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When I first started noticing how profoundly cannabis shifts my parenting, I kept mum to my friends and community. It felt wrong somehow, like admitting to only having sex with my husband while shit-faced (nope) or swallowing a cocktail of pharmaceuticals to deal with my editor (nope again). I was afraid that parenting even mildly under the influence of cannabis would be seen as a cop-out at best — or neglect and abuse at worst. It’s sad, but true, that stigmas and taboos around cannabis use remain. And when it comes to perceived failure in the category of moral uprightness, few in our society are judged more harshly than moms.

Ironically, the one person I felt comfortable telling about my newfound delight around parenting was my husband. I had once been judgmental of his pot use, both before and after children, but now, on some level at least, I got it. When consuming responsibly, I’m not a different person or a chemically forged supermom. What I am is a less harried version of me. A more chill, more appreciative, and, quite honestly, more nurturing version — like the me from a universe just one click away, a me who doesn’t stress nearly as much about things that don’t actually require stressing. Now that version of me, I admit, doesn’t mix with writing on deadline, or operating a motor vehicle, or doing anything that requires my sharpest intellect and hand-eye coordination — you get the picture. But it mixes incredibly well with building fairy houses, playing (but not winning) at board games, and running around the park with my kids and our dog. I don’t use or recommend weed in every parenting situation — that’s certain. But for some of the mundane tasks and in the most leisurely moments, cannabis is a win-win for our family. I get a break from my mental habits of worrying and scheduling and directing, and they get the most fun version of me for the occasion. And, this, my husband understands perfectly. When I told him, he didn’t even judge me for judging him about pot and parenting those many moons ago. (Thanks, baby!)

It took a while for me to ponder my newfound realization and eventually find some kind of peace before I could share it with most other moms in my life. But once I came out of the weed closet and admitted to those nearest and dearest that I love to smoke weed and hang out with my kids, all kinds of other weed moms started coming out of that closet, too. The first time I found myself watching kids on the playground after school and getting an earful from another mom about how she prefers indicas for anxiety, I knew things were about to get interesting.

I listened to some OG moms who started smoking cannabis in college and still enjoy it from time to time. I also listened to moms without much previous experience who’d heard about CBD or low-dose THC products and were trying it for pain relief, to sleep better, or to rekindle their sex drive. Even moms who weren’t quite ready to dive into the new world of cannabis were eager to hear about it. Some of the moms I spoke to were stay-at-home parents, and some were lawyers or teachers or business owners or restaurateurs. Their common thread? Curiosity about the new world of legal cannabis and what it means for all of us.

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Excerpted from Weed Mom by Danielle Simone Brand. May not be reproduced without permission from the source.

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