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How I Make Pot and Parenting Compatible

How I Make Pot and Parenting Compatible

Should moms who are so inclined smoke pot? The question strikes a nerve among many, probably because marijuana remains more controversial than the mind and body altering substances that are legal, like wine and prescription medicines. As Circle of Moms member Tasha asks, "What's the difference between drinking wine — or taking prescription drugs for depression or anxiety — and smoking pot?"

I am going to go out on a limb here and say that there is no difference — as long as the mom knows her body, the kind of marijuana she's taking, and how her body responds to it.

Most of us know how wine makes us feel. If I'm sleepy, it can make me sleepier, but it's the perfect antidote to the problem of transitioning between a long day at work and a relaxing evening at home with my son. In other words, I know when wine is a good idea, and when it isn't.


Where to Draw the Line

I don't take prescription meds, but I know lots of moms who do — and they all are scrupulous about knowing how these drugs affect them. If they shouldn't take them around their kids, then they simply don't, no matter how much they might want to or need to. If something impairs my reason or judgment, I don't allow myself to be under its influence when my son's safety or health (mental or physical) is at stake. It's not a difficult line to draw, or hold.

When my partner and I go out on date night once a week, we like to drink wine with dinner. We get a babysitter, and we take public transportation to a restaurant we've been wanting to try, or to an old favorite. (And we feel lucky to live in a city where this is an easy option for us.) We drink wine, and we relax and catch up on the week. When we get home, our son is asleep, and we go to bed relaxed and ready for the good night's rest we both need.

Other Circle of Moms members disagree with the comparison of marijuana to wine. A.O. says that the illegality of smoking pot is a good enough reason not to do it. Violating the law, she argues, sets a bad example for our kids.

I would argue that this is a potential, rather than an actual, problem. I want my child to make good decisions about right and wrong, and the law often corresponds to this, but not always. For instance, I want my son to avoid stealing, not because it is illegal, but because it is wrong (in most cases). I want him to know the difference between the law and ethics. They do not always line up, and marijuana usage is a good example of this discrepancy.

How Marijuana Affects Us

Many people, both marijuana smokers and those who are opposed to its use in all cases, aren't aware that there are different types of marijuana and that they affect us differently. In broad strokes, indica strains tend to be relaxing and often sleep-inducing, while sativa strains have a more "upper" effect. There are hybrids that combine these effects in various ways — but the important thing to know is how what you're smoking (or ingesting, or vapor-inhaling) affects you.

In California, medical marijuana advocates are not only fighting for patients' rights, they're also educating people at the grass-roots level. What I've observed is that the tide is turning; whether individuals are interested in using marijuana or not — and whether or not they have conditions that marijuana might help — they are beginning to understand that marijuana can be evaluated in the same ways as alcohol, prescription drugs, and other substances that alter us, for better and for worse.

JuLeah W. perhaps says it best: "Anything that distances you from your feelings makes you less as a parent — less responsive, involved, connected, less able to respond in an emergency." This "distancing" could be by way of depression or anxiety, drugs, or other factors. The most important thing is to separate the strands so that you know what's helping — and what's hurting.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Circle of Moms.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.

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