Women are often given the greatest gift and challenge of being the one kids want to be with most. Being a mom is hard work, and being a single mother is even harder.
Now, try being a single mother in recovery from addiction, and this can be one of life’s greatest challenges. There is hope for moms looking to rock recovery and motherhood.
Nobody does recovery, or motherhood, alone. Those who succeed in doing these things have not done it without mistakes.
Try to focus on what you can do, instead of what you can’t, and take it one step at a time.
Your recovery community is the best place to connect with others who understand. There might be a single mom’s group but maybe it is just the local recovery group.
Try meeting others who can help once in a while with kids. Ask them to take them for you so you can get some rest, take a break, or simply get out and do yoga once in a while.
The daily task of feeding, teaching, bathing, and caring for them is daunting. Combined with the challenges of managing addiction recovery, these tasks feel downright impossible without help.
Reach out to loved ones who are willing to help. Seek support in the community and always remember to keep sobriety first and foremost.
Kids Need People
The kids are going to need their community. It is important to keep stability as much as possible.
Depending on your circumstances, you can focus on how to navigate this season while supporting your kids’ lives. They likely need a strong male role model in their lives if their father is absent or there is no one in their lives.
Blood relatives, distant family, and chosen family can be a great support for the journey. Find ways to laugh and cry and be present together, but don’t let tough times get you all down.
Let Go of Toxic People
Just as much as the community is important, so is releasing toxic relationships. This might be a partner who is not sober, a sober partner who is not doing well in recovery, or a partner who is not available for the kids.
Don’t let them drag down your recovery and life as a single mom. Things are hard enough, so don’t let this get in the way of what you want.
You should reserve the right to change your mind any time and cut ties if the relationship is going south. Do this for yourself, but also for your kids, who need a strong mother to show them how to navigate life in this season.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to therapists for family treatment and therapy. Ask for low cost and budget counseling options.
The important thing is the kids have someone to talk to, away from you, but also give you space to talk about what is happening. Addiction recovery is not easy, especially with kids at home.
Seek out ways to get help and find support for yourself before trying to be a superhero to the kids. Get everyone the help they need and you can begin to thrive on this journey.
Nothing is more critical than self-care. You are caring for babies, toddlers, young kids, or even teenagers.
Sometimes you are doing all those at the same time. If you are worn out then you cannot provide care for someone else.
Make sure you are getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and getting quality time alone. Self-care is important for mothers, but usually the last on the list.
If you are not tending your own garden, weeds grow. Those weeds can push you towards relapse over time.
Don’t jeopardize recovery because you didn’t take care of yourself first. Remember: your oxygen mask first, then the kids.
Mind Your Mental Health
Maybe you cannot leave your house to go to yoga or meditation classes. You can go online and find hundreds of free courses.
Join a fitness club online and find people to do things with. Mental health is all about minding your own mind. Check into ways you can keep your mind sharp and focused on healthy ways of living and thinking.
It might mean getting therapy or doing daily meditation and prayer. Go to recovery groups and find ways to share positive things happening in your life.
Being a single mom is tough, especially if you are going through a crisis like an addiction. Track your mental health to make sure you are staying strong.
Try Childcare Options
Ask around to friends and family. Find ways to get help for the kids so you can go out and work or take care of yourself.
Recovery programs, church groups, and service providers often help with children. Ask for what is needed.
Being connected to childcare gives you a chance to breathe, take care of your sobriety, and find ways to give back to the kids in a healthy way.
Expect things to look difficult. They are going to be hard, but they are also going to get better.
One step at a time, baby steps, towards a better future always takes time. Focus on what you can do now so you can do better in the future, for you and your kids.
Casa Capri helps women from all walks of life. If you are a single mother, we have a spot for you. You can come and learn about recovery and how to navigate healing from addiction with support from our professional staff. Call us to find out how we can help you: 844-593-8020
Melissa Holmes Goodmon, Founder & CEO of Casa Capri Recovery, obtained her BA in Psychology and is a Licensed Drug and Alcohol Counselor (LAADC) specializing in women’s core issues. She is recognized as a leader in the field of mental health and substance abuse recovery where she has been an advocate since 2006.