Sobriety and motherhood are individually challenging experiences. Together they create a unique challenge, but one filled with life and joy. Both becoming a mom and entering sobriety are life-altering moments that mark your life forever. Suffering from an alcohol use disorder while parenting can also be life-altering, but instead of bringing joy and beautiful memories, it can bring danger, fear and disconnection from family.
Socially Acceptable Dependence
Motherhood is difficult, either in sobriety or facing addiction, but a dependence on alcohol can cause lasting damage. The intersection of motherhood and addiction is a particularly slippery slope, and tragically, one that is seemingly culturally acceptable. Not much can be as anxiety-inducing as being a mom, whether you are a brand new mom worrying about how to balance life with a newborn or a mom of teens doing your best to keep them out of trouble. So often in the media we see mothers portrayed with a glass of wine always in their hand and subtle jokes about having a problem or needing “mommy’s juice.” These stereotypes of motherhood are harmful and hinder many from achieving sobriety.
Sobriety and Motherhood Requires New Skills
As a sober parent, you are forced to learn a few new skills that thankfully not only foster sobriety, but can help you become a healthier parent. Perhaps you used to unwind at the end of a long stressful day with a glass of wine, but overtime became too dependent on alcohol to relax and could not destress without it. Sobriety requires learning new and healthier methods of relaxation, whether it is mediation, exercise or knitting. An alcohol addiction can grow out of suppressing unwanted emotions, stress or trauma, all of which are common in motherhood. In sobriety, you must learn to process the pressures of motherhood in a healthier way, which are personally beneficial and will help your children learn the same skills.
Taking better care of your mental and emotional health instead of numbing with alcohol or neglecting yourself helps you grow into a better, more present parent. After facing your trauma and learning to process emotions in a more productive manner, you may find you are becoming less stressed by things that used to cause you to turn to alcohol and are able to better manage the anxiety of motherhood. You are able to be a more present mother for your children when you are not always consumed by thinking about your next drink or in a daze.
Finding sobriety is not only a beneficial and healthy decision for you personally, but for your family as well. As children grow they are able to tell when a parent is not engaging with them, or isn’t present at sports games or events. Sobriety and motherhood allows you to be fully present and engaged while watching your child grow. You are able to make more memories and can have the mental clarity to learn the intimate details of their days.
Change in Social Circles and Activities
After becoming sober, or even when in the process, this might require a change in social circle. The other moms you previously had moms’ night out with might have a different relationship with alcohol or one you find you can no longer be around. Sobriety in motherhood is costly, but thankfully there are excellent communities all around the country and online for like-minded, sober moms. This can also be an opportunity to broaden the activities that you partake in to unwind or that you and your family enjoy together. Outdoor activities like hiking or artistic endeavors like pottery are excellent stress relievers.
Safer for Children
Motherhood requires you to almost constantly be attentive and aware of what your child is doing in order to keep them safe and this applies to all ages of children. According to the World Health Organization, the mistreatment of alcohol can lead to a greater risk of child endangerment and even neglect. If you are dealing with a hangover or in a daze, it is easier to lose track of a child at the park or not notice if they wander into a dangerous area. For mothers of infants who may be breastfeeding, drinking alcohol will affect the milk and consequently, your child drinking the milk. Additionally, you have to worry about being coherent for middle of the night wakings and feeds. Sobriety in motherhood frees you from these potential dangers and the guilt and shame of not being fully engaged with your children.
Alcohol Rehab in Colorado
Raising children can be stressful and difficult, but unfortunately an alcohol addiction can not only make the situation worse, but endanger you and your family. Finding sobriety can bring healing to your mental health and emotional clarity, setting an example for your children to always seek help when needed. Even at a young age, the change you make in your life by seeking treatment will greatly impact your child in a positive way.
At Continuum Recovery Center of Colorado, we have Family Education and Therapy and many other programs to support mothers seeking sobriety. For more information, contact us today at 844 – 901- 3066.