I have been in recovery and working a recovery program now for 30 years. There were so many people that helped me along in early recovery and taught me how to act like a mature woman in recovery. God knows it didn’t happen overnight. I went to treatment when I was 28, so I was young. By the Grace of God, since then, I have been actively working my recovery program.
One of the many blessings for me is that I was already in recovery when I made the decision to have children. My oldest is 24 so I was in recovery for 6 years when he was born. My youngest came along 3 years later. I don’t know how I would have survived being a parent without the love, support and grace of my recovering community and my Higher Power.
You see, I didn’t have great examples for parenting. My only present parent, my mother, was struggling with the effects of addiction and alcoholism in her life. Unfortunately, she was never able to overcome the impact of this disease in her life. So, when it came time for me to be a parent, I knew one thing for certain, I wanted to do it different. I was going to make sure my children knew that they were loved and supported from day one. And you know what, they do. What I didn’t know was – that wasn’t enough. It wasn’t enough to love them with all my heart and soul. I also needed skills and tools of the parent trade to make this work.
I always believed that all it took was love. I was wrong. It took love, knowledge, open-mindedness, willingness to admit when I was wrong, the willingness to ask for help and the willingness to say I was sorry to my children when I made a mistake. And for me it also takes the ability to know that no matter what I do, I will not do this perfectly. I will never be a “perfect” parent. How can I be, I am an imperfect person still figuring out how to navigate the world myself? My recovery community and the wonderful women in my life taught me how to be a good person and they taught me how to be a good parent.
There are no secrets to being a good mother, there is no textbook to tell me the rules, but the one thing I know for certain is that if I work my program and live the 12 steps to the best of my ability, chances are my kids will probably get the best me possible. Being a parent is by far the most rewarding thing I have done in my life. There is nothing that gives me more satisfaction, peace of mind or happiness than looking at the 2 grown men I helped bring into this world. I would do it again in a heartbeat and love every minute of it.
To all the Mothers out there this Mother’s Day doing the best you can, keep working your program and be grateful we have a program that can help us be a better parent. You are enough. Happy Mother’s Day