A young mother from Canada has opened up about how using cannabis has helped her to be a ‘better mom’ to her two young children.
Caitlin Fladager, 23, of Vancouver, believes weed allows her to ‘wake up well rested, and with a more clear mind’. She has even noticed benefits to her mental health, having struggled with anxiety and depression for most of her life.
Now, the writer and mental health advocate wants to tackle the stigma surrounding mothers who chill out by smoking weed; pointing out the hypocrisy of those who ‘don’t look twice’ at mums who unwind with a glass of wine in the evening.
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Yes, I have two kids. Yes, I smoke weed daily. It’s so funny to my how frowned upon marijuana is. No one looks twice when a mom says she enjoys “mom juice” aka wine, after her kids are in bed. But when a mom says she smokes weed, it’s a huge shock. I talk about this to bring awareness. I feel as not enough people talk about this. Marijuana has helped me so much, especially when it comes to being a mom. I have never been the most patient with my two kids. Weed makes me a better mom, as I get a good night sleep after I smoke. I wake up well rested, and with a more clear mind. It’s okay to smoke weed after your kids go to bed. It’s okay to smoke it to help with anxiety. Mine has been SO much better since I started smoking. It’s okay to smoke it to gain weight. I’ve always been dangerously underweight. Now, I am at the healthiest weight I have ever been in my life. It’s okay to smoke it, to help you get off medication. I was able to completely stop my anti depressants because smoking helped me so much. It’s okay to smoke instead of drink. I used to have a problem with drinking, and my behaviour that came along with that. Weed has helped me to stop drinking so much, and to be honest, I much prefer smoking over drinking. Marijuana is my glass of wine. It’s my can of beer. It’s my relaxation time. You can still be a kick ass mom, and smoke weed.
Reaching out to her 286,000 Instagram followers, Caitlin wrote a candid caption alongside a photograph of herself enjoying a spliff.
Yes, I have two kids. Yes, I smoke weed daily. It’s so funny to my how frowned upon marijuana is. No one looks twice when a mom says she enjoys ‘mom juice’ aka wine, after her kids are in bed. But when a mom says she smokes weed, it’s a huge shock.
I talk about this to bring awareness. I feel as not enough people talk about this. Marijuana has helped me so much, especially when it comes to being a mom.
I have never been the most patient with my two kids. Weed makes me a better mom, as I get a good night sleep after I smoke. I wake up well rested, and with a more clear mind.
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I love my kids, but I hate being a mom sometimes. I miss the life before them some day’s, and that’s okay. Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids. So much. But some days, I honestly hate motherhood. I miss the days when all I had to worry about was getting myself ready. I miss the days when I wasn’t responsible for keeping two other human beings alive. Happy. Fed. Clothed. Bathed. Being a mother in this day and age, is also almost impossible. It’s impossible to be seen as a good mom. No matter what you do. Co-sleep? “Danger to your kids. You could suffocate them” Don’t co – sleep? “You’re missing out on vital connections with your child!” Bottle feed? “How could you not try to breastfeed? It’s the best for baby.” Breastfed? “Okay that’s great, but keep it covered up at all times.” The list goes on and on. There have been many days when I have questioned if I was meant to be a mother. Why aren’t I more patient? Why don’t I love motherhood all the time? Why can it be so god damn isolating? Why is no one else talking about this? Is it just me with these thoughts? Am I even allowed to feel like this? The list goes on and on. It seems like you can’t even bring up the downsides of motherhood without someone saying “don’t complain. You will miss these times one day.” And while sure, that may be true, that doesn’t change the truth. I hate motherhood sometimes. Motherhood isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. Yes, it’s an unconditional love that you have never felt before, and I feel incredibly blessed to have this love with my children, but it’s also a battle to remember who you are as a person. That a mother is not all you are. Being a mom is a wonderful thing, with so many learning curves. But it’s also the hardest thing I’ve ever done. You can love your kids, but hate being a mom sometimes.
It’s okay to smoke weed after your kids go to bed. It’s okay to smoke it to help with anxiety. Mine has been SO much better since I started smoking.
It’s okay to smoke it to gain weight. I’ve always been dangerously underweight. Now, I am at the healthiest weight I have ever been in my life.
It’s okay to smoke it, to help you get off medication. I was able to completely stop my anti depressants because smoking helped me so much.
It’s okay to smoke instead of drink. I used to have a problem with drinking, and my behaviour that came along with that. Weed has helped me to stop drinking so much, and to be honest, I much prefer smoking over drinking.
Marijuana is my glass of wine. It’s my can of beer. It’s my relaxation time. You can still be a kick ass mom, and smoke weed.
