I am the Mother

I have always known I wanted to be a mother. Despite my battles with addiction, alcoholism, and mental health, the longing for motherhood was a constant. From a young age, I dreamt of the day I would hold my own child, feel their small hand in mine, and be their source of comfort and love. Yet, wrapped up tightly in that anticipation was a dark snake of doubt, convincing me that passing down my damage, my flaws, and my genetics was utterly irresponsible. The fear of perpetuating a cycle of pain was almost paralyzing.

But at the end of the day, I truly believe I can and will break the cycle.

As a person in recovery and a child from a broken home, I work every single day to do things differently. My journey is filled with daily battles against the shadows of my past, but also moments of profound joy and connection. Mothers in recovery often grapple with a spectrum of emotions, from guilt and shame over past actions to the anxiety of maintaining sobriety and the fear of messing up their kids so badly they follow the same horrible path. These feelings are often intensified by the responsibilities of caring for young children, who require constant (and I mean constant) attention and nurturing.

My motherhood journey is one of rediscovery and slowing down. I am learning to find strength in the small moments—reading bedtime stories, wrestling, singing songs in the car, and just playing together. These moments are precious, filled with the laughter and innocence of my children. Yet, often those moments are overshadowed by overwhelm, triggering mom rage, and a slight (maybe not so slight) resentment for my husband. The stress of balancing recovery, parenting, and maintaining a household is incredibly overwhelming, and sometimes it feels like I'm barely holding it together.

One day last week I woke up, made a great breakfast, we played nicely with Kinetic sand, they went outside and played quietly and without my son injuring my daughter. I sat and watched them play while I scrolled Facebook and drank my coffee in the sun thinking I was KILLING IT. We went on a walk, we played, they napped for 3 hours and life was good. 

As it goes, by 9 am today, my house was destroyed, they had dumped kinetic sand everywhere, my daughter hadn't stopped whining and clinging to my leg since she woke up at 4 am, and my son took every opportunity he had to try and injure us or do exactly what he wasn't supposed to. I brought them to a friends house so I could work and forgot their shoes. When I was there, I left my wallet, and I just about ran out of gas on the way home. I forgot to get milk and then came home to a nice puddle of dog pee on my inlaw's comforter….. and then my husband asked what was for dinner.

I often find myself saying, “I know why moms drink wine,” and wishing I could be a “wine mom.” It's incredibly enticing. The culture around "wine moms" is pervasive, painting a picture of relaxation and escape that feels almost irresistible on the tough days. When my daughter hasn't allowed me to sleep longer than four hours at a time for months, when my son decides “please don't” means “I'm gonna do it,” and when my husband seems oblivious to the fact that kids need three healthy meals a day, the first thing my mind still goes to is wishing I could just have a damn glass of wine.

I know this life, for me, is a miracle. It's a miracle that I crawled out of the life I was living. It's a miracle I've maintained this life, and it's a miracle I'm alive after alcohol tried its damndest to end me. There were years I prayed and wished for the life I have now. I remember nights spent in a fog of despair, wondering if I would ever feel whole again. The thought of a future with children seemed like a distant dream, something beautiful and out of reach.

And yet, I can still look at it and my brain thinks of all the ways to escape and burn it all to the ground. It's a constant battle against the old habits and thoughts that once ruled my life. The cravings don't just vanish; they linger in the background, whispering temptations during the hardest moments. The struggle to stay present and positive is real, but so is the determination to not let my past define my future.

There is nothing I love more in this life than my children. Nothing brings me more joy, and nothing brings me more rage. Being a mother in recovery is a relentless journey of balancing these emotions, staying sober for my children, and proving to myself every day that I can be the mother they deserve. I strive to be the anchor they can depend on, a source of unwavering love and support. My children are my greatest motivation to stay sober, to fight through the tough days, and to keep building a better life for our family.

I have learned to cherish the small victories—each day of sobriety, each moment of connection with my kids, and each step forward in our journey as a family. I remind myself that breaking the cycle isn't about being perfect; it's about being present, being loving, and being committed to growth and healing. My journey as a mother in recovery is far from over, but each day brings new opportunities to build a brighter, healthier future for myself and my children.

To all the mamas:

“Trust yourself. You’ve survived a lot, and you’ll survive whatever is coming.” — Robert Tew