inspired about sobriety while I was at my weakest. I think it’s fine if you wanna listen to a podcast, like a true kind podcast or you know, watch what crap ins if you like Bravo, like something else. I just found in those early days of sobriety, I needed someone to tell me about their sobriety. I needed someone to tell me about how bad alcohol was and what it was really doing to me. And then also how good sobriety was so that I couldn’t then trick myself at my weakest into thinking that alcohol was the answer. And so I needed that. I needed to be hearing about alcohol, but mostly about sobriety. So I did that. I did that for weeks, weeks and weeks. I did it. Well in the first, in the early weeks, I did it literally all day long.

But then as the weeks went on, I knew that that time when I was making dinner, when the kids were losing their shit, I would be listening to my sobriety podcast. And you know, you’re thinking, Wait, does that mean I ignore my kids? Maybe <laugh>. I mean, maybe you do ignore your kids. You know you’re not gonna talk your kid out of a tantrum. So it’s okay to say, I see you’re going through something. I’m here if you need me, I love you. And then put those AirPods in so you’re not abandoning them. Like you’re not harming them, you’re not traumatizing them, you’re still there, but you’re also taking care of yourself because right now that needs to be priority too. So do that. You don’t need me to say, Yes, you can do that. But if you do need someone to say yes, you can do that.

I am saying, Yes, you can do that, and your kids are fine. You don’t need to be all up in their grill right now. Like they’re fine. Okay, so you’re gonna listen to your podcast while you’re making dinner, while your kids are going crazy. If that’s not enough, what I would do is I needed a change of scenery. I needed to get away from my children. So I would retreat. And I would tell them, it depends on how old your kids are. So I have an eight, five, and three year old. The three year old doesn’t care. He doesn’t give a fuck what? What’s going on with me, nor should he. But the eight and five year old are learning empathy. And while it’s important that they know that they don’t have to take care of me, I also want them to realize that I do have needs and feelings too.

And I think it’s good for our kids to see us taking care of ourselves. And so when I say to them, I need five minutes by myself in my closet and I will come back out, I think that that is completely fine and healthy for them to see that I’m taking care of myself and my mental health. So do they listen? Not all the time, but I think as I do it more and as I did it more, they understood and they do now understand that if I’m in my closet and the door is closed, that means something. So they don’t just barge in, they might come in, but it’s a knock first. So if you need a change of scenery, sometimes I think a change of scenery goes a long way in my mental health. Like I live like 90% of my life in the kitchen.

Sometimes I need to get out of the fucking kitchen. Sometimes I need to. Whether that’s going to the bathroom, hiding in the pantry, going to your closet, just going upstairs to your room and shutting the door. It’s just a little peace and quiet. I know I’m an HS p, you guys, I don’t know if that’s a Gen Z term, but it’s a thing. I’m a highly sensitive person. I’m sensitive to sound, I’m sensitive to light to touch. I’m just very sensitive to that stuff and I know that about myself. So tantrums and screaming, especially by five o’clock, can feel very overwhelming, especially when they’re like, if they’re hanging on me, if they’re clingy, I’ve said it before, like, I don’t want anyone touching me after like 5 30, 6 o’clock, I don’t wanna be touched. And that’s an okay boundary to set. Sure, some kids aren’t gonna understand it, but the whole point is to think about what you need and how you can communicate that to your children.

So maybe start with five minutes, right At the peak of the witching hour, you’re gonna say, You know what, I’m feeling really frustrated and I don’t wanna yell. So I’m gonna go upstairs for five minutes. No one come up there and see how it goes. It might be a shit show at first. That’s okay. Just keep trying that. Remember to put the guilt aside. I know that’s way easier to say than it is to do, but your number one priority right now is not to drink. Your number one priority right now is not to be the perfect parent. And so not drinking. If you keep that as the goal, you can let yourself off the hook for some not so great parenting things because at least you’re not drinking, okay? That’s the goal. Your goal is to get through the witching hour without drinking. Just keep remembering that.

Okay? So one other thing that I, and I still do this. I think music helps a lot. It helps us get out of our head, it helps us release something. At least for me, music plays a huge part in my life. So when the kids are going crazy, like if they’re wrestling or they’re just driving me insane, I’ll put music on and we’ll do a dance party and it’ll be that feel good music. I’m not talking kids songs. I can’t do Kids Bop or anything like that. Like are you kidding me? No, we listen to Queen. My kids love Queen. I mean, even if it’s like their music that they love, like Dua Lippa or Ava Max, or just any uptempo like dance music and have a dance party in the kitchen. Put music on, it’ll lift your spirits. It’s gonna lift theirs too. Like what kid doesn’t like a dance party?

That has helped a lot, especially in the Midwest as winter hits. And it’s getting dark at like four o’clock, four 30 dance parties. Like my go-to at five o’clock, let’s just do a dance party. Sometimes I’m like not even planning on dancing with them, but I can’t, you guys, the rhythm gets me. The rhythm just sucks me in. And we start doing the macina. Okay? Just do that. Do a dance party. Okay, I’m trying to think of what else I do during the witching hour, I would say, I mean, lean into iPads, lean into screen time. You know, we’re not against that here. We’re all for that. I’m positive your kids have full lives and a little screen time is not going to kill them. Remember, this is about you getting through the witching hour without drinking. This is not about you winning any parenting awards, okay?

So don’t get it twisted. The goal is to not drink. And if iPads help your kids calm down and just zone out, like let the kids zone out for a little bit. Yeah, I’m all about iPad during the witching hour and during the, like when I’m cooking dinner and stuff, like just lean into that. Also, think about maybe you wanna be drinking something else. Maybe this is when you make yourself a fun mocktail to sip on. Maybe you have a cup of tea while you’re cooking. I like to have decaf coffee. There’s something about coffee for me is more about comfort than caffeine. So I like to have that. Maybe you eat the chocolate that you’ve been saving. You guys, here’s a real story. This is interesting too, because I had been planning on recording the switching hour podcast today, and I’m like, Yeah, I think you know, now I’m noticing more about what I do because I was trying to think about what I was gonna say and what I was gonna share about my experience.

