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Toni Nagy Headshot

Dear 'Pothead Mom'

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SMOKE IN FRONT OF CHILD
Ryan Conners via Getty Images

A stay-at-home mom from Colorado recently wrote an article admitting that she is a pothead. The author examines how legalizing weed in her home state affects our children, and openly discusses how she plans on addressing these issues. Revealing herself as a "pothead mom" is her attempt to normalize ganja use rather than criminalize it -- which I commend.

However, this also makes me wonder what it would be like to be around my kid while I was high.

First, let me say that I am not a prude when it comes to Mary Jane -- we have actually been quite intimate. I started smoking at 14, and eventually became an everyday indulger, a practice I stopped at 27. That was a period in my life where the thought of watching a movie not high was literally an insane idea. There is no moral reason I don't smoke any more, and in fact, I miss it.

Sometimes, when I am hanging out with my kid playing with blocks, watching her jump off something for the 79th time or reading her the same story I just read, I think to myself, Man, parenting would be a lot more fun if I smoked pot!

I can relate to the desire to smoke because it is hard to let the adult mind fade away when engaging with children, and I am sure a doobie can help get you on their wavelength. I could see myself being genuinely interested in arts and crafts or playing pretend with my daughter's dolls if I was baked. I am sure she would like all the sugary cereal we would eat together while watching cartoons, too. Maybe if I sparked a spliff every once in a while, I would be much more patient, chill and relaxed with all the repetition, recurrence and monotony of child-rearing.

So yeah, smoking pot and being a mom could be awesome at times -- but that also depends on your relationship with weed. If someone has the capacity to be moderate and not smoke themselves into oblivion, then I can see how this could work in a family setting. Yet not everyone is that balanced or can exhibit self-control. You can have casual drinkers who are not alcoholics, and you can also have destructive pot users who let it damage their lives.

For me, the issue isn't if someone puffs, but why they do. All substances are an escape from reality, and we are drawn to them because existence sucks a lot of the time. Yet, there are many ways we distract ourselves from everyday life -- whether it be TV, Facebook, computers or iPhones. Adults are often looking for a way to check out. Is being slightly spacey because you rolled a joint any worse than staring at your phone the entire afternoon when at the park with your kid? Of course we can't be fully present all the time, but no matter what the indulgence, people need to examine what is motivating them to participate in these mind-melding activities.

Reefer has many medicinal qualities and has been revered for its healing properties. et, if we use it purely as a diversion from dealing with life, then essentially, we are dishonoring its powerful and sacred essence. When it comes to parenting, there are many times where I would love to enhance the moment with a puff and think that sounds really pleasant. Yet, there are also many times where I want to escape into the void -- which probably wouldn't be the best time to take a bong hit.

Toking, like drinking alcohol, does disconnect you from the world and people around you. I have been around a lot of high people in my life when I am sober, and I do feel like there is something between us -- a veil that I can't quite penetrate. There is a palpable distance because they are in an altered state of consciousness and I am not. So, I am sure that children, who are very energetically sensitive, can feel that too. Do they care? I am not sure. When I am the one on the outside looking in, I don't always care, and sometimes I do.

I genuinely respect the "pothead mom" for opening up this dialogue. People should not be ashamed for wanting to take a hit of weed. We all have our vices, and we should not be judging each other or forcing some people into hiding. Yet, as much as it is important to be open-minded and avoid hypocrisy, we also have to be aware of how our children feel about parents who are high. As awkward as it might be, if we are going to have "chronic" around our kids, we should be able to ask the question, "Honey, do you mind being around mommy when she is stoned?"