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Since opening up about my anxiety, I’ve had a lot of people ask me when it started. It actually started when I was very young. Around seven. But I was so young, that no one really took it seriously. I was just labeled as “weird.” My anxiety would present itself in weird ways, I guess. But I was young. And no one really talked about mental health, ever. Especially to kids. It presented itself in ways where I would wash my hands multiple time a day, to avoid getting sick. I would come out of my room every night, asking my parents if I was going to be “okay”. And if I was going to die. It was me always saying I had a tummy ache, every single day, but everyone just thinking I didn’t want to go to school. It was me hearing that a friend was sick, and getting so worried I would catch it, that I would test myself for fevers every five seconds. Asking others if they thought I felt warm. It was me not wanting to get up to go to the bathroom in the classroom. I remember one time, I actually peed myself in grade three, because I so badly didn’t want to get up infront of people and leave the room. Anxiety was never talked about to me as a young girl. It wasn’t a thing even mentioned. I wish I could go back and tell myself that I’m not dying, I can breathe, and I will be okay. I can’t tell you how many times I cried myself to sleep as a child, wanting to know what was wrong with me. Why I was so afraid. Why my tummy always hurt. Mental health discussions need to start younger. I know if I had been told about anxiety when I was seven, my life would have made a whole lot more sense.
Speaking with UNILAD, Caitlin addressed the positive reaction she has had from mothers who could relate all too well to feeling judged on account of their penchant for grass.
Caitlin told UNILAD:
The reaction has been amazing, from what I’ve seen. I’ve had so many parents, not just moms, but dads too, reach out to me thanking me.
Thanking me for making them feel less alone, less guilty. There’s a lot of guilt surrounding it, and I think that’s awful. That’s something I’m trying to change. It’s okay to smoke weed and be a parent.
I hope to absolutely tackle the stigma. It should be just as acceptable, if not more, as a glass of wine after the kids go to bed.
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Since I have opened up about me smoking weed, I’ve had many comments, questions, and concerns. I’m going to start off by saying, weed is completely legal in Canada. You can walk in to a dispensary and buy it just like alcohol. It is not legal everywhere, even though I think it should be. Marijuana has been my saviour for my anxiety. It has helped me not go back on anti anxiety medication again. It has helped me to be a more patient mother. It is my glass of wine after the kids go to sleep. It is bonding time with my husband, while we smoke, watch Friends, and laugh together. There is a lot of stereotypes about people who smoke weed. And most of them are untrue. My husband is the hardest working man I know, and he smokes. I’m a damn good mom, and I smoke. You would be surprised by the amount of professional people you personally know, who also smoke. Marijuana makes me many things. Happy, relaxed, calm. But what it doesn’t make me, is a bad mom.
Caitlin has already built herself a reputation as someone who addresses difficult topics head on, having previously opened up about mental health, alcohol dependency and the less Instagram-able side of parenting.
Following her latest post, plenty of grateful mothers have come forward to thank Caitlin for her honesty, sharing their own personal experiences of weed and motherhood.
One person commented:
I smoke weed to help with anxiety/depression plus I have problems trying [to] eat a lot so it definitely helps with that.
I’ve gotten a lot of negative reactions for being a mom that smokes weed, even from people who either used to smoke before they had kids or they judge me when they are turning to far worse life ruining drugs. Thank you for speaking up and bringing awareness about this.
Yaasssss! I’m a mom who smokes, and this is why i don’t post about it due to all the shame i’d get. I smoke because it helps me sleep, and helps my anxiousness calm down after a long day!
We should not feel ashamed for it, even though it’s so hard not to. I admire you so much for posting about this! #endthestigma
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I get asked a lot how I knew I needed to go to therapy. And the answer is, I didn’t. I remember the very first time I sat down on that couch, across from my therapist. I looked at her with tears in my eyes and said “I probably should have came here a long time ago..” and she said “that’s what everyone says, honey.” When I was growing up, therapy was never really talked about. Nobody ever said anything about it. I always thought it was something for “crazy” people. But as I grew up, and starting experiencing mental health problems, I looked more and more into it. Never fully committing. Thinking “oh I’m fine, it’s just a bad week.” I waited until I was so bad, to finally go to therapy. And I don’t want you to do that. Therapy is not bad. It is not scary. It is not something to be ashamed of. It is strong. It is brave. It is an accomplishment. Don’t wait until you get too bad where you are forced to go. Therapy is not weak. It’s one of the strongest things you can do. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, and talking about it isn’t either. Normalizing it is so important. I go to therapy weekly when I’m in a rough patch, and monthly when I’m in a really good place. Check in with yourself, ask for help when needed, and don’t ever let anyone make you feel ashamed for it. You got this. We’re in this together. #endthestigma
Weed has been legal to buy in Canada since October 2018, and can be easily purchased in dispensaries for both medicinal and recreational purposes.
Many recreational marijuana users report feeling less stressed after a joint, however users should be aware that effects can vary depending on the person.
According to the NHS website, some users ‘may feel chilled out, relaxed and happy’ while others may ‘feel confused, anxious or paranoid’.
If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.