And last night, I don’t know if it be is because I talk about sobriety and alcohol so much, but last night was one of the first times in a long time that I thought, Oh, here is when pouring a glass of wine would be good. And for a second, I caught myself romanticizing alcohol, which I don’t do that much anymore because I’m so immersed in this sobriety culture. I just don’t do that. And I caught myself doing it and I was like, Oh, that’s so interesting. Like I could see myself pouring it. And because, you know, my kids were all losing their shit. The three year old was having a screaming crying tantrum. The five year old was yelling about something about that she couldn’t draw a witch, which is so funny because that’s a real story. She wanted someone to draw a witch during the witching hour.

And I’m like, Oh girl. And it was just one of those moments where it was sensory overload and I, I just couldn’t even think straight. And so my mind went to that and I was like, Huh, that’s so interesting. And I think this is all to say that it’s okay if your mind goes to that because it’s a habit. And of course your mind goes to that. It, that’s the trigger. The trigger is everything’s falling apart. Everyone’s breaking down. And so you will then reach for a glass of wine. And having the thought and visualizing yourself doing it does not mean you have to do it. That is just a thought and a visualization that is not reality and it’s not a foregone conclusion. So then I had that thought and I was like, Huh, that’s so funny. And I found myself then reaching for chocolate.

And I had maybe, you know, like five little baby snack size Kit Kats. And I felt horrible about myself. I felt horrible the rest of the night because I have been trying to battle sugar. And to me that felt like a failure. I felt like I failed. And so I liken that to, it just reminded me of how real this is for you guys who are a new sobriety. Because I could see that being like someone who is reaching for aggressive wine and then who turns to wine and that shame you feel and that guilt and how just then takes over everything that took over like my mind for the rest of the night. I just felt like shit then. And I was mad at myself. And it wasn’t until the end of the night that I thought, Hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on.

You didn’t drink. You thought about pouring a glass of wine and you were able to separate yourself from the thought and instead you turned to chocolate and you didn’t drink and your kids weren’t in danger because you ate a lot of chocolate. Like they did not notice you acting differently because you ate chocolate. You weren’t slurring your words because you wait chocolate. And so I had to reframe it. It felt like a failure, but I had to reframe it and to think, Oh, that’s not a failure I got through the witching hour without drinking wine. So if that’s the goal, then that’s the goal. And I think you have to kind of go into this battle <laugh> of the witching hour thinking that that is the goal. And if you don’t, by the end of the, the night you’re tucking yourself into bed and you didn’t drink a glass of wine, you reached your goal.

And also, I wanna say that if you did just take that as learning, write down in your journal how you’re feeling about it, and then you’re gonna read that tomorrow morning and then you’re gonna take that into the next night. And think about that. I think it’s a really good journaling tool is after you drink and after you kind of make a choice that you didn’t wanna make, write down in your journal how you’re feeling, not as a way to beat yourself up, not as a way to shame yourself, but just as a learning thing. How are you feeling? What do you wish you would’ve done? What did that drink tell you? What did you learn? And then you can read that in the next morning when you’re making your plan for your witching hour that night. And you could say, Oh, right, okay, I turned to that.

Did it make anything better? Did it make anything easier? No. And actually, this is how I felt. Okay, here’s the plan. And so my final advice is to just write down the things that make you feel strong and good and calm, even if it’s not completely calm, cuz everyone’s losing their shit. Just things that make you feel good in your sobriety, in your sobriety toolbox. Just write that down so that when everything is breaking down around you, you, you can actually look at your list because you’re not gonna be able to use your brain, right? Like your brain is gonna be going haywire because of all the things that are going on around you. And so you can pull out your list and look at it and go down the list and see what you need. And what’s not gonna be on that list is alcohol.

Okay? So I don’t know if this is gonna help you get through the witching hour. My hope is that it gives you just some ideas of what you can take and put in your sobriety toolbox. You probably have your own, maybe yours is getting outside, Maybe yours is screaming so loud into a pillow. Like that’s fine. All of this is fine. You are allowed to do all of that stuff. Anything that helps you get through this to meet and reach your goal, which is getting through the witching hour without alcohol. And put the guilt aside. It’s way easier said than done, I know, but try to go easier on yourself and just remember that you got through your day too. And so you need to be able to release stuff and break down and go through all the things like your kids are going through.

Like we all have our own witching hours. Yeah. And just try to love yourself through it. That’s just always, always my biggest tip. So guys, I don’t know if this helps. I hope it does. I hope that you can listen to this. Maybe listen to this during your witching hour and be like, All right, here we go. Here’s what I’m gonna put on my EarPods. I’m gonna ignore my kids and I’m gonna listen to getting through the witching hour without alcohol. I hope this helps. Let me know in the comments if you guys like this kind of episode that is based around an event, I can do more of these. I can talk you through some firsts. Maybe this is your first witching hour without alcohol. I can talk you through some of those and let me know. And you’ve got this, You are beyond strong enough to withstand a witching hour. I know it because look at how far you’ve come. You are so strong. Keep going. I love you guys and let’s meet back here on Friday for another bonus. Real Mom chat. All right, bye. Thank you so much for listening to this episode of The Sober Mom Life. If you loved it, please rate and review it wherever you listen. Five stars is amazing. Also, follow me on Instagram at the Sober Mom Live. Okay, I’ll see you next week. I’m gonna go reheat my coffee. Bye.

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