I'm here too late for advice, so let us know how the conversation went.
My mom drank every single night (to the point I would withdraw into the guest room so I didn't have to see the progression of what came next) up until her cancer diagnosis 18 months ago, and I never talked to her about how her behavior, etc.bothered me This is because I was always staying at HER house and I felt it wasn't right to ask her to stop or change the nightly ritual or to tell her how uncomfortable she made me feel. Now, if she had acted that way when we were in public or when she was at my house or if she had scared my kids, that would have been a different story. But I really only saw poor behavior when she was at her own home.
One thing you could talk to your mom about is that alcohol is a known carcinogenic if used excessively (as well as cigarettes). I am fairly certain that many of my mom's medical issues are due to her overuse of alcohol, and of cigarettes. It's a little too late now to point that out to her because she has stopped, but the thought her cancer might have been avoided is heartbreaking nonetheless.
I hope the convo goes well with your mom. Let us know how it went.
Welcome, @domerjen. Your mom's story sounds like mine. I was a social drinker until later in life. My nest emptied (younger child went to college and H took a job in another country). For whatever stupid, stupid reason, I thought wine would help ease the pain of loneliness. I've heard the description of "pantry drinker" which pretty much sums up how I drank. Not a bar drinker, but drank a LOT of wine at home.
Alcoholism is progressive. You need to understand that. Alcoholism never gets better, only worse. Within FOUR YEARS, I had a huge problem with alcohol!! My older daughter is the only one whoever called me on my drinking. (I remember pleading with my own mother to please dial back, just have two, moderate, pleasepleaseplease, etc. She never really quit, although did cut back somewhat.) Anyway, I don't know what it was about the ONE comment my own daughter made to me, but I realized my actions were hurting my family. About a week later, I decided to try AA.
Not trying to make this all about me. However, I wanted you to know that talking to your mom honestly might make a difference. She has to want to change. Quitting drinking only works if you are doing it for yourself. Lots of people come through the revolving door of AA because they are getting sober to get the wife off their back, because the judge mandated attendance, etc. From what I've seen, you only get sober if you really want to, for yourself.
I'm glad you told your mom that you are worried about her drinking. Don't be shy to ask if she's ever thought about going to AA. Since you live a distance away, she can hang up if she doesn't want to hear it. I understand your concern about leaving your children in her and your dad's care. I'm so happy I got sober. My daughter has complete trust in me now. That is a huge blessing in my life.
Keep posting. Let us know if you have more questions or thoughts!