Anne Hathaway: ‘My issue is I just love it. But alcohol makes me unavailable for my son’
It’s both wondrous and strange to become a mother. You are still you, but your choices are no longer your own – not when you have a tiny being reliant on you 24 hours a day. Tasks which seemed simple before now carry extra weight and effort. The journey to the shops can be akin to prepping for a marathon (and running back because you ‘forgot’ something just for 10 minutes alone? Very much a thing). That much-loved glass of wine in the evenings? Not always a given. We never hear much about motherhood and alcohol; we just assume it’s easily put on the back-burner while feeds, nappy-changing and lack of sleep become priorities.
Actress Anne Hathaway has shed some light on the topic. In a new interview, she says she loved alcohol so much that an odd drink here and there would not suffice; she had to give it up entirely when her son was born.
The star revealed earlier this year that she was quitting drinking for 18 years while her three-year-old son Jonathan, still lives at home.
“My issue is I just love it. So. Much. But the way I do it makes me unavailable for my son,” she told Tatler magazine.
“My last hangover lasted for five days. I’d earned it: it was a day drinking session with friends that went into an evening birthday party with one of my drinking buddies.”
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She does, she says, have an all-or-nothing sentiment when it comes to alcohol, so chooses to completely abstain for the betterment of her family.
“I will never be that person who can nurse a glass of wine throughout an entire evening.”
Her words are important; she also has a keen sense of self-awareness. Asked what she might have been if not an actor, she said alcoholism might have been at the forefront of her daily wants.
“I could have seen myself being a teacher,” she continued jokingly. “Or going into the military. Or being some kind of do-gooder with a death wish. But more likely than anything else I would have been an alcoholic.”
Hathaway has spoken about this previously; she revealed on Ellen that she knew she had to curb her drinking when she was on the school run.
“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.”
“I quit drinking back in October,” she told Ellen. “For 18 years. 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. He’s getting to an age where he really does need me all the time in the mornings.”
“When I’m at a stage in my life where there is enough space for me to have a hangover, I’ll start drinking again, but that won’t be until my kid is out of the house,” she said in another interview, adding that her decision to give up alcohol is a personal one and that hangovers are her main issue.
“It’s just the way I do it… is not the kind of fun and awesome that goes with having a child for me,” she said.
This isn’t something we tend to talk about in the open; the endless pressure to be ‘Insta-perfect’ when it comes to parenting is very much still prevalent in Irish society. We talk about hangovers, yes. But generally not when we’re doing the school run.
Props to Anne Hathaway – she deserves more credit and less troll targeting from the dark corners of the Internet – for being so open and honest about a topic that is, quite often, brushed aside.
Main photograph: @rightcathartic