I’m Liz, I’m a mother of 2 children, Lez(13) and Ella(18 months). My son, Lez, was born when I was 20 years old and in active drug addiction.
Very sadly I don’t remember a lot of my pregnancy. I missed out on so many of Lez’s milestones because of my addiction. He was 3 years old when he went to live with my mum. I didn’t toilet train him, teach him to count or walk him in the gate on his first day of school.
I found my way into recovery and when Lez was 8 years old he came home to me. It was so amazing to be well enough to look after my own child but there were also challenges. When Lez started at his new school there were the questions of where we had moved from and what school he had been in. I had to lie because of fear that Lez’s friends wouldn’t be allowed over. I mostly avoided “the school mums” for fear of being found out and that impacting on my son.
I had been in recovery from addiction for 6 years when Ella was born. I remember going into a mums group when Ella was a few weeks old.
I only went once.
I felt separate from the mums in the group. I already had a 12 year old child, I should know what to expect and how to be a mother. When people asked what my son was like at that age I should have known how to answer but I didn’t, I didn’t remember.
I’m now very open about my recovery with most people I meet. It’s something I’m proud of and something I want everyone to know is possible. I still find it hard sometimes hanging out with the “normal” mums and them suggesting a nice glass of wine after a long day. It’s hard to know the right time to put my hand up and say “actually I’m in recovery and I don’t drink”. If I say it too early will they want to go for that walk or coffee with me again? Will their children be allowed to come to my house after school?
It can be really hard for a lot of women like me to be open and connect with other mums without fear of being judged so a lot of the time they stay away or lie about something that is a huge part of their lives.
I love that through Mama Tribe I’ve been able to connect with other mums who haven’t judged me or cancelled our catch ups because of my honesty. I love that this will open the way for more mums like me to feel part of and able to get more involved in their communities.
For addiction recovery support please visit Narcotics Anonymous