Drinking mothers often don’t realize they are damaging their children. In fact, they are two-and-a-half times less likely to go to a treatment facility because they believe their children need them at home. This distortion is due in large part to alcoholic denial and also the need to feel in control of their lives.
When an alcoholic mother does get sober and realizes how her drinking has affected her children she faces a very painful guilt. Also, her children realize the rules have changed and frequently they will begin acting out. At this point she may also lack a stable adult relationship. People leave alcoholic women - in much greater numbers than they leave alcoholic men.
Early recovery is a time for self-care as well as self-absorption. This makes having kids around even more difficult. So when a mother's emotions, such as anger, remorse, sadness and loneliness become unmanageable, they can become triggers for relapse. For all these reasons and more, it can be very difficult for mothers to get and stay sober.
If you know of an alcoholic mother, or were raised by one, please feel free to give me a call. No situation is truly hopeless, and there is no pain that cannot be lessened.
Cheryl Deaner, LMFT