Mothers often have a difficult time making or finding time for themselves. There is always one more child to bathe, one more lunch to pack, or one more load of laundry to do. The stress of being a mom does not help and can exacerbate substance use. As a mother with an addiction, though, life can spin out of control very quickly. Taking the time now to go through treatment can make you a better mom for years to come.
The Neverending Job of Motherhood
Motherhood is that job that never ends—24 hours per day, seven days per week, and extending well past when your children leave home "for good." That pressure alone can lead to substance use, as working so hard around the clock can be incredibly stressful. It can be difficult enough to get away for a day or even a few hours, let alone long enough to receive addiction treatment.
This catch-22 scenario creates a barrier that leads to so many moms not getting the help they need, leading to more stress and increased substance use. Motherhood is portrayed as all macaroni necklaces and handfuls of wildflowers, but it can be a vicious cycle that slowly destroys not only the woman but also her family.
When Addiction Threatens Healthy Family Life
Having a drug or alcohol addiction can be very disruptive and damaging to the family that you love so much. Consequences can range from missing appointments, failing to pick up or drop off kids, neglecting or abusing children, or even losing custody of your children. Mothers never plan for things to get to that point, but all plans go out the window with substance abuse.
When you access treatment early on, the likelihood of adverse consequences decreases. Taking time away from your family may seem counterintuitive and maybe even impossible. However, being separated from your family involuntarily is far much worse. Making the time now to get the treatment you need is crucial to the physical safety of you and your family and the emotional safety of all in the home.
Protecting Your Children From Yourself
The necessity of caring for children or other family members is one of the most challenging barriers women face in seeking the treatment they need. Whatever logistical or financial barriers you face are legitimate; however, there are usually practical alternatives that exist that can help.
Sending kids to live with a relative, having someone come to stay with them, or requesting that your spouse or partner take a leave of absence from work are all tough choices. But they are still choices. When your addiction makes you lose control, the consequences may not give you many options. Making the tough decision now to go to treatment is hard, but not as hard as the potential for the long-term emotional or physical pain you could cause your family by not getting help when you need it.
Finding the Resources to Break Down Barriers
Recovery may sound impossible, but where there is a will, there is a way. Maybe you are thinking, "Who will drive the kids to soccer practice?" The reality is that if you drive under the influence, you won't—or shouldn't—be driving them to soccer practice anyway. There are always solutions to every problem when you still have the freedom to choose.
If caring for your family is a barrier you cannot see past, ask for help. If you do not have family or friends that can help you out, check with the community or a local church to find resources to help you. If you had a medical emergency and had to be hospitalized for a month, what would you do? Addiction is a medical emergency and should be treated urgently as other health conditions.
Taking Time Now Makes You More Effective Later
Even if you think you have your drinking or drug use under control, it takes away time and emotional resources you could be offering your family. Addiction recovery may seem overwhelming right now, but it will make you a better person and mom.
The bottom line is that in active addiction, there are no guarantees that you will be able to take care of yourself, let alone your children and family. You need to take care of yourself now to be there as a mom for the long haul. The sooner you find the help you need, the sooner you can become the mother you want for your family.
How can I find time for recovery as a mother? The question really is how can you not take the time to be a better mom? Keeping you and your family healthy and safe is a priority and worth all of the financial and logistical challenges that come with accessing the treatment you need. The Ho Tai Way – Recovery For Women understands how difficult it can be for mothers to access treatment. We also know how important it is to take care of yourself to be a better mom in the long run. Our Costa Mesa, California facility is a safe, peaceful place for female heads of the household to heal. With our individualized treatment plans, we will ensure that you get the help you need to become the best mom you can be. Please get in touch with The Ho Tai Way today at (714) 581-3974 to make the changes you need to for you and your family.