She’s on call virtually all day, every day. She does the impossible. She’s the real superhero. And she goes by “Mom.”
In celebrating Mother’s day, we often show our appreciation and love through an emotional card, beautiful flowers, and a phone call. We thank her for giving us life, for caring for us—changing endless diapers, bandaging our cuts—and for being the one person who never stopped worrying about us.
But, who’s always there to worry about her? Who’s there to notice her struggle?
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), about 5.3 million women drink in a way that is harmful to themselves—to their health, safety and well-being. Mothers who are well and can be present for themselves and their children is the best gift.
5 Reasons Moms Become Addicted
So why do so many mothers become addicted to alcohol or drugs? Caron Treatment Centers recently conducted a survey and found the following top five contributing factors:
- Stress or Anxiety—Mothers have many opportunities to experience stress or anxiety when they are worried about
- their children
- being a good enough mom
- work responsiblities
- juggling work and home life
- picking up the kids from school
- getting dinner on the table
- cleaning the house
- Romantic relationships—Women often sense relationship tension long before the men notice. Relationships are hard –period. It’s hard to understand and meet the needs of a spouse without expecting the same in return. When something that started off so beautiful is crumbling, who wouldn’t find a way to cope?
- Pressure from family or friends—For years, society has expected moms to be perfect —to be gorgeous and to have a successful career, an organized house, and brilliant children. The pressure to live up to these high expectations pushes many moms to hide flaws and stifle cries for help.
- Traumatic experience—Many mothers have experienced deep, dark trauma, around a horrible event, such as rape or abuse. It is often easier to drown these emotions in alcohol or drugs than to face them without any assistance.
- General feeling of boredom—Just because moms are busy doesn’t mean they aren’t lonely or bored. The daily grind, the “non-exciting, dreary” experience of taking care of doing the laundry again, talking only to the kiddos all day, or living in an empty nest can easily drain a women’s energy and excitement for life, making her seek adventure and friends elsewhere.
This survey clearly reminds us how understandable it is for moms to become susceptible to an addictive substance like alcohol and drugs, so it’s really no surprise that over 5 million women drink harmfully every day.
Why Moms Don’t Seek Treatment
How can we help these moms? And why haven’t they gotten the help they need? After all, they’re experts at taking care of everyone else. So why don’t they pick up the phone to schedule help for themselves? Perhaps because
- they’re too afraid to leave the family for 28 days or longer.
- they’re afraid of being humiliated by revealing their secret drinking or pill-popping habits.
- they’re blind to the destructiveness of addiction.
How To Help Moms Help Themselves
These fears are all very real. If you’re working with a mother and encouraging her to enter treatment, attempt to remove her primary fear of entering treatment—who will take care of her husband and children and home while she’s gone? Try to arrange for someone to make meals for her husband and build a schedule to help take turns watching the kids.
Once this is covered, stage an intervention to help her learn about her addiction and to let her know that you are there to support her during this time. Learn how to stage an intervention or Download our Free Intervention Guide.
If you’re not sure she is addicted, learn more about addiction in our resource section.
Give the Gift of Freedom and Peace From Addiction This Mother’s Day
Thankfully, recovery can help a mother overcome her struggle with addiction. In recovery, she can relish the happy moments and cope healthily with the sad times. She doesn’t have to drown her feelings in drugs and alcohol. She can be her true superhero self again.
For years, Duffy’s has been about putting families back together again—we are a family business for a family problem—and we answer the phones 24/7/365. Please call us today (707-348-4874).
This Mother’s Day, make sure mom has the gift of wellness.