Can You Be a Mom and Smoke Pot?
By Chantal Saville
Oct 31, 2018
In my world, drinking a glass of wine in front of my daughter Nikki is normal — we’re French and wine with a meal is to us what tea might be to a British person.
I know a lot of parents who don’t drink in front of their kids because they choose to model the behaviour they want to see in their kids, eventually. I get where they are coming from. I don’t buy it, but I get it.
I’ve always walked a slightly different path with my daughter, operating on the notion that there are things I can do and she cannot. Because I'm an adult. I can drive, vote, swear and I can drink. She accepts that there are actions that aren’t within her reach until she’s older and that’s that.
Then came the legalization of pot and the question arose among a group of my friends: “are you going to try it?” I’ve always talked to Nikki about how bad cigarette smoking is, so it’s difficult to get past the visual of me smoking and normalizing that behaviour for her. After all, she’s only nine. She won’t make the distinction between smoking pot and smoking a cigarette. If I tell her smoking is really bad and then I go ahead and smoke a joint, I’m not acting like the parent that I want to be.
While normalizing a glass of wine doesn’t bother me, as I won’t mind if she also has one with her dinner when she’s older, giving her the impression that smoking anything is OK worries me. This is one of those times that I agree with my non-drinking parent friends and feel like I need to walk the walk, for the sake of consistency.
But here’s the thing: I deal with anxiety. I choose not to medicate because I don’t like the side effects but have always wondered if a little pot might help me cope better with the everyday ups and downs.
So I’m left with a couple of options:
I could smoke and hide it from Nikki. But as a single parent, I don’t think that’s realistic. She’s bound to discover it, if only from the smell. She’s a child, not an imbecile. While I would rather be the one to explain pot to her, being discovered as a closet pot smoker isn’t the introduction I’d be looking to have.
Vaping is also an option, but I just don’t see myself doing that. Even with the newest types of vaporizers, the whole act is not far enough removed from the visual of smoking for my liking.
Finally, I thought that I could go directly to pot-laced edibles as an option. But how do I explain to Nikki that she can’t have THAT cookie or brownie?
Then I realized that I don’t need to explain it to her beyond the fact that certain edibles are on the list of things that adults can do that kids can’t. It’s always been my mantra with her, so why not extend it to pot?
On the hit show ‘This is Us’, William, who was battling terminal cancer, sits with his daughter-in-law Beth, in her basement, and they eat a pan of pot brownies that she made for him. Of course, because it’s television drama, one of her kids smells the chocolate and comes downstairs, wanting a brownie! Beth tells her that they are ‘adult brownies’ and that she’ll make a batch of ‘kid brownies’ in the morning. The kid accepts this and goes back to bed without a fight.
I can’t help wondering how Beth would have explained the difference between adult and kid brownies if her child had pushed the issue, as mine inevitably will? I have the feeling that at some point, I’m going to find out. Maybe I’ll tell her they are spinach-laced cookies! That will probably do the trick nicely and this will all go down in our history as just another hurdle in the wonderful world of parenting!