Being a mother in recovery is no easy feat. Maybe you are caretaking for relatives or other children and are looking for ideas. While you need to honor your own recovery, you also want to explore the world with the kids and find places they can enjoy. Traveling can get expensive, and depending on how many kids there are, it can sometimes be too restrictive to buy plane tickets or organize a larger trip to a far away destination. While it may be hard to go on vacation, a staycation is a perfect way to have fun this summer, stay on budget, and have some fun.
Choose Sobriety First
Recovery is a challenging space to be in when mothering children at home. No matter what age they are, there are challenges they have with school and friends — add your load of housework, work outside the home, family life, and your personal situation in recovery — altogether, it becomes a lot to deal with. Sobriety should always come first, no matter what. When choosing that ultimate vacation destination, make sure to be mindful of how your plans will help maintain recovery and sobriety.
If going into certain spaces are triggering, make note of that before planning the trip. When looking at the distance, think how far seems safe enough to still be close to what is needed if triggers happen or mental health issues flare up. It may be helpful to bring family, friends, and sober companions to help with kids, too, because going anywhere is challenging. Involving the childrens’ friends can also bring more fun to the experience.
Nature is all around. The environment is available any time, day or night. To understand the connection with each other, it can help to get into nature and do some exploring. Every state offers natural wonders, beautiful riches beyond compare and some activities to do. Whether it is the coastline, lakeshore, rivers, streams, or valleys, there is always something new to see outside.
Some ways you can enjoy nature with the kids include:
- Explore nature or forest preserves for a few hours, half a day, or even an entire weekend of camping out
- Take bikes to do some riding (rentals are usually available)
- Try out water sports like paddleboarding, kayaking, or canoeing with family
- Visit wildlife sanctuaries to learn about local animals
- Go bird watching
- Venture into caves or natural wonders that are within a day’s drive or close enough for weekend trips
Something about seeing natural wonders that are larger than ourselves can also be healing in recovery. It brings a renewed perspective to recovery for everyone in the family.
This can be a great way to include kids while making it fun. If going anywhere on vacation or staycation isn’t in the cards right now, make it fun around the neighborhood or town. Engage the kids and their friends to do it, too. Help them build teamwork skills, exercise, and problem-solving abilities. There are organized events, but there are also community groups on social media that can be great places to organize neighborhood events — even if it is in your own backyard.
Print Up Shirts
Some of the most fun projects are those where kids get some input. Have them help draft and design family shirts. Buy blank shirts from a local craft or t-shirt shop and some transfer paper. They can be printer paper or iron-on transfers that can be placed onto shirts. Kids love to see their work on display. This is a fun way to go around town for the day on a scavenger hunt, to explore and find things to do that encourage creativity and joy with everyone, regardless of age.
Use the Library
Libraries often have passes to museums to explore that you might not otherwise visit. The key is not to worry about whether or not it will be fun. Just being together makes it fun. Explore reading and learning programs to do that are entertaining. Seek exploratory options like the audio/visual area or gaming stations where games and systems may be rented out to have fun at home.
Pick one day a month to go out with the kids and ask them to choose where to go for that one day. It can be a fun way to involve the kids and plan something special they helped organize. Take pads of paper and drawing pencils to art galleries with older kids and have them draw what they notice or see.
Find Music Festivals
Music festivals, big and small, are great ways to see a new area and explore musical varieties that are different from your personal preferences. Even if the kids aren’t sure about the music, they are bound to have a fun time. Music is something that brings people together, whether they like or dislike it, because they can explore it on their own and find something to talk about. That is all it’s really about: learning new cultures, experiences, and having that family bonding time together.
The power of being together is crucial in recovery. It can be challenging, but also healing to be part of the process with the kids and help them navigate it together. Finding time for fun and joy is also part of healing from addiction as a family.
At Casa Capri, we design our programs specifically for women. Our highly trained and knowledgeable staff personalize treatment for each client, ensuring their unique needs are met. If you are ready to get sober (and stay sober) for your family, we are here to help. Call Casa Capri today: 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.