It Is Possible to Manage Recovery and Motherhood, Here’s How
Addiction has become a dirty word. That is unfortunate because that also means that recovery is equally viewed as tarnished. The last thing a person needs who is suffering from substance use disorder is hesitancy with regard to seeking effective treatment. It is important to realize that there is effective treatment available. It is also important to realize that it won’t be easy. It is a process, and usually a long one. Of course, it depends on a number of factors. No two recoveries are identical. That is because no two sufferers are identical. The best program is usually one that is specifically tailored to your individual situation.
One of the things that can make recovery challenging is being a mother, especially a new mother. Adding children into the mix seldom simplifies any situation. In fact, it is the most complicating factor you can have. But the news is not all bad. When handled just right, being a mother can be a valuable part of your recovery. Many people are inspired to take better care of themselves when they have to take responsibility for another living being. That is just one of the ways you can get through recovery as a mother. Here are a few more:
Helping a Child End Bad Habits
In part, recovery is the process of ending a bad habit. That is never easy. If your child is still thumb-sucking by 6, it is a bad habit that can lead to oral health problems later in life. Learning how to stop thumb sucking in children can be an important step in your own recovery. You learn that actions have consequences that might not manifest right away. You learn patience while working through a process. And you learn that while working on ending a bad habit, life goes on. It doesn’t pause to wait on you.
You also love your child unconditionally, even if that child has a few issues to work through. One of the most valuable lessons is that you have to love yourself even when you have issues to work through. Your child needs help, not blame or recriminations. Your child isn’t evil or stupid or deficient in any way. She is a normal human that needs a little help getting over something difficult. Approach your recovery with the same level of enlightenment and you will do just fine.
Recognizing That Your Actions Affect Others
When people first start using substances, they often feel they are engaging in a victimless crime. It is no big deal as long as no one gets hurt. But when it comes to overindulging in vices, that is almost never true. Someone always gets caught up in the crossfire. This is especially true during pregnancy. Not only are there dire consequences of addiction and pregnancy, there are certain dangers inherent in recovery and pregnancy.
Alcohol withdrawal can greatly increase the chances of miscarriage. The same is true for other substances. This is why it is vitally important to be under a doctor’s care and not try to go it alone during pregnancy. You might even have to do replacement therapy to avoid the risk of withdrawal. Your decision to use illicit substances affects your future children. Realizing how your actions can deeply affect the ones you love can help motivate you through a difficult recovery period.
Lessons in Accountability
When you have children who are old enough to know what is going on, recovery becomes a lesson in accountability. You can’t hide the fact that you have a problem that you are dealing with. What you can do is model the behavior of accepting responsibility and doing the right thing.
Teaching teens responsibility and accountability are a part of a parent’s job, even when they are facing accountability themselves. Sometimes, even good parents make bad life choices. That is just what it is to be human. The damage to children really kicks into high gear when the parent does not model what it means to recover from those bad decisions. Use your recovery as a way to model the solution, not just the problem.
Recovery is hard. And being a parent is hard. But they can both be done together when you help your small children beat their own bad habits, realize that actions have consequences for the people in your life, and use the opportunity of recovery to model what it looks like to take responsibility.