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The Horrific Turmoil of Being a Mom and Drinking Diet Coke

Recently, like this past Sunday, I was sitting in church. My Emma was chatting about something, my Audrey was constantly asking to use the bathroom, and my Ben was making my Emma laugh which in turned made me try to think of quick and quiet ways to get them to settle down. There is such a fine line, for me, about teaching my kids when to be quite, reverent, and self entertainment. Plus how do I teach my children to pay attention to adult speakers when I am having the same problem? I also have come to terms with how crafty my children are at knowing there is nothing that I can do besides the "SHHH" and "be quite" during this sometimes long hour. But this post isn't going to be about my bad parenting on Sunday, but the relationship of events that coincide with my bad parenting skills this day.

So this is how my Sunday was going. I often wonder if maybe when I am older and the snacks and church bags are gone that I might actually be able to understand and follow the speakers. In between the stories about Halo Legos and how Emma hearing the speaker say the word, "Jesus" (Mom, he said Jesus, he said it again. Now he said Benjamin, King Benjamin... is Benjamin a King? I thought he was my brother....) I hear the speaker relate talking about the different hypocrisy of the members of the church. He then comments (and yes, he posted his talks on his blog so I can then cut and paste here. All in all it really is a good talk that you should read because it makes valid points), "Any public manifestation of righteous behavior should not be a mask that is taken off when in the privacy of our home" in which I chuckle... yeah, chuckle... Right... how would I ever be able to mask my hypocrisy. I own it. Seriously?! I think I spend more of my time apologizing for my kids and MY mistakes than being able to poke and prod at what anybody else is doing wrong. I swear it is always one of mine or something I said without letting the words wheel around in my head before I say them outloud (my mom told me to do that all the time).

The speaker then said, "We are not immune from hypocrisy. It is found in the ...people who criticizes an associate who occasionally smokes marijuana but who himself has a strong Diet Coke addiction". I chuckle again, Diet Coke and the Mormon church are as controversial as the Disney Animators and the Little Mermaid or Charlie Sheen getting back on Two and a Half Men. Why does Diet Coke raise the ire of so many Mormons?

I then posted on my facebook, "I think drinking diet coke was just compared to smoking cigarettes in church today"... Then I started to think about it. One of the biggest stereotypes of Mormon woman is that of having an "Addiction" to Diet Coke. It is common is circle of friends to hear, "Most Mormon Moms actually have a Diet Coke IV shoved into their veins. Drinking it takes too much time" (That is for you, Jennifer Ellis).

But the actually addiction to diet coke, I think is a fallacy. To be more specific, I'm going to have to go with the false dilemma fallacy.... "the fallacy can also arise simply by accidental omission of additional options rather than by deliberate deception". So here is how the, naysayers see Diet Coke and all the moms talking about "Holy Crap, I need a Diet Coke" after spending the day with the kids. Others make take comments such as, "My weekly Saturday trip to the grocery store to pick up a 2-liter of “Happy Juice” for consumption after church each Sunday has become a warped act of religious devotion for me" might realm on the point of addiction if you don't find the humor behind it. Do the uneducated in the world of soda drinking even know that for most, Diet Coke is slang for a drink?? Let's go get a Coke... Sometimes, as a mom, we just got to get out and "go and get a coke". Plus, I don't even really like Diet Coke, but am more of a Coke Zero, Diet Pepsi fan. So much that is accidentally omitted in this deliberate attack on my sanity.... my need for that 15 minutes of quite where I don't have to listen to anybody fighting or asking questions. Seriously, my kids stop talking when the lady comes on the box and says, "Can I take your order?". The speaker of this talk then went to his blog and as a joke posted... "Incidentally, I understand that she has a Diet Coke addiction". Which is somewhat the truth, but still a fallacy. I am an addict -- "Hello, my name is Debbie and I am addicted to 15 minutes of just me time". So let's get the actual facts straight here...

As a mormon mom, what do I have?? I don't social drink at parties, I don't go clubbing with the girlfriends in the wee hours of the night, I never go to Starbucks and sit, I forgo the occasional use of weed in the backyard (Yes, this happened alot with the mom that I nannied for)... I go get a Diet Coke. If you walk into a house outside of the typical mormon home you might hear, "Would you like a cup of coffee?" I found this quote that says, "When I serve the coffee and if it is one of those wonderful tasting pots of coffee, my guest and I seem to have a much better conversation. We both feel happier because the coffee is so delicious".... Diet Coke is like the Social Aspect of the Mormon Church. So while it is not breaking the word of wisdom to have anything in moderation... the poor stereotyping of mom's addiction to Diet Coke has got to stop. Sitting with my friends on the grass during the summer time sipping a 48 ouncer of Diet Coke is just delicious. I have been known to go to the drive through and bring back drinks so we can just sit and chat.

So here's to the drink that has brought together millions of frazzled moms on a hot summer day. It's the drink that has sat in on millions of mormon mom's fridge around the world as devote followers. It's the drink that has helped millions of women overcome the daily headaches of being a mom. It's the drink that signified the official transition from wife to mother.


Cassie said…
In my neck of the woods we gather round with the ye olde 96 of Mountain Dew (or Dr. Pepper, although I'm strict with my Dew!). We even had a YW presidency meeting where it was the duty of the 2nd counselor to stop on the way for the "drinks". All hail the "drinks"!!
Love it!! I totally agree about it being just a time to your self. I drink Caff-free-diet-coke (with vanilla added), but I LOVE it. I only go get one a few times a week, but it is mostly about the social aspects of it:) Loved the post, and am proud of you for making peace:)And I agree...his talk was really good when you read it for his intent.
No worries, I'm a Mormon and I even drink Pepsi occasionally and don't feel guilty at all - LOL! Following you now from the blog hop! I hope you'll choose to follow back for more mutual blog visits :)
Hanna said…
Hi there! I'm your newest follower. I found you on the blog hop:) Lovely blog! You can find me at
Krissy said…
I am addicted to Diet Coke and Coffee. (starbucks to be exact.) That's what I do when I am stressed with myself, life or the kids. However, I don't think that stuff should be compared to drugs or cigarettes!

Following you from Friendly Friday Follow blog hop. Please visit us and follow back if you can! Thanks so much and have a great day!

Krissy @ Mommy Misc
Opal Stevens said…
I'm your newest follower :D
wow, Tab! that drink always reminds me of when i was a kid :-) following!..hope you can follow back also? i just started so i'd really appreciate it :-)
xoxo from NY!


XLMIC said…
Just a few posts read and I am hooked! Love this blog :)
Not being a Mormon mom, it is great to read the break-down on the Diet Coke thing! I hope it's okay to be a follower... even if I don't drink Diet Coke AND I'm not a Mormon ;-)
Found you through Tara's Weekend Blog Hop.
Deborah Ann said…
Hi! I'm on the blog hop trail. Following you, hoping you'll follow back...

Over from 5mins Happy Ultimate Blog Party.

I wrote a blog post on Friday about Coke Lite. Love your blog.
Christina B. said…
I am a new follower from the blog hop… and I LOVE your blog title… and your post are fabulous! I must say I am 30 days "clean and sober" from diet mountain dew… I miss it… I miss the feel of the cold can in my hands… they way it tingles as it goes down… yep… serious issues:) haha! Happy Monday!


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