addiction recovery for moms
September 15, 2023 By Leah Malone

Motherhood During Recovery: How to Avoid Feeling Overwhelmed


Stigmas and social pressure leave many mothers overwhelmed and uncertain about how to maintain sobriety successfully. Studies have shown that “A woman’s relationship with her children and her identity as a mother play a vital role in her sense of self. These relationships are important in recovery from substance use disorders.” Emerge Recovery TX offers outpatient treatment programs to address issues affecting motherhood during recovery from substance use disorder (SUD). Clients collaborate with their care team to create an individualized care plan addressing potential complications. 

Balancing Treatment and Motherhood During Recovery

Balance is important in all areas of a person’s life. However, mothers have the challenging task of balancing treatment for chronic disease and filling a caregiver role. Mothers may have children of varying ages at home. Outpatient treatment offers the best combination of flexibility and structure to ensure mothers feel capable and confident in providing family support while getting the help they need to heal. Finding ways to balance home, treatment, and self-care ensures the best outcomes for mothers in recovery. 

Women may struggle to incorporate the following into their treatment or aftercare schedule: 

  • Childcare 
  • Work 
  • Educational goals 
  • Family engagements 

Women may have a different relationship with SUD compared to men. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), “Scientists who study substance use have discovered that women who use drugs can have issues related to hormones, menstrual cycle, fertility, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and menopause.” Also, “women themselves describe unique reasons for using drugs, including controlling weight, fighting exhaustion, coping with pain, and attempts to self-treat mental health problems.” Balancing treatment involves finding healthy ways to incorporate recovery into everyday life. 

How to Maintain Responsibilities of Motherhood During Recovery

According to the International Journal of High Risk Behaviors and Addiction, “Most women in substance abuse treatment are of childbearing age, and many of them have children who both are affected by and influence the mother’s substance abuse and treatment behaviors.” Treatment plans must consider the entire family to ensure mothers and their children develop healthy connections during recovery. 

Some of the everyday responsibilities mothers may worry about maintaining include:

  • Childcare while a spouse is at work 
  • Working to support children and their significant other
  • Ensuring the home is clean, safe, and comfortable for their family
  • Providing emotional support and encouragement to children

Many mothers worry they won’t be able to care for their children during recovery. Women may sometimes avoid treatment if they feel like attending a program will leave their loved ones without adequate support. Case managers at Emerge Recovery TX help mothers identify needs and find resources to address those needs. Concerns about family responsibilities shouldn’t keep mothers from getting the assistance they need to recover from SUD. 

Outpatient Care Supports Motherhood During Recovery

Women participating in outpatient care adjust their treatment sessions around personal responsibilities. The flexibility allows them to be with their family while attending rehabilitation. Mothers can also benefit from joining local community support groups to engage with other parents going through similar situations. Interacting with peers who understand the stresses of parenthood and concerns about recovery makes some women feel more comfortable making the lifestyle changes they need to maintain long-term sobriety. 

Some of the primary benefits of outpatient care include:

  • Flexibility around childcare
  • Academic support and coaching 
  • Family therapy 
  • Case management 

Every program is fully personalized to ensure clients get access to the level of support they need to continue moving forward in recovery. In recovery, mothers can choose the services and therapies they feel most comfortable using to heal from SUD and co-occurring disorders. 

Developing Skills to Avoid Feeling Overwhelmed During Treatment

Clinicians at Emerge Recovery TX understand how overwhelming it can be to make the necessary lifestyle changes to support long-term recovery. 

Some of the skills clients learn during outpatient treatment include:

  • Creative problem-solving
  • Active listening, conflict resolution, and other social skills 
  • How to maintain healthy routines to support physical health 
  • Establishing and maintaining healthy boundaries 
  • Relapse prevention and crisis management 

Women in recovery have an entire team providing daily guidance and motivation. No one goes through treatment alone. The skills mothers develop during outpatient treatment increase self-confidence and reduce the symptoms of SUD. 

Treatment Services Help Mothers Heal

The entire family benefits when mothers take steps to heal from SUD. Studies have shown that “When family members change their thinking about and responses to substance misuse, the entire family system changes.” The changes “lead to positive outcomes for the family member who is misusing substances and improved health and well-being for the entire family.” Women must put themselves and their health first to be there for their loved ones. Emerge Recovery TX provides women in recovery with the tools to manage their condition while improving the lives of their loved ones. 

Mothers may feel overwhelmed during treatment and early recovery. Balancing family, healing from SUD, and everyday responsibilities may feel impossible. However, the dedicated care team at Emerge Recovery TX provides support services and evidence-based care to ensure mothers have the tools and resources they need to thrive in recovery. Peer engagement, family therapy, and personalized care plans provide women with the foundation they need to build a future of sobriety. Mothers benefit from having experienced clinicians collaborating with them through every step of outpatient treatment. The structure and support of outpatient care reduce the risk of relapse. To learn more about our services and programs, contact Emerge Recovery TX today by calling us at (737) 237-9663.

About Author

Leah Malone

Learning to sit with uncomfortable feelings can be painful and disturbing at times. When Leah was able to see her behavior patterns and decided there was enough pain to be disturbed, she became motivated to make changes and accept the work that needed to be done to heal. She needed direction and had no clue how to heal on her own. Through a connection with God, authentic connection with others, honesty, willingness, and humility, Leah is now in recovery from addiction and trauma.